Dance/USA Honors

The Dance/USA Honor, 'Ernie', and Trustees awards recognize an individual’s contributions to dance in America and acknowledges the roles they play in the national dance community. Presented by the Dance/USA Board of Trustees, theses awards are presented to outstanding members of the national dance community.

Nominations for Dance/USA's Honor and 'Ernie' awards are accepted from the entire dance field, and the final selection is made by the Dance/USA Board of Trustees. Nominations have closed for the 2016 Honors. The awards are presented at the Honors Celebration during the Dance/USA Annual Conference. 

The 2016 Honorees are:

Dance/USA Honor Award - Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women
Dance/USA 'Ernie' Award - Ann Williams, Dallas Black Dance Theatre
Dance/USA Trustees Award - Ella Baff, formerly of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
Dance/USA Champion Award - Sarah and Ernest Butler

The 2016 awards will be presented at the Opening Night Celebration on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 6:00pm at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, TX.


Dance/USA Honor

The Honor goes to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the dance field by reason of artistic excellence and/or force of vision. This year's Honor Award is sponsored by Freed of London.

1986  Anthony Tudor and Martha Graham
  2006  Anna Halprin
1988  Robert Joffrey and Merce Cunningham
  2008  Frederic Franklin
1990  Agnes de Mille, Paul Taylor and Alvin Ailey
  2009  Tina Ramirez
1992  Katherine Dunham and Bella Lewitzky
  2010  Carmen De Lavallade
1994  Alexandra Danilova and Charles Reinhart
  2011  Lar Lubovitch 
1996  William Christensen and Donald McKayle
  2012  Helgi Tomasson
1998  Judith Jamison and Bruce Marks
  2013  Joan Myers Brown
2000  Jeraldyne Blunden and David R. White
  2014  Liz Lerman
2002  Chuck Davis
  2015  Trisha Brown
2004  Arthur Mitchell
  2016  Jawole Willa Jo Zollar


Dance/USA ‘Ernie’
The 'Ernie' goes to an individual working “behind the scenes” within the infrastructure of the dance field, whose achievements have significantly empowered artists and supported their creativity individually or as a community.

1990  Ian ‘Ernie’ Horvath
 2008  Anna Kisselgoff
1992  Richard E. LeBlond Jr.
 2009  Sali Ann Kriegsman
1994  Martha Hill Davis and Bessie Schoenberg
 2010  Richard J. Caples
1996  Barbara Horgan and Ivan Sygoda
 2011  Verdery Roosevelt
1998  Deborah Jowitt
 2012  Sam Miller
2000  Norton Owen and John R. Killacky
 2013  Barbara Weisberger
2002  Cora Cahan
 2014  D. David Brown
2004  Sage Cowles
 2015  Linda Shelton
2006  Madeleine Nichols
 2016  Ann Williams


Dance/USA Trustees Award
The Trustees Award is given at the discretion of the Dance/USA Board of Trustees to recognize an outstanding professional whose work has special significance to the field.

2004  Alan M. Kriegsman
  2012  C.C. Conner, Jr.
2007  Dr. Richard Gibbs
  2013  Sharon Gersten Luckman
2008  Rena Shagan
  2015  Raven Wilkinson
2011  Andrea Snyder
  2016  Ella Baff


Dance/USA Champion Award
The Champion Award is given to any organization, business, foundation, or individual in the Annual Conference host city whose achievements, leadership, and support have sustained and/or significantly advanced dance in their home community.

2010  The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
and the Meyer Foundation

2014  Dr. Robert and Katherine Goodale
2011  Pamela Crutchfield 
2015  Toby Lerner Ansin
2012  Chris & Warren Hellman and Kary Schulman
2016  Sarah & Dr. Ernest Butler

The 2016 Honor Award is sponsored by Freed of London.