MOOT is the first global, digital and bilingue dance and movement training platform. Our mission is to support, educate and unify the dance and movement community from any place and time. Our vision is to democratize access to dance and become an indispensable place in the routine of dancers and practitioners of movement, generating a continuous impact on their professional life, health and well-being and of their surrounding communities.
MOOT is a complementary tool to dance and movement training (based on a holistic view of the needs of dancers), which is always available and accessible at www.mootmovementlab.com. It enhances and improves dance training and working routines, with products and services that inspire confidence and quality (through visual alignment and careful branding, and control of the pedagogical plan and rigorous selection of trainers), to foster dance communities all over the world.
It is the first global and digital, bilingue (english and spanish), online dance and movement training platform. Our mission is to support, educate and unify the dance and movement community from any place and time, while promoting well-being (namely, through artistic residencies and events, online and offline). Our vision is to democratize access to dance and become a unique place in the routine of dancers and practitioners of movement, generating a continuous impact on their professional life, health and well-being and on their surrounding dance communities.
We believe in the power of a united dance and movement community. We believe in the power of democratizing access to information and knowledge.We believe in the holistic vision of integrating technique, physical condition, well-being and sustainability in dance and movement training.We believe in welcoming digital technologies as a new window to everything that is eternally human practices.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
Vanessa Canto (co-founder, Azorean, dancer and trainer), Melissa Sousa (former founder, Venezuelan, dancer and trainer, and video editor) and Gustavo Neves Lima (Health Services Manager and also Azorean) decided to create MOOT after identifying the frustration as teachers of not continuing the training of the students, especially because they were in peripheral places, a frustration that they had always felt given their place of birth and as dancers because of the huge investment for continuous training from being outside city centers. Why not combine new technologies with dance training? This was the motto of the beginning of MOOT.
Our platform aims to gather, in the same place, tools to improve the training and health routines of dancers and movers. Without engaging in costs of research, transport, housing the users can engage with different specialists from across the globe. We provide autonomous bilingual training plans from diverse modalities and styles and support from health experts from nutrition to neuroscience all based on an online platform.
After three years of development, the alpha version of MOOT was launched in January 2022. Besides the online platform, MOOT is planning events and artistic residencies to promote moments of reunion between its community of trainers and users, most of which will be happening in the Azores islands (Portugal), where the startup is based. It is also considering the integration of new approaches and questions (such as sustainability, environmental impact and cultural influence) to be raised and developed by dancers in their everyday practice. MOOT by being an online platform indirectly helps to reduce human traveling for continuous education needs.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
Since the origins of MOOT, it has always been our goal to ally beauty, design and functionality to our platform. As we address the artistic community, this is of utmost importance, as it meant that we were creating something they could relate and validate, which has been the case. The visual identity of a movement project is wanted with movement. The warm colors, with a lot of energy, appear in a mixing scale that appears in pulsations. A stylized infinity sign joins the two extremes of the wordmark and leaves an open space in the middle to invite expansion and the realization of dreams of freedom, expressions of movement and infinite creativity. The brand is hollowed out to invite interaction, filling, and adding content. Pulsation, grit and space are three of the pillars of MOOT´s identity.
Our platform combines movement, design and photography from professional dance photographers to be able to comply with our objective. Our content is selected through open calls for dancers/teachers/movers all over the world and is curated by our former teachers and invited dancers. It is of major importance for us to have the sensibility of the community involved in the whole project so from the photography, artistic direction to the video and design teams, everyone is connected with the dance community - all being dancers themselves.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
It is our mission with MOOT to support, train and unify the dance and movement community anywhere and anytime, while promoting well-being. Already counting with a community of dance trainers from Malaysia, India, UK, Brazil to Spain and Portugal, we continue to work towards expanding more diverse participation (in terms of dance styles, gender, cultural, health and social background), organizing open calls with partnering dance schools and studios from all over the world.
Our vision is to democratize the access to dance, valuing communication to peripheral locations that lack representation and high quality training solutions and digital tools. MOOT content is currently in English and Spanish and, in the future, in Portuguese, aiming to reach the wide community globally.
Since the beginning of the project, punctual collaborations were gradually initiated with spaces for testing and recording content. We established a collaboration with a group of students from the Specialization Course in Design, Web and Games at the Porto University for 3 months with the aim of using the course tools to test how our users consume the content, how the narratives of the different video categories can be structured and elaboration of a speculative design regarding the feedback system. We currently have a partnership with Dance&Education to facilitate access to a tool that allows access to information on physical training, competitions, and job offers in the area of dance and movement and we have identified and contacted other dance platforms that can be integrated to our solution. Future collaboration with entities and spaces to start research into the use of new technologies (like VR and AI) applied to the transmission of information in the field of dance will also be considered.
The next module in development is the community one where our users will be able to upload directly to our platform their own training plans and share with
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary
MOOT is a digital solution that contributes to the dilution of the traditional concentration of knowledge in the big metropolitan centers and the high costs of continuous education, which often make dance training only available to a privileged few. We designed MOOT with the contribution of dancers' artistry, integrating their own vision and demands, allowing them to own the platform from its very beginning. Our contents are bilingual, diverse and affordable.
It is our aim to position ourselves with disruptive digital business models standing for more open and fair models, stepping aside from high paywalls and aggressive publicity. We envision MOOT as transparent, clean of aggressive publicity and supporter of creators’ content while using creative commons licensing and monetizing solutions that are more fair for all parties.
The monetization model of MOOT is a mixed solution where our contents and tools are made available with a part being open/free - freemium - combined with a pay per usage model. We also have been considering integrating a new, open technology called Web Monetization that enables streaming micropayments - aka tiny fractions of a penny - to instantly flow to websites as you read, watch and listen.
Considering the lack of access to dance training, often due to the high costs of the training and/ or travel, MOOT was created to prioritize dance communities in places where such training becomes inaccessible.
Founded by two Azorean friends and a Venezualan artist, MOOT originates from their own personal need to have a more continuous and affordable access to dance training.
Dance practice (professional or not) always requires lifelong learning and perfectioning. However, if on one hand dance students and early practitioners often need to abandon their careers due to the high costs of continuous dance training, on the other, even those who succeed to develop a dance career are frequently deprived from pursuing the training they need/ desire both due to high costs and lack of information. MOOT presents itself as a platform complementary to dance practice and training, addressed to students, professionals and anyone interested in learning different dance styles, from basic notions to specific professional techniques.
Although MOOT has already been fully developed and launched, it is now working on its outreach strategy, reinforcing its team and developing partnerships with dance professionals, schools and institutions like Dansi, European DanceHouse Network, S+T+Arts and RESEO.
To do this, MOOT’s team is in the last phase to raise investment from Portugal Ventures and working on applications to European funding calls such as Archipel and Creative Europe. We also applied in the past to Grant for the Web and Culture of Solidarity Fund (ECF).
Please also explain the benefits that derived from their involvement.
Although always mostly focused on dancers, since its early stages, MOOT has organized focus groups, telephone interviews, addressed necessities forms, collected users feedback and pitched the idea to entrepreneurs, investors and potential partners. It has been of great help to re-shape the initial idea we had for the project, making us disconsider tools and implement new ones of greater value.
As to develop and mature our project we have counted with the support of entrepreneurship programs like Startup Voucher to develop our idea, Incubation Voucher to develop our business model with UPTEC – Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto and Digital Voucher to develop our App with the support of our partner TERINOV - Science and Technology Park of Terceira Island. We have competed for the Prémio Nacional das Indústrias Criativas (National Creative Industries Award), ranking in the Top 10 among 164 competitors nationally and participated on Creative Commons Global Summit 2019, in Lisbon, where we were able to discuss how to approach copyright issues in our project with a community of international specialized lawyers and artists.
It is part of our mission to direct solutions to our local community with regular dance classes to local institutions, development and support of wellness events like SUP Yoga Adventure Retreats and organizing annual residencies for dancers. We are also part of TERINOV - Science and Technology Park of Terceira Island and UPTEC (interlinked with Universidade do Porto Innovation center - Spin off U.Porto) where we share knowledge with the organizational and university ecosystem.
Anyhow, our platform aims to reach dancers globally, sharing different techniques and tools, from all over the world, to dancers from all over the world, specially giving the opportunity for dancers from peripheral regions that are far away from city centers, where usually the knowledge is concentrated.
MOOT is a complementary solution to face-to-face training; always available and accessible; multidisciplinar; guarantees quality control; bilingual and considers performance, health and wellness management. Most practices in our dance field don't combine all these characteristics in the same space at the same time and carry a solution focused on only one of the modalities/styles in the dance and movement community.
We are integrating dance education with different fields of healthcare, wellness and environment awareness, envisioning a holistic view of training and well-being.
All contracts with our dance partners were developed and designed to be transparent and pay the dancers fairly and consider the longevity of their work, using a mixed strategy of open and closed sourcing being able to deliver training and tools in an affordable way.
The world is changing very fast. New tools, and disruptive innovation should appear in the cultural sector, which in some cases is still very conservative regarding the use of digital technologies. By structuring the continuous education and access to knowledge, we are also promoting general wellbeing and sustainability, from a cultural, health, environmental and economic perspective, as it also raises the standards for more structured, professional, diverse, accessible and enhanced solutions for the cultural sector in the long run.
Please provide clear documentation, communication of methodology and principles in this context.
MOOT’s business and collaboration model has counted with contributions from several experts and communities from different fields. Since its launching, it has reached a stage that we are proud to present as transparent and fair, to all contributors and participants.
We have also developed a way to record, register and present dance that we believe to respect the dancers’ views and objectives, not only complementing but, in some cases, even enhancing the value of their own expertise and virtuosity.
We are now focused on improving and expanding and diversifying our content base. But we are certain and, of course, willing to share and transfer what we have already learned, not only with the dance community we serve but also with creators, startups and other organizations who wish to develop their own projects and may find our knowledge and experience useful to them. In fact, we have already participated in sessions presenting MOOT to other startups from different fields and we are mentors for other projects by sharing our process and expertise.