Jacqueline Davis, individual member

1.    What inspired you to become a dance artist, educator, and administrator?

In the 1960’s, I was mentored by an extraordinary group of women in Detroit: Ann Zirulnick, Ruth Murray, Delia Hussey, Fanny Aronson, Harriet Berg, and others. These powerful and influential women inspired me because of their own lifelong dedication to dance.  Creating, performing, presenting, and educating at all levels was important; we were regularly exposed to touring companies, guest artists, and international teachers. We were inspired to follow their lead with missionary zeal.

2.    What advice would you give to an aspiring dancer, administrator, and choreographer?

Discover your passion and voluntarily commit to following it throughout your life.  A true calling is not a job and has the potential for immense personal satisfaction.  You will find ways to make it work for you.

3.    Describe a memorable dance performance and why it’s so significant to you.

I was taken to Detroit’s Masonic Temple Auditorium as a teen to see Jose Greco. He dedicated himself to promoting and developing the appreciation, understanding, and love of Spanish dance in the U.S. His work spans from cabarets to the Ed Sullivan Show and from Bob Hope’s specials to the Walt Disney Hour. Seeing Greco’s work was my first dance performance and a life-long validation that all forms of dance, done well, are wondrous.

4.    If you could have dinner with anyone (living or dead) from the dance field, who would it be and why?

Both Richard Bull and David White are two of the most creative and effective people I’ve ever worked with. Bull’s interest and enthusiasm for dance was integral to his work as a choreographer and administrator. He was more than ready to “push the envelope” and effectively brought new ideas into practice through improvisational dance and his involvement with the Warren Street Performance Loft as well as the Improvisational Dance Ensemble. In addition to his choreography in improvisational dance, Bull’s administration skills also served well as the Chair of the Dance Department at the State University of New York, College at Brockport. White’s work in New York has inspired many dancers and administrators. After serving as executive director and producer of Dance Theatre Workshop from 1975-2003, he was appointed consulting artistic director of the Yard. In 1994, White played an integral part as a founding member the New York State DanceForce.