Dance/USA to Honor Virginia Johnson, Judy Tyrus, Nena Gilreath, Waverly T. Lucas, II, and Douglas Scott at 2023 Conference in Atlanta

March 16, 2023

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull

Washington, DC – Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance, is excited to announce the Dance/USA 2023 Honorees! This year we recognize and celebrate an incredible group of visionary dance leaders who have had a lasting impact on the national dance ecosystem. The 2023 Honorees are:

  • Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem, will receive the Dance/USA Honor Award.
  • Judy Tyrus, CEO, ChromaDiverse, will receive the Dance/USA ‘Ernie’ Award.
  • Nena Gilreath and Waverly T. Lucas, II, Co-Founding Directors, Ballethnic Dance Company, will share the Dance/USA Champion Award and will accept on behalf of Ballethnic Dance Company.
  • Douglas Scott, Artistic/Executive Director, Full Radius Dance, will receive the Dance/USA Champion Award.

Dance/USA will celebrate the 2023 Honorees at the upcoming Dance/USA 2023 Conference, taking place June 13-16 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Join Dance/USA and members of the national dance ecosystem in Atlanta this June to celebrate the 2023 Honorees in person! Early bird rates are available until March 29. Register for the Conference!

“I am overjoyed that Virginia, Judy, Nena, Waverly, and Douglas will be celebrated as our 2023 Honorees during our upcoming Conference in Atlanta. These amazing dance leaders are all so deserving of this honor and embody our values. Throughout their careers they have blazed new paths and expanded and enriched the field of dance. We are thrilled to uplift them and their extraordinary achievements this June,” said Dance/USA Executive Director Kellee Edusei.

About the Dance/USA Awards
The Dance/USA Awards have been given to extraordinary dance leaders for more than thirty years. The Honor Award is given to an individual for demonstrated achievements, extraordinary leadership, and exceptional contributions to the national dance ecosystem which consistently reflect a high level of artistic excellence, creative force of vision, and breadth of work. The ‘Ernie’ Award is given to an individual working “behind the scenes” within the infrastructure of the national dance community, who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, outstanding value in the ecosystem, and whose achievements have influenced and significantly advanced the work of artists and supported their creativity. The Champion Award is given to an organization, business, foundation, or individual within Dance/USA’s national Conference Host City whose achievements, leadership, and support has significantly advanced dance in the local community.

Read about the Dance/USA 2023 Honorees!

About the Dance/USA 2023 Conference
Dance/USA will host the Dance/USA 2023 Conference – the must-attend event of the national dance ecosystem – June 13-16 in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme of the Conference is EMERGE | BECOME | MOVE. The convening will offer strategic, values-based, energizing, visionary ideas that speak to the needs of the dance ecosystem. As we continue to navigate the current realities of today and the impact of the past several years on our work and lives, we will acknowledge where we have been, where we are today, and where we intend to go. Register today!

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

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