Lisa is a mediation attorney and dance advocate in Santa Barbara, California. Her web site and allied social media presence SB Dance Sugar is dedicated to supporting and promoting dance on California’s central coast. In addition to advocating for accessible, affordable dance for everyone (regardless of age, socio-economic background, ability or training level) through SB Dance Sugar, she also holds board and advisory panel positions on a number of arts-related organizations. Lisa graduated from Vanderbilt Law School where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review, and she also holds a Diplôme d’Etudes de la Langue Française Practique from the Université de Montpellier III Paul Valéry in Montpellier, France and a B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley. She has over 15 years’ experience in labor and employment law, regulatory compliance and contract negotiation.
Our dance world is evolving rapidly, and not necessarily in the right direction. As someone who loves dance, it makes me profoundly sad when the drive for instant fame, youtube hits or getting a competition win at any cost trumps creative movement, expression and healthy education in our children’s dance lives. I believe that while adults can (and should) advocate for themselves if they’re asked to do something unhealthy or unsafe in a dance setting, the vast majority of kids cannot. Parents and other adults must step up and advocate for them. But adults can’t make good choices for children without access to reliable information on (1) what is or could become unhealthy or dangerous for youth dancers, and (2) what children are being exposed to in a given dance environment.
Y.P.A.D. is doing groundbreaking work on both fronts. They are compiling a tremendous collection of information, including new studies and data on the harmful effects of hypersexualization and dangerous dance practices, so that parents and dance educators can arm themselves with up-to-date knowledge. Y.P.A.D. is also creating voluntary disclosure and certification programs through which studios, instructors and convention/competition owners can provide information on the types of music, movement, attire/costume, etc. youth dancers will be exposed to. These resources will give parents the tools they need to make informed choices for their children’s dance education.
I am grateful for the chance to contribute to Y.P.A.D.’s urgent and vital mission, and am honored to be working alongside such an amazing group of artists and professionals to keep our youth dancers safe.