Shapiro & Smith Dance

A nonprofit organization

85% complete

$10,000 Goal

We have launched a $10,000 fundraising goal. 

Arts grants and ticket sales don't cover all the costs that allow us to make sure our dancers are in studios rehearsing, in schools providing students with inspiring arts experiences, and in the community sharing our arts movement workshops. 

Your support is crucial to our work!

Grants that support our workshops don't cover rehearsals where dancers build the curriculum they teach. Grants for taking a show to a community don't cover all the rehearsals associated learning the touring works.

That's where you can make an impact: by donating to cover these funding gaps.

In the next 12 months, we will:

  • Perform in Duluth, Detroit Lakes,  Mankato, New Ulm,  and St. Cloud, Minn. where we will offer "Every Body Speaks" workshops in women’s shelters, dance studios, and for female first-responders. These groups attend performances, pre-show hosted meals, and post-show conversations with the artists of S&S. Your support allows us to connect more deeply to the communities we visit.

  • Lead a residency in Oregon  to pass on To Have and To Hold, fondly known as "Bench". This work looks at love and loss and shared experiences of joy. Your support helps us share this important choreography with the next generation of dance artists (and audiences), offering insight into what it means to be a professional dancer.

  • Create new work for our 2020 home season at the Southern Theater. Watch for our show info!

Who We Are:

Shapiro & Smith Dance creates works that blend the athletic with the intellectual, the daring with the comforting, the humorous with the poignant.

Shapiro & Smith Dance (S&S) performs throughout Minnesota and beyond. Our dancers provide movement arts activities for the community as well as pre-professional level experiences for dance students. The company is led by Joanie Smith, a professor and endowed chair at the University of Minnesota.  

Every Body Speaks:

For 20 years, we have built a dance curriculum to reach all levels of participants. In recent years, we have focused our efforts on an empowering movement workshop for unique groups in our community. This came out of our six year partnership with The Harriet Tubman Centers, Minnesota’s largest provider of domestic violence shelter services. The workshop offers opportunities for self-expression through movement and social interaction in a relaxed and creative environment. Participants access power and joy by making connections between their non-verbal communication, and seeing how dance transforms that everyday communication into choreography for the stage. It is an inspiration to work with these brave women. 

Three years ago, we launched our Women of Valor initiative, to work with female firefighters and other first-responders who have made careers in male-dominated fields. 

Now more than ever, experiences that encourage connections between people are desperately needed within our communities. S&S performs stories about the human condition while finding new and exciting ways for movement to communicate and heal. 

More About Shapiro & Smith Dance:


Danny Shapiro and Joanie created their first choreography during a Fulbright Lectureship in Helsinki, Finland. Since then Shapiro and Smith’s blend of contemporary dance and dramatic theater has elicited enthusiastic receptions across the U.S., Europe, Asia and Canada. The Company has been presented by major festivals and venues including the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Festival di Milano, Teatro de Danza in Mexico City, Recklinghausen RuhrFestSpiele, and the Korean International Festival. Their works have been performed by noted companies including The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Hubbard Street Dance, Chicago. 

Danial Shapiro died of complications from prostate cancer in 2006 and Joanie Smith continues as sole Artistic Director.


S&S Dance performs in theaters throughout Minnesota and offers arts activities to underserved groups and dance students through support from individual donors and from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Joanie’s choreography is performed nationally and internationally by Repertory Dance Theater of Utah, Alvin Ailey II, Ballet Memphis, PACT Dance Company of South Africa as well as universities and conservatories across the US. This summer Joanie’s work, “To Have And To Hold,” was recognized with high honors at a national university dance festival and was performed at The Kennedy Center, Washington DC. 

Organization Data


Organization name

Shapiro & Smith Dance

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture


528 Hennepin Avenue Suite 401
Minneapolis, MN 55403



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