Dance/USA Awards

The Dance/USA Awards have been given to extraordinary leaders in the dance field, both artists and administrators, over the past thirty years. The awards are a long-standing tradition of Dance/USA beginning in 1986 with the first Honor Awards given to Antony Tudor and Martha Graham and in 1990 with the first ‘Ernie’ Award given to Ian ‘Ernie’ Horvath. Over the years, outstanding leaders such as Arthur Mitchell, Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, Deborah Jowitt, Sam Miller, Katherine Dunham, and many more have been recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the national dance field.

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. 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. 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. The Dance/USA Awards are presented each year at the Opening Night Celebration during the Dance/USA Annual Conference.

The Dance/USA 2019 Honorees

Dance/USA Honor Award - Dianne McIntyre
Dance/USA 'Ernie' Award - Glenn McCoy
Dance/USA Champion Award - Terry and Sheldon Adelman

Read more about the honorees here.  

The 2019 Awards were presented at the Opening Night Celebration on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. 

Dance/USA Honor

The Honor Award is given to an individual for demonstrated achievements, extraordinary leadership, and exceptional contributions to the national dance field which consistently reflect a high level of artistic excellence, creative force of vision, and breadth of work.  

1986  Antony Tudor and Martha Graham 2008 Frederic Franklin
1988  Robert Joffrey and Merce Cunningham 2009  Tina Ramirez
1990  Agnes de Mille, Paul Taylor and Alvin Ailey 2010  Carmen de Lavallade
1992  Katherine Dunham and Bella Lewitzky  2011  Lar Lubovitch 
1994  Alexandra Danilova and Charles Reinhart 2012  Helgi Tomasson
1996  Willam Christensen and Donald McKayle 2013  Joan Myers Brown
1998  Judith Jamison and Bruce Marks2014  Liz Lerman
2000  Jeraldyne Blunden and David R. White 2015  Trisha Brown
2002  Chuck Davis 2016  Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
2004  Arthur Mitchell 2017 Cleo Parker Robinson
 2006  Anna Halprin 2018 Debbie Allen

Freed of London is proud to exclusively sponsor this year’s Dance/USA Honor Award presented to Dianne McIntyre.

Dance/USA ‘Ernie’

The ‘Ernie’ Award is given to an individual working “behind the scenes” within the infrastructure of the national dance field, who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, outstanding value in the field, and whose achievements have influenced and significantly advanced the work of artists and supported their creativity. 

The ‘Ernie’ Award is named for the late dancer, choreographer, director, AIDS activist, and dance champion Ian ‘Ernie’ Horvath, in recognition of his important role in dance history and his passionate commitment to growing and strengthening the national dance community.

1990  Ian ‘Ernie’ Horvath 2009  Sali Ann Kriegsman
1992  Richard E. LeBlond Jr.2010  Richard J. Caples

1994  Martha Hill Davies and Bessie Schonberg2011  Verdery Roosevelt
1996  Barbara Horgan and Ivan Sygoda2012  Sam Miller
1998  Deborah Jowitt2013  Barbara Weisberger
2000  Norton Owen and John R. Killacky2014  D. David Brown
2002  Cora Cahan2015  Linda Shelton
2004  Sage Cowles2016  Ann Williams
2006  Madeleine Nichols2017 Gina Gibney
2008  Anna Kisselgoff2018 Carla Perlo

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. Kriegsman2013  Sharon Gersten Luckman
2007  Dr. Richard Gibbs2015  Raven Wilkinson
2008  Rena Shagan2016  Ella Baff
2011  Andrea Snyder  
2017 Douglas Sonntag
2012  C.C. Conner, Jr.2018 Mary Verdi-Fletcher

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
2015  Toby Lerner Ansin
2011  Pamela Crutchfield 2016  Sarah & Dr. Ernest Butler
2012  Chris & Warren Hellman and Kary Schulman
2017 Billie Mahoney
 2014  Dr. Robert and Katherine Goodale 2018 Lula Washington and Erwin Washington

The Dance/USA 2019 Honors Ceremony is brought to you by DeWitt Stern a Risk Strategies Company.

Photo by: Runway Productions LLC