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In August 2019 the Halestone Foundation began conversations about adopting mission language and a new strategic plan. We partnered with the Washington and Lee Consulting student group, who assisted us with background research for our mission language and provided perspective on how our concerns around marketing, mission language, grant writing, and donor solicitation were intertwined. We worked with them throughout the fall of 2019 and in December they presented their report to the vice-president of the board and the artistic director.

Working with the W&L Consulting group directly contributed to our ability to have a visioning session in January 2020 where we outlined our current strategic plan. After that session in early January, the artistic director further developed the strategic plan with input from the board and outside feedback from the past artistic director, Bailey Anderson (Artistic Director 2017 – 2018).

The strategic plan for the period July 2020-June 2024 identifies four key areas of focus: access, education, artistic creation, and organizational effectiveness. All four areas are equally important to us as we develop as an organization. We will use the strategic plan to directly guide our operations moving forward and will refer to it and our mission language when we make decisions.

Halestone at Waddell Elementary School, photo by Mindy Toro


We are committed to providing access to dance education, performance opportunities and audience experiences to populations in Rockbridge, Lexington and surrounding areas that encounter barriers to these experiences.

We will
1. engage with communities
2. offer scholarships
3. provide access through transportation
4. develop relationships to offer dance to different populations

Rationale: We believe everybody and anybody can dance. We are therefore committed to providing quality dance education to all individuals and communities regardless of age, ability, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, geographic location, religion, socioeconomic status, or citizenship status.  Because dance occupies a unique space across learning domains – social, physical, emotional and intellectual – it is important that all learners (infants through adults) experience nurturing dance experiences. Children and adults are spending more time sedentary than ever before and dance is often seen by individuals as something “I can’t do.” For these and other reasons it is imperative to make dance experiences accessible to all portions of the population.


We have a holistic approach to dance education, where theory and technique are taught through experiencing the creative process. Therefore, students are taught at all ages and levels through theory (why do we make the compositional choices we make) and technique (how to we enact these compositional choices through various styles of dance). We value original new dance work and the education students receive by participating in the creative process of making a new dance work with active dance artists. Principles of composition, expressiveness, anatomical realities, and technical skills are valued equally in our dance education.

We will
1. strengthen existing school and community partnerships
2. establish curriculum guidelines
3. pursue audience education
4. provide dance education resources to the community

Rationale: Dance technique and dance theory are inextricably linked. Learning both at the same time creates a well-rounded dancer and artist, capable of life-long learning in the arts, who can connect dance knowledge to their experiences of the greater world. Students who can think, create, and perform bring invaluable skills from dance to the rest of their lives. Because we believe that participating in performance is a key step in the creative process, it is important that we provide that experience for all our classes, not just our studio classes.

Artistic Creation

We are committed to fostering the creative process to produce new, original dance work in Rockbridge, Lexington and surrounding areas.

We will
1. teach dance through student experiences in the creative process
2. produce original performances
3. support Halestone artists and guest artists
4. develop company programs

Rationale: Supporting our staff, instructors, and outside guest artists while they explore the creative process directly improves the quality of the education programs we offer. Students learn through participating in the creative process and can see how what they are learning can develop into a career or life-long participation in the arts. Artists are inspired when the Rockbridge area becomes a livable place for them to create work. Similarly, the Rockbridge area is enriched through a more thriving moving arts community, which over time will create long lasting support and investment in the arts.

Organizational Effectiveness

We are a young organization seeking ways to make sure we can sustainably support our mission for years to come.  

We will
1. structure artistic and administrative staff effectively
2. offer professional development and training
3. make our fiscal health a priority
4. focus on board development
5. develop a volunteer program
6. archive our past
7. measure effectiveness and gather feedback

Rationale: Developing consistent and effective practices and structures will allow us to build trust with our community partners, families, instructors, employees, donors, and audiences so that we flourish as a nonprofit organization. With these practices and structures in place, we will be able to devote more energy to educational and creative aims.

Engage with us

Halestone relies on broad community support to pursue our mission and achieve our goals. If you have ideas for community partnerships, know specific students that might benefit from our programs, or would like to make a donation, please contact us!

Artistic Director: Mauri Connors,, (540) 463-7444

Board President: Ann Courtney,