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Episode 119 | Dancers Are Doers: Lily Cabatu Weiss, Dallas Arts District

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Executive Director for the Dallas Arts District and award winning Dance Educator Lily Cabatu Weiss joins Martheya to talk about how Dancers ARE Doers. They discuss Lily’s career, arts leadership, advice for dancers starting their own company, and how social media is influencing the dance world. (34:00)


[0:12] Martheya says welcome back


[1:00] Topic: Get to kNOw Lily and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

  • [1:00] Martheya asks: “Can you walk us through your career from starting as a dance program coordinator at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts?”

  • [3:07] Martheya asks: “What is Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts?”

  • [5:05] Martheya asks: “What drew you to BTWHSPVA?”

  • [5:59] Martheya asks: “What brought you to Booker T, was it a job opening?”

  • [7:08] Martheya asks: “How were you risk takers?”

[8:25] Topic: Saying YES to the dance

  • [8:25] Martheya asks: “I love your quote in the 2022 D Magazine feature entitled Lily Weiss Is a Changemaker at the Intersection of Art and Commerce. You say “I’ve always said dancers are doers because we’re physical…and so, when something needs to be done, the response always immediately is, ‘I can do it.’” This is a statement I think a lot of dancers can relate to. What advice do you have for dancers who want to start their own company? Or have already started their company and want to continue to grow?”

  • [10:10] Martheya asks: “How do you think you found that (passion)?”

  • [11:32] Martheya asks: “Like what (do you have to say yes to) for instance?”

[15:02] Topic: The Dallas Arts District

  • [15:02] Martheya asks: “You are now the Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District, can you talk about what that job is and your responsibilities?”

  • [18:51] Martheya asks: “Many dance artists become teachers as a necessary means or desire to shape future generations. Can you talk about your top 3 transferable skills that artists can take from the classroom that might apply to their entrepreneurial approach of making and sharing work?”

[20:09] Topic: Define Your Own Story

  • [20:09] Martheya asks: “What are qualities applicants should consider that they could include in their application to help them stand out and convey a clear message?”

  • [21:50] Martheya asks: “Are their specific things you see in an application that make you automatically don’t want to read it?”

  • [22:22] Martheya asks: “What do you mean by classroom lecture?”

  • [24:47] Martheya asks: “What do you think are the top 3 attributes of a great leader?”

  • [27:07] Martheya asks: “Is there anything else we haven’t talked about that you want to share with our listeners today?”

Questions from kNOwBOX dance Archive

  • [27:40] Martheya asks: “Do you think social media is influencing the dance world? If so, how does it influence your work?”

  • [29:43] Martheya asks: “How do you say NO to the BOX (think outside the box)?”

[30:40] Martheya asks:

1- If you had to recommend a resource to our audience what would it be?

[31:00] Martheya asks:

2- What was the first dance you saw?

[31:16] Martheya asks:

3- Do you think social media has a positive influence on the dance world (yes or no)?

  • Yes

[31:20] Martheya asks:

4- What is your favorite social media platform?

  • Facebook

Recommended Resources:

Connect with Lily Cabatu Weiss & Dallas Arts District

Lily Cabatu Weiss is the Executive Director for the Dallas Arts District and recently served as the Artistic Director for Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA), 2nd Artistic Director since Paul Baker, founder of the school. Her awards include the National Young Arts Foundation Distinguished Teacher, Distinguished Teacher by the Commission on Presidential Scholars twelve different years, SURDNA Arts Fellowship, Bates Dance Festival Teacher Fellowship, features in two articles in Dance Teacher magazine (2007, 2009) for her work at BTWHSPVA, and features in the December 2018 and March 2021 issue of Arts + Culture Texas, and in Patron, D Magazine, and D CEO Magazine in 2016 and 2022, among others. She was most recently received the Obelisk Award for Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader and the DCEO’s Dallas 500 award for the Most Powerful Business Leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Headshot by Brian Guilliaux

Community Breakfast with Guest Desmond Richardson

Cover Story Dance Teacher April 2009

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