Dance/USA Annual Conference Heads to Cleveland June 12-15

May 28, 2019

CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull
202.833.1717 x106


Washington, DC – The Dance/USA 2019 Annual Conference, in Cleveland, OH June 12-15, 2019, will bring together dance professionals passionate about advancing dance and celebrating the joy of movement. Conference programming will include breakout sessions and workshops that explore issues of leadership, artistic creation, administration, power, accessibility, and vision.

“Propelled by our belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, we will come together in the wonderful city of Cleveland to amplify the power of dance, to share learning, and to build community,” said Dance/USA Executive Director Amy Fitterer.

More than 500 dance professionals – including independent artists, dance presenters, agents and artist representatives, education and service providers, executive directors, artistic directors, company managers, fundraisers, presenters, development and marketing staff, and more – will attend the Conference, which will take place campus style, with events occurring around Cleveland to offer new inspiration and showcase the host city’s arts and dance ecosystem. Visit the Dance/USA Conference website for full details. On-site registration and press passes are available.

Dance/USA Honors Ceremony
Dance/USA will celebrate the 2019 Honorees during the Opening Night Reception on June 12, 2019 at the Cleveland History Center. 

  • Dianne McIntyre, dancer, choreographer, researcher, mentor, director, and dance-driven dramatist; will receive the Dance/USA Honor Award.
  • Glenn McCoy, Executive Director, San Francisco Ballet, will receive the Dance/USA ‘Ernie’ Award.
  • Terry and Sheldon Adelman, long-time supporters of Playhouse Square and the Playhouse Square Annual Dance Showcase, which Conference attendees will attend this June; will receive the Dance/USA Champion Award.

Plenary Sessions
The 2019 Opening Plenary Speaker is Prumsodun Ok, the founding artistic director of Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA. Born to Khmer refugees in the United States, Ok rose from the poverty and violence-stricken inner city of Long Beach to become the new face of Khmer dance. He uses art to heal, illuminate, and empower, reviving the spirit of his people from the enduring forces of conflict. The Opening Plenary will take place at the Ohio Theatre – Playhouse Square in Cleveland, OH on Thursday, June 13, 2019 from 9:00am-10:30amEST and it will be live-streamed here

The 2019 Closing Plenary Speaker is Dr. S. Ama Wray, associate professor of dance at the University of California, Irvine. A dance artist and scholar who innovates across disciplinary lines, leading with dance to enter spaces of music, theatre, academia, medicine and technology, Wray’s award-winning Ph.D. research resulted in the discovery of “embodiology” a burgeoning new interdisciplinary field studying human performance. The Closing Plenary will take place at the Ohio Theatre – Playhouse Square in Cleveland, OH on Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 12:30pm-2:00pm.

Conference Programming
Dance/USA is pleased to offer a wide array of programming at this year’s Annual Conference including breakout sessions, workshops, movement classes, and more. 

Pre-Conference events include:

  • Archiving and Preservation Workshop: The How, Why, Who, and Where
  • Dance & Disability Affinity Group Meeting
  • Harassment: Case Studies for Dance Organizations
  • The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond’s Undoing Racism Workshop

Conference Breakout sessions and workshops include, among others:

  • Building Audiences for Dance: Stories from the Field
  • Challenges and Successes: A Multi-Perspective Conversation Regarding Access to Healthcare Resources in Dancers
  • Dance Business Bootcamp
  • Dancing into the Future: Legacy, History and Succession
  • Dancing While Deaf
  • Dreams of EID: Trusting the Work
  • Hack the System: Success Strategies for Local Arts Funding
  • Holding Space for Women of Color
  • Harassment: The #MeToo Discussion Continues
  • Immigrants.Dance.Arts: Supporting Immigrant Dance Artists in a Changing United States
  • It Takes 3 to Make a Thing Go Right: Optimistic Discussions Around Producing, Promoting, and Presenting Dance
  • What Solutions Exist for the Housing/Artist Space Crisis?

Performances and Movement Classes
Pop-Up Performances During the Annual Conference
Site-specific dance performances curated by the Cleveland Host Committee featuring dance artists of Northeast Ohio will take place throughout the 2019 Annual ConferenceLearn more here.

June 13, 9:00am
During the Opening Plenary Session, there will be a performance by Creative Arts Dance Academy Advanced Ensemble from Cleveland, Ohio.

June 13, 7:00pm-8:30pm
The 2019 Playhouse Square Dance Showcase, presented by Terry & Sheldon Adelman, will feature performances by dance artists of Northeast Ohio, including: ABREPASO Flamenco/Alice Blumenfeld, BalletMet, Cleveland State University Dance Program, ELEVATED, GreeneWorks Project, GroundWorks DanceTheater, Inlet Dance Theatre, Neos Dance Theatre, Shri Kalaa Mandir, and Verb Ballets. Learn more here.

June 14, 8:00pm-9:30pm
Dancing Wheels Dance Concert and Annual Gala, Reverse*Reboot*Reveal! will feature an evening of dance by internationally-recognized, disabled choreographers Marc Brew, Antoine Hunter and Laurel Lawson; a premiere work by Catherine Meredith; and a special guest appearance performance by Florent Devlesaver & Justin Collins as seen on France’s “One Unique Talent”. Learn more here.

Movement Classes
The 2019 Annual Conference will feature numerous movement classes, ranging from Contemporary Technique to Yorchhā to a Chicago Footwork class.

Find the full list of programming, performances, and movement classes here.

Dance/USA is grateful to the following: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Shubert Foundation. Additional thanks to the 2019 Annual Conference Sponsors: Arts Insurance Program; Black Dance Magazine; Bloch; Capacity Interactive; City of Cleveland; The Cleveland Foundation; Cleveland Public Library; DANCECleveland; Dancing Wheels Company and School; Destination Cleveland; DeWitt Stern a Risk Strategies Company; DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky; The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation; Freed of London; Gaynor Minden; The George Gund Foundation; GroundWorks DanceTheater; Harlequin Floors; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The John P. Murphy Foundation; Nordson Corporation; NormaTec; Ohio Arts Council; OhioDance; Runaway Productions; Selfspace Meditation Studio; Shark & Minnow; the University of Kentucky Department of Arts Administration, and Verb Ballets. Special thanks to our Official 2019 Host Venues Cleveland History Center, Cleveland Metropolitan Conference Center, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland State University, and Playhouse Square.

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. Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. 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 at

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