Dance/USA Announces Its Round Two Artist Fellows

November 15, 2022

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance, announced today that the second round of Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists (DFA) will award $905,010 in funding to 30 dance and movement-based artists with sustained practices in art for social change. Each Fellowship includes a $30,167 grant that may be used at the artist’s discretion. DFA is made possible with generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).

As society grapples with unprecedented challenges and increasingly recognizes systemic inequities and injustices, Dance/USA is reaffirmed that the work of supporting artists who engage in art for social change is pivotal and overdue. The goals of DFA include offering unrestricted financial support for individual artists, building a peer cohort among the Artist Fellows, and facilitating cohort spaces that are emergent and honor the artists’ choices and desires. 

The Round Two Dance/USA Artist Fellows are:

MK Abadoo
Columbia, Maryland; Richmond, Virginia

Mesma Belsaré
West New York, New Jersey

Natalie Benally
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Phil Chan
Brooklyn, New York

Jemal “P-Top” Delacruz
Chicago, Illinois 

Tyde-Courtney Edwards
Baltimore, Maryland

Peter Rockford Espiritu  
Honolulu, Hawai’i

Jenn Freeman | Po’Chop
Chicago, Illinois

Gabriel “MoFundamentals” Gutiérrez
Los Angeles, California

Harrison Guy
Houston, Texas

Dr. Julie B. Johnson
Decatur, Georgia

Petra Kuppers
Ypsilanti, Michigan

ShanDien Sonwai LaRance
Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico

cat mahari
Chicago, Illinois

Muisi-kongo Malonga
East Palo Alto, California

Kesha McKey
New Orleans, Louisiana

Prathiba Natesan Batley
Louisville, Kentucky 

Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez  
Brooklyn, New York

Luis Ordaz Gutiérrez
Austin, Texas

Nkeiruka Oruche
Oakland, California

iele paloumpis
Brooklyn, New York

Bhumi B Patel
Oakland, California

Potri Ranka Manis
New York, New York

Angelina Ramirez
Tucson, Arizona

Vershawn Sanders-Ward
Chicago, Illinois

Gema Sandoval
Los Angeles, California

Dr. Iquail Shaheed
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sacramento, California

Olivier Tarpaga
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Anna Martine Whitehead
Chicago, Illinois 

Learn more about the Round Two Dance/USA Artist Fellows and their work.

“As I consider Dance/USA’s impact on the national dance ecosystem, it means so much for us to be able to deepen our commitment to artists through programs like DFA,” said Dance/USA Executive Director Kellee Edusei. “We are humbled to create a space for disruption within the dance ecosystem and performing arts sector by uplifting and honoring these incredible artists. We are immensely grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for their steadfast support and trust as we center the artist in every aspect of this program.”

“It’s important that as we center our support on artists with change-based practices our own programmatic processes are interrogated and centered around equitable structures, language, and timelines,” said Dance/USA Director of Regranting Haowen Wang. “DFA is an intentional development towards this goal.”

“The new cohort of DFA Fellows exemplifies the range of creative expression and impact that social practice artists have on the dance field and their communities more broadly,” said Maurine Knighton, chief program officer at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “We are excited to partner with Dance/USA to provide artists with the resources and flexibility they need to hone their practices, advance their visions and support their cultural communities.”

The 2022 DFA cohort features 30 artists from across the country representing an array of modalities rooted at the intersection of social and embodied practices. These include community-building and culture-bearing practices, healing and storytelling practices, activism and representational justice practices, and more. These artists work in a wide range of dance and movement-based forms including African Diasporic, Afro-contemporary, Ballet, Bharatanātyam, Black Social/Social Dance, Burlesque, Butoh, Chicago Footwork, Contemporary, Dance Theater, Disability Dance, Embodied Memory Mapping, Fancy Shawl Dance, Flamenco, Folklórico, Funk/Family Kitchen Dances, Freestyle, Hip-Hop, House, Hula, Improvisation, Indigenous-Based Dance, Jazz, Kathakali, Mindanao Indigenous Forms, Modern, Native American Hoop Dance, Neo-traditional Ghanaian, New Orleans Vernacular, P’urhépecha Bailes, Pan Afro-urban, Physically Integrated Dance, Poetic Audio Description/Audio Description for Dance, Poppin, Queer/Feminist Movement Art, Salsa, Somatic, Traditional Congolese Dance, Vocal Kinesthetics, West African, and more. 

As part of their Fellowship experience, the Artist Fellows will have the option to participate in an emergent programming process that honors the Fellows’ choices around connection, rest, and desire. The facilitated process will be self-led by artists and administratively supported by Dance/USA. DFA will compensate the artists for the time spent on this initiative and resources will be provided for the facilitation and prototyping of the ideas generated. 

About the Application Process
Dance/USA received 413 initial applications to the DFA program and conducted a multi-phased, seven-month review process that included 27 peer readers and ten panelists. Dance/USA is committed to ensuring artists review artists’ work; over 90% of DFA’s peer readers and panelists are practicing artists. 59 finalist applicants were selected to complete the full application before the final panel selection of the 30 Artist Fellows. 

Learn more about the peer readers and panelists.

About Dance/USA
Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive.

Established in 1982, Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. Learn more about Dance/USA at

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The foundation’s mission, grantmaking programs, museums and centers are guided by Doris Duke’s will and operated through five related philanthropies: the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the Duke Farms Foundation and the Doris Duke Management Foundation. Together, the Doris Duke philanthropies support the well-being of people and the planet for a more creative, equitable and sustainable future. The mission of DDCF’s Arts Program is to support artists with the creation and public performance of their work. The program’s holistic funding approach is grounded in equity and informed by the belief that artists add value to society and should be supported to live dignified lives while pursuing their creative expression. For more information, please visit

Skip to content