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 2021 Dance/USA Awards will be presented at the Honorees Ceremony on March 10, 2021 at 6pm EST.
Dance/USA Honor Award - Donald Byrd
Photo credit: BEND Production
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||2009 Tina Ramirez|
|1988 Robert Joffrey and Merce Cunningham||2010 Carmen de Lavallade|
|1990 Agnes de Mille, Paul Taylor and Alvin Ailey||2011 Lar Lubovitch|
|1992 Katherine Dunham and Bella Lewitzky||2012 Helgi Tomasson|
|1994 Alexandra Danilova and Charles Reinhart||2013 Joan Myers Brown|
|1996 Willam Christensen and Donald McKayle||2014 Liz Lerman|
|1998 Judith Jamison and Bruce Marks||2015 Trisha Brown|
|2000 Jeraldyne Blunden and David R. White||2016 Jawole Willa Jo Zollar|
|2002 Chuck Davis||2017 Cleo Parker Robinson|
|2004 Arthur Mitchell||2018 Debbie Allen|
|2006 Anna Halprin||2019 Dianne McIntyre|
|2008 Frederic Franklin|
Freed of London is proud to exclusively sponsor this year’s Dance/USA Honor Award presented to Donald Byrd.
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||2010 Richard J. Caples|
|1992 Richard E. LeBlond Jr.||2011 Verdery Roosevelt|
|1994 Martha Hill Davies and Bessie Schonberg||2012 Sam Miller|
|1996 Barbara Horgan and Ivan Sygoda||2013 Barbara Weisberger|
|1998 Deborah Jowitt||2014 D. David Brown|
|2000 Norton Owen and John R. Killacky||2015 Linda Shelton|
|2002 Cora Cahan||2016 Ann Williams|
|2004 Sage Cowles||2017 Gina Gibney|
|2006 Madeleine Nichols||2018 Carla Perlo|
|2008 Anna Kisselgoff||2019 Glenn McCoy|
|2009 Sali Ann Kriegsman|
|2004 Alan M. Kriegsman||2013 Sharon Gersten Luckman|
|2007 Dr. Richard Gibbs||2015 Raven Wilkinson|
|2008 Rena Shagan||2016 Ella Baff|
|2011 Andrea Snyder||2017 Douglas Sonntag|
|2012 C.C. Conner, Jr.||2018 Mary Verdi-Fletcher|
|2010 The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation |
and the Meyer Foundation
|2016 Sarah & Dr. Ernest Butler|
|2011 Pamela Crutchfield||2017 Billie Mahoney|
|2012 Chris & Warren Hellman and Kary Shulman||2018 Lula Washington and Erwin|
|2014 Dr. Robert and Katherine Goodale||2019 Terry and Sheldon Adelman|
|2015 Toby Lerner Ansin|
The Dance/USA 2020 Honors Ceremony is brought to you by DeWitt Stern a Risk Strategies Company.