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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why did you start JUMPSTART/LA?
    We're on a mission to eliminate the "starving artist" mentality. Let’s replace the term "freelancer" with "entrepreneur." We believe the LA dance ecosystem is ripe with opportunities for individuals to build the careers of their dreams. JUMPSTART/LA will propel your career to new heights, for you will be exposed to the myriad of avenues and job opportunities available to LA-based movement artists. Learn the ins and outs of key institutions, organizations, and resource hubs, and invigorate your entrepreneurial skills to unlock employment opportunities. Invest in yourself, invest in your dreams, and let JUMPSTART/LA ignite the fire within you. Join us and embrace a future brimming with limitless potential and exhilarating possibilities.
  • What have some JUMPSTART/LA alumni done since last summer?
    Cat Ureña-Jackson created an app and joined Invertigo Dance Theatre as the Program Manager for the Dancing Through Parkinsons’ program. Emily Keller is interning for JUMPSTART/LA this summer Hope Spears is performing and touring with LA Dance Project, danced for Toogie (JSLA Faculty!!) in UPSAHL’s ‘Into My Body’ Video Kylie Francisco started dancing Donna Sternberg + Dancers Leah Zeiger was commissioned as part of EMPOWERMENT with the City of LA’s Department of Cultural Affairs AND premiered a full evening length work at G-Son Studios Maddie LaCambra joined MashUp Contemporary Dance as a company member Madison Schumm - Began interning at Playground LA, joined Troupe Dance Company, and has performed for/with Arizona Zervas, Jeremy Zucker, Chase Bell, Thumpasaurus, Rozen Lalas, among others Maggie Canady showcased a film as part of MashUp’s IWD Fest, danced in Opera Phildephia’s film choreographed by Toogie (JSLA Faculty!!) Melissa Valenzuela has performed in the SGLA AAPI Showcase and NACMO Showcase Mia Harris is working for Ground Grooves (JSLA Faculty!!) and Entity Contemporary Dance Morgan Goodfellow became a full time company member with Backhaus Dance and Geometry Dance Company (G1) Veronica Allen was selected as a dancer for Ballare Carmel’s Dance & Choreography Fellowship
  • Is JUMPSTART/LA preparing me for any particular type of job?
    Our goal is to empower you with a comprehensive understanding of the vast, ever-changing career opportunities within the LA dance ecosystem. Whether you already have clear goals for your career or are actively seeking new possibilities, our esteemed faculty and mentors will help you refine, hone, or reshape your vision. We invite you to embrace this transformative program with an open heart and mind, as our LA dance field offers many pathways to explore. (p.s. you can change your mind at any time!) All of our faculty have held multiple different kinds of jobs, so you’ll be hearing from professionals with experience in: Career planning and quarterly goal setting tools Cruise ship jobs Event entertainment jobs Financial stability and budgeting Grant writing How to "get presented" and what that means! How to prepare for and behave on set Marketing - social media, copywriting, graphics, press release, planning Music videos Negotiation Non-profit management Postgraduate education options Press/PR Proscenium stage Repertory-based companies Self-producing choreographic work Starting a for-profit company Studying abroad Teaching at studios and K-12 schools Teaching at university Theme park jobs Time management Touring (arena scale, non-profit companies, independent artists, etc) Websites for independent artists and dance-related businesses Working with a commercial dance agent Phew! We mean it when we say “thriving dance community!” Welcome to Los Angeles.
  • Do you provide housing?
    We do not provide housing, but we’re here to help! If you’re coming in from out of town and would like to connect with fellow attendees to share housing costs, we’re happy to facilitate introductions. Since the program is taking place at LMU, we’d encourage you to look at Airbnbs, hotels, or other housing options in the neighborhoods surrounding campus including: Marina Del Rey, Culver City (west of the 405), Mar Vista, and/or Playa Del Rey.
  • Do you have a payment plan option?
    Yes! Visit our instructions here to set up a payment plan.
  • Do you have a scholarship?
    Our scholarships for this summer have already been awarded. Next year’s scholarship application will open in December 2023.
  • What does a typical day at JUMPSTART/LA include?
    JUMPSTART/LA takes place over five jam-packed and invigorating days! Each day promises a dynamic mix of: Movement classes that focus on honing a specific skill — For example, Toogie Barcelo is teaching a Composition for Commercials class, i.e. you book the gig on a Thursday, and it shoots on Sunday. Exciting, but overwhelming! How do you storyboard, cast, create, and solidify work that quickly AND remain flexible on set to get the Director's vision? Register NOW to take this *new* class with Toogie, the choreographer behind Dua Lipa’s New Rules + Harry Styles’ Watermelon Sugar + more! Q&As — We couldn’t let our incredible faculty leave without sharing a few key insights, tips, and stories from the field. Seminars — Slides + speaker style. For example on Day 3, Emily is going to teach a 30 minute seminar about LA Dance History! Why? Because we believe that it is essential to know your history, understand the ecosystem of the LA Dance scene, and debunk a few myths about our national dance scene. Moving Seminars — Faculty Lead + Interactive activities and/or choreo! For example, on day one, there’s a 2.5 hour seminar titled “Navigating the LA Dance Scene: on STAGE,” where we will have Kate Coleman share her experience working at Universal Studios and teach the Beauxbaton audition material and Joe Brown teaching Stroll Grove choreography and speak on what it’s like being in an experimental event company and more! Breakout Groups — Embodied, interactive, and personalized sessions where you’ll actually apply the information being delivered and build a career plan! 1-on-1 Mentorship Sessions — Meet with the JUMPSTART Producing team and other esteemed colleagues of ours like Stephanie Landwehr, Andrew Pearson, and Sadie Yarrington. We will tailor our support to your specific needs, offering guidance, encouragement, and wisdom that will propel you towards your career goals. We are committed to nurturing your artistic vision and providing customized information that will inform your choices. Breakdown of each day: Monday: 9am-6pm Tuesday-Thursday: 10am-6:30pm Friday: 10am-7:30pm Check out the schedule about halfway down our homepage!
  • What will I leave the program with?
    Above all else, we hope you leave feeling INSPIRED and EMPOWERED to build a career in dance! Additionally, you will leave the program including, but not limited to… New friends and connections Detailed instruction from many industry leaders An understanding of the Los Angeles ecosystem Personalized one year plan with quarterly goals for your career An updated headshot or movement image A digital “packet” of information from all seminars and interactive sessions including slides shared, handouts, exercises, and key topics …plus a bit of swag including Co-Founders Gracie & Laura’s book Reflect, Reframe, Rebuild!
  • I still have a question! How do I reach you?
    Email, and Emily, Gracie or Laura will reply!
  • Where should I be in my dance training to get the most out of the program?
    The program is built for dancers (ages 19+) who are pursuing careers as professional performers. Although there is no formal audition process, classes will be taught at an intermediate/advanced level. Rising juniors, rising seniors, and those who are 1-3 years out of undergrad are ideal candidates for this program. If you're not sure if it's a fit for you, email us at
  • What did attendees say about their experience at JUMPSTART/LA last year?
    "I've never felt more prepared to enter the dance world than I do after doing this intensive." — Hope, JSLA Summer 2022 Attendee ​"JSLA fills your mind, body, and spirit. There is something for everyone, and literally anyone who takes JSLA will learn something or experience something new. The workshop is empowering and filled with kind, caring people who care about you and your success. Any movement artist in the LA area can benefit from this workshop – you'll grow as an artist and entrepreneur." — Maggie, JSLA Summer 2022 Attendee “JUMPSTART/LA gives you so much information that I was never told in my 11 years of dancing. It made me feel safe and excited about pursuing dance instead of dreadful. It also fostered such a great community between the students and the faculty that made me feel like I already have a network going into the "real" world.” — Emily, JSLA Summer 2022 Attendee “Everyone needs to be told ALL of this information BEFORE they jump into their career!” — Leah, JSLA Summer 2022 Attendee
  • Can you break down the $650 rate? What factors led to this rate?
    Great question! We understand $650 is an investment, so thank you for considering spending your hard earned money on our program. We wanted our rate to reflect the value and quality of our program, while simultaneously remaining accessible for early career artists. One way to look at an investment like this is examining the hourly cost. We’ll be together for ~44 hours, so you are spending $14.77 per hour on the program. As this rate is on par or under your typical class rate, we hope you JUMP at the chance to register ASAP! The majority of the registration fees go to pay the JUMPSTART/LA teachers, mentors, headshot photographers, panelists, and support staff who make this program possible!
  • What if I don’t know what I want to do? I’m interested in a lot of things!
    We get it! It is hard to know how to begin and where to put your energy. You might feel like if you focus on one thing, you will miss a different (or better, groannnn!) opportunity in another part of the dance world. You feel like most of “being a working artist” is beyond your control or unattainable. Your “dream job” might not exist yet. Maybe it is up to YOU to create said job? Embrace your role as mover and shaker in our ecosystem, as there is space to carve your own path and create the career of your dreams. HOW are we going to do this? On Friday, we have a working session that focuses on HOW to INTEGRATE everything you’ve experienced and learned at JUMPSTART/LA into your daily life.
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