Sarasota Dance Festival Inc
PO Box 3862
Sarasota FL 34230
The Sarasota Dance Festival (dba Dance and the Living Arts international) promotes an appreciation and better understanding of the art of dance through educational programs, performances and exhibitions.
CEO/Executive Director Robert L. de Warren
Board Chair Caroll Michels
Board Chair Affiliation Artist Advocate
General Info
Organization DBA
Sarasota International Dance Festival, Inc.
Dance and the Living Arts International
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2010
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Mar 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS 501 C3 letterView
Other Documents
Performance Review - Festival of Intense EnergyView
Performance Review - April 2014View
Impact Statement

Top Accomplishments 2015:  Launched a lecture and workshop series as part of our new program, Dance and the Living Arts International.  The lectures series were presented by Robert de Warren, and span 300-years of classical ballet and the origins of modern/contemporary dance.  The series also included workshops based on the life/career of Rudolf Nureyev, and Iranian dance and culture.  Presentations were made in Sarasota at the Ringling Lifelong Learning Academy,  Longboat Key Education Center, and Northport High School; and outside of Sarasota at the Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Florida, the Harrison School of the Arts in Lakeland, Florida, Santa Fe College in Gainesville; and the 2nd Iranian International Dance Festival in Boston.

Goals 2016:

- Begin production of  DVD/streaming series on the history of classical ballet and development of modern/contemporary dance, and other dance-related subjects. The series will be presented by Robert de Warren, who is uniquely qualified because of his first-hand experience and more than 60-year involvement in dance as a performer, choreographer, and artistic director of  international dance companies.

The project will be made available to schools, college and university dance departments, cultural organizations, and under-served communities. Proceeds will be used to develop additional projects.

   - Develop a lecture program at assisted living facilities and social service agencies.   

- Create a new website for DLAI  with capacity to stream lectures.

- Hire a freelancer to take charge of social media.

- Continue with successful dance - ballet mild workout for seniors at various social settings in Sarasota and Manatee counties. 
Needs Statement

1) DVD/Streaming Lecture Project. Production costs and promotion costs: $35,000

2) New website that focuses on the events and activities of Dance and the Living Arts International with the capacity to stream and rent lectures. Budget: $3,000

3)  Subsidization of lectures/workshops at local assisted living facilities and social service entities. Budget: $5,000

4) Freelance social media exert: $9,000 per year
Background Statement

Sarasota Dance Festival is a nonprofit organization founded by Robert de Warren, who began his distinguished dance career at London’s Royal Ballet.  He danced as a principal with the Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Berlin Ballets. He then became a ballet director, leading the National Ballet of Iran, the Northern Ballet in the United Kingdom, and La Scala Ballet (Italy). He directed the Sarasota Ballet for 13 years. Mr. de Warren is also a noted choreographer and costume designer. His autobiography, Destiny's Waltz: In Step with Giants was published in 2009 (New York: Eloquent Books).

From 2011-13, SDF sponsored the Sarasota International Dance Festival (SIDAF) that included The Carreño Dance Festival, pre-professional dance intensives; and the “Festival of Stars” with prominent nationally and internationally recognized artists. In 2014, SDF presented “LIFTED: An Evening of Contemporary Dance,” in partnership with Drew Jacoby, a principal dancer with the Netherlands Dance Theater.

In 2015 and 2016, with the advent of our new program Dance and the Living Arts International, a full range of lectures was developed and presented by Robert de Warren. Lectures span 300-years of classical ballet and the origins of modern and contemporary dance. The lecture series also include workshops based on the life and career of Rudolf Nureyev, and Iranian dance and culture. Presentations were made in Sarasota at the Ringling Lifelong Learning Academy, the Longboat Key Education Center, and Northport High School; and outside of Sarasota at the Manatee School of the Arts in Palmetto, Florida, the Harrison School of the Arts in Lakeland, Florida, Santa Fe College in Gainesville; and the 2nd Iranian International Dance Festival in Boston. An additional lecture series will be presented at the Art Center Sarasota.

In addition, 2016 included the TV program “Artful Conversations with Robert de Warren,” produced by METV and hosted by Dr. Sherry Lawrence, an interview that covers de Warren’s career as a dancer, choreographer, and artistic director.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
FL- Charlotte
FL- Lee
FL- Hillsborough
Areas Served Comments

Programs and outreach activities are based in Sarasota, Florida. However, participants come not only from the Sarasota area but also from across the U.S. and foreign countries.

Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Youth Development
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

In the past, we presented high quality events in dance and simultaneously looked to the future by researching the best way to enhance our already lively cultural scene with high quality performances and education in dance for the 21st century. Since classical ballet is well represented in the region, there is a need for contemporary ballet and modern dance at international levels.

SIDAF has covered some aspects of these styles in previous educational and performance events with great success and artistically our previous events have been recognized nationally and internationally. Financially we have successfully managed these events assuring numerous full and partial scholarships for pre professional dancers. The artistic challenge must be considered a true success not only for the level of presentations but for the positive results young dancers have continued to achieve in artistic and cultural development as well as their rewards in major competitions and professional engagements.

Now, we have decided to take a new path to develop a new program entitled “DANCE AND THE LIVING ARTS INTERNATIONAL.” Our mission is rooted in assuring Sarasota’s youth and young adults are also included in dance events that appeal directly to their generation. They are the future audience the performing arts need for survival and growth. In focusing on a broader dance culture including other arts we are insuring a wider appeal through artistic events incorporating so many elements already popular but only indirectly related to dance.

In addition to professional enhancement and performances, we are focusing on a broad based program of outreach, audience development and education. This includes a lecture series, with a wide variety of topics, being presented to colleges and universities such as USF and organizations such as the Longboat Key Education Center. The series also is currently offered to regional private and public middle schools and high schools. The lecture series not only centers on the origins of classical ballet but deals with the direct influence revolutions in dance has had on art, music and design. Here is where DANCE AND THE LIVING ARTS INTERNATIONAL becomes the key to future artistic growth and community enrichment. Therefore, all other arts will benefit from unexpected exposure to a new resource in the communities we serve.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

According to Robert de Warren, President/CEO, the new path is reflected in a concentration of the art of dance in the 21st century. He states, "In surveying our Sarasota dance scene I have often been concerned at the absence of contemporary dance at its national and international level.  In keeping with our mission we have focused our way ahead to include substantial contributions in this widely popular art form. This exciting dance spirit bases its expressions on a fusion of ballet and modern dance techniques and influences, even from street dance. The combination of styles is bringing more popularity to dance than ever before, especially with the influence of television and internet.

PROGRAM 1 - “From Crinolines and Heels to Tutus on Pointe” (300 years of ballet)

An in depth look at how Ballet began including visuals: power point, videos and films

Session 1: Birth of Ballet – 15th, 16th & 17th Centuries
Session 2: The 18th Century and Louis of France
Session 3: Post French Revolution – Late 1880s to early 1900s
Session 4: Mid- 18th Century - Romantic Ballet
Session 5: 18Th Century “The Classical Period”
Session 6: The late 1800s - Russian Stars that would conquer Europe
Including clips from films depicting present and past stars and memorable works..
Session 1: 20th Century Ballet (1900-1930) Emergence of Russian Ballet.
Session 2: 20th Century. The Russian dance revolution
Session 3: 20th Century.
Session 4: The late 20th century convergence of paths
Session 5: Bridge to the 21st Century
Session 6: 21st Century. Dance and the Living Arts
Budget $24,355
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Dance
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) General/Unspecified
Short Term Success

Initially, the programs have been given at the Life Long Learning Academy at the University of South Florida, the Adult & Community Enrichment classes of the Sarasota County Technical Institute, the Longboat Key Educational Center and to selected public high school classes. The programs have all been avidly received and the majority of the programs have already been booked for repeat presentations. An informational packet has been prepared and distributed to local and regional fine arts museums, private and public middle and high schools, other educational institutions and retirement residences with plans to expand the distribution nationally.

Long Term Success

Programs (such as the two lecture series) are planned to attract dance lovers with a wide appreciation for various styles as well as a larger audience from the youth and young adult segment of the population. Increasing the knowledge of those uninitiated in the history of dance and particularly how it has developed in the 20th and 21st centuries will increase audience attendance for a broader scale of performances of all styles of dance, including interest in modern dance repertoire presentations, such street dance styles.  An understanding of how the history of dance has influenced the choreographers of each period can ultimately lead to a greater appreciation of the varied methods of dance and concurrently to greater audience awareness of all forms of Dance and the Living Arts.

Program Success Monitoring

SIDAF keeps detailed records of each presentation with lists of attendees and their data. We analyze this information by zip code, affiliations and rate of attendance. We also use I Contact to reach attendees with a request for their opinions on the presentation. We find this to be a unique tool to help understanding the fulfillment of this part of our mission.

Program Success Examples

According to Janna Overstreet, director of the Lifelong Learning Academy, Robert de Warren's lecture course is one of the most popular in the offerings, and due to growing subscriptions it will now take place in USF's largest lecture hall. A survey of student assessment forms produced the following comment. “You bring such a wealth of personal experience and deep knowledge of dance worldwide, you are making new converts with each lecture.”


 A recent presentation at North Port High School, supported by the National Core Arts Standards, focused on the history of classical ballet. Students learned to generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. The multi-media program was well received, as evidenced by a particularly active question and answer session, and personal expressions of appreciation for the content of the presentation.

Program Comments by Organization

Future productions are presently under consideration, and will be announced as dates become available. As has been the case in the past, performances will be held at the Sarasota Opera House or other suitable venues.  Pre-production planning and details of the content of the performances are still under development at the present time.

The current Program emphasis is on the series of lectures created by Robert de Warren, which broaden the knowledge of DANCE AND THE LIVING ARTS.

 Julie Kent has endorsed the series by stating "Robert de Warren is a wonderful, charismatic voice from the dance world, who delivers our history with great style and panache!"

SIDAF is offering the lecture series to regional and national establishments including dance studios and conservatories, fine arts museums, as well as to educational institutions and retirement communities. Although there is an abundance of books on dance history, there is no substitute for a living presentation accompanied by power point, video and film images, when discussing dance – any more than books about music can convey the history of music in the absence of recordings.  Most of the video presentations are created by  Mr. de Warren himself with many original moments from his rich life experience.

In addition to the two series which have met with particular success, and are detailed in this section – From Crinolines and Heels to Tutus on Pointe and From Tutus and Pointe to Barefoot on Stage – the following programs are also available.

  • A 25 year collaboration and friendship with Rudolf Nureyev

  • A decade of onsite research into the Persian treasures of ethnic, courtly and mystical dance ceremonies

  • The complexities of being a choreographer

  • Literature as inspiration for music and dance

  • Comparative study of dance masterworks: An analysis of ballets recreated by varied choreographers on the same theme.

  • The Greats: Dance artists who have transformed the art of dance

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Robert L. de Warren
CEO Term Start June 2010
CEO/Executive Director Email

Robert de Warren is a vital force in the world of dance. He began his dance career in London and developed expertise in: choreography, production, ballet direction, and costume and scenery design.

  • Graduate of Royal Ballet School, Arts Educational Trust and Royal Academy of Dance  Principal dancer Royal Opera Ballet at Covent Garden. Artist of The Royal Ballet, mastering the classical repertoire and works by Dame Ninette de Valois, Sir Kenneth McMillan, Sir Frederic Ashton, John Cranko and others.Principal dancer with the Stuttgart Ballet, the Frankfurt and Berlin Ballets, touring Italy, France and Uruguay.   Director of National Ballet of Iran, recommended to the Shah of Iran by Dame Ninette de Valois . Mounted classics, invited world directors and artists to perform:- Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Yehudi Menuhin John Field, Vastam Chabukiani, Alvin Ailey among others. Founder of The National Folklore Organization, College and Museum, whose company toured the world..  Director of Northern Ballet Theatre-United Kingdom. Created more than twenty ballets for the company and founded The Northern Ballet School – today the largest regional school in England. Director and Artistic Supervisor of Ballet La Scala, Milan and its two hundred year old Ballet School for seven years.  Founded the Academia alla Scala in partnership with Milan’s Catholic University, presently the largest Opera House Educational Center in Europe.  Artistic Director of Sarasota Ballet for thirteen years.  Created many original works, presented full classical repertoire productions, a Choreography International Competition. Founded the Sarasota Ballet School in 1960. 

  • Member of the International Dance Council CID of UNESCO in Paris and member of the Royal Academy of Dance and the Directors Guild of Great Britain. Judge at Varna International Ballet Competition, Youth America Grand Prix in the United States and the Honorary Committee of USA International Ballet Competition.
  • Special recognitions in 2016: Proclamation of Robert de Warren Day, Feb. 18 2016 - by Vice mayor Suzanne Atwell and the City Commission in recognition of his cobtributions to Sarasota ballet's 25th Anniversary and other contributuons to Sarasota and beyond.
  • Commentation from the Sarasota County Commission presented by vice-chair Paul Caragiulo - recognizing his substantial to the Arts in the County and further afield.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 1
Volunteers 25
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
Through board members we collaborate with several educational organizations in Florida. Mr. de Warren is a regular volunteer at Ringling College LLA, Longboat Key Education Center, Harrison School of the Arts in Lakeland, Santa Fe College in
Gainesville and even as far as Boston and San Francisco for the  Iranian Dance Arts charity. Chair Caroll Michels seeks continued opportunities for us to make cultural contributions: Dr. Lawrence and Georgette d/Amelio are dedicated to seeking chances for us to participate in the art programs of educational organization in the region and further afield, due to their distinguished careers as art educators.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization

DANCE AND THE LIVING ARTS INTERNATIONAL presents many opportunities to significantly promote the present development of dance in collaboration with other arts. We are challenged by the fast development of pop arts of the 21st century and their influence on dance. We are committed to using as many artists from our area and enhance activities with one or two celebrities. Our challenge is obtaining the financial backing, through donors, sponsors, and fundraising campaigns to support this event and our extensive lecture series. We are in the process of enlarging our Advisory Board to include recognized artists in their fields and educators and supporters with an outstanding recognition of activities in our area an both nationally and internationally. We look forward to the support of The Giving Challenge and other grantors.

Planning & Policies Comments by Organization

As expressed in other entries, we are adopting plans and policies that will be well directed to the best use of Mr. de Warren's gifts as a senior artist in the world of dance. As expressed in his memoir DESTINY'S WALTZ - In step with giants - his unusual and successful career experience contains important cultural details not only on dance itself, but the human experience gathered from years of participation in the cultural life of the nations he has worked in. His knowledge of ethnic, mystic, urban and folk dance, and ceremonies are quite unique. His knowledge of South American dance and music from Uruguay and Argentina, His years in Iran 1965-78, seven years in Milan at the head of the extraordinary Ballet at teatro alla Scala, plus his directorships and touring worldwide, are a source of rich material for young and old.

We are committed to implementing the Planning and Policies that will offer the opportunity to preserve this wealth of material and share it at every possible opportunity.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
We have a large variety of multi-media material. We suggest visiting our website
Links page.  Thank you  
Board Chair
Board Chair Caroll Michels
Company Affiliation Artist Advocate
Board Term June 2015 to June 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mrs. Georgette Cheshire d'Amelio Community Volunteer
Robert de Warren Founder Director
Dr. Scott Byron Elsbree Communty Volunteer
Sherry Lawrence PhdCommunity Volunteer
Caroll Michels Chair
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 2
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Board Meeting Attendance % 100
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 25
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Governance Comments by Organization
From  the CEO/President and founder of the Sarasota Dance Festival:  In the past 12-months, we have undergone a reorganization of the board of directors. Upon the resignation of the former chair of the board, Caroll Michels was appointed to this position. . Ms. Michels, an internationally recognized artist-advocate, career coach and writer. She thoroughly approves of and is enthusiastic about the new direction our organization has taken. She has already been active in proposing unique ways in which we can fulfill our new mission statement.
Georgette D'Amelio, Board Secretary, has a longstanding position in Manatee Education as a Lecturer in Art and influences from other arts that enrich the culture. Additionally Mrs. D'Amelio is counsel for Arts as  therapy aiding mental alertness in senior population and children with mental impediments..
Dr. Sherry Lawrence is a leader in Manatee County's Education Organizations and reaches out to colleagues in Florida to spread awareness of SIDAF's programs and assist in obtaining opportunities for collaboration.
Other board members include: Georgette Cheshire d'Amelio, arts educator and secretary of the board of directors; Dr. Scott Elsbree, a respected arts patron; and Dr. Sherry Lawrence, arts educator, and promoter.
Ongoing efforts are being made to add at least three more members of the board within the next six months. Commitments for board service are in the process of being obtained.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Jan
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year End Month Dec
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $26,500.00
Projected Expenses $23,350.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$10,691$76,156$222,325
Administration Expense$6,369$25,764$66,217
Fundraising Expense$0$0$1,812
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.710.971.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses63%75%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$3,522$12,282$15,895
Current Assets$3,522$4,247$4,655
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$1,341
Total Net Assets$3,522$12,282$14,554
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGross Profit from Sales Other Than Inventory $8,205Contributions, gifts, grants $75,739Program Service Revenue - Summer Intensive $196,659
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $2,385Ticket Sales $19,173Contributions, gifts, grants $78,202
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $1,510Fundraising $4,115Government Grants - Unspecified $24,536
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities----3.47
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

With the implementation of our new concept DANCE AND THE LIVING ARTS INTERNATIONAL, we have moved away from costly projects to embrace our strong education programs and provide a performance platform for young and senior artists now emerging or those that have had significant careers. This will be accomplished by presenting programs to members of minority groups, adults, senior citizens, and emerging demographics. During the past 22-years, Robert de Warren has provided Sarasota with impressive performances. He is now focusing his energies on creating more dance awareness, dance education, and participation in the dance-related arts, Our accent is on the future. Since Ringling College of Art and Design has merged The Lifelong Learning Academy into its activities, SIDAF is seriously preparing programs that will enrich the offerings at SMOA on completion in 2019.

Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from IRS Form 990-EZ and unaudited financial compilations.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  The 2010 990-EZ is the initial filing and covers the short period 6/14/10 - 12/31/10.
Nonprofit Sarasota Dance Festival Inc
Address PO Box 3862
Sarasota, FL 34241
Phone 941 302-4504