Dance/USA Artist Fellows

Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists has awarded $1,000,525 in funding to 31 artists addressing social change. The Dance/USA Artist Fellows were selected by a peer panel. Each Fellow will receive $32,275. Below, in the artists' words, are general descriptions of their practice and intent. 

Ana Maria Alvarez Los Angeles, CA
Alvarez is a choreographer, dancer, educator, organizer and mother working at the intersection of dance, theater, political activism and organizing; her work embodies joy as a radical act. Salsa and other social dance forms are her primary tools to connect and reframe/reimagine narratives. She intends to begin writing a book about collective liberation and her journey as an artist from the in between.
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Holly Bass Washington, DC
As a multidisciplinary teaching artist and dance maker, Bass’s practice centers on Black cultural preservation; she compels audiences to think deeply about issues vital to the existence of Black people. She intends to write about her and other artists’ perspectives of working in ways that cultivate intimacy, vulnerability and connection; to be shared with the next generation of artists.
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Charya Burt Windsor, CA
Trained by Cambodia’s surviving dance masters following the Khmer Rouge Genocide, Burt emigrated in 1993; she preserves classical Cambodian dance technique for Cambodian communities across California and creates dances that are relevant for young dancers. She intends to continue connecting Cambodian communities by training teachers and apprentices and by offering dance and costume instruction that is available and accessible.
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Ananya Chatterjea Minneapolis, MN
In her contemporary practice, Chatterjea draws from Indian performance traditions, activist street theater, and community to create workshops, staged and interactive public art performances and to train emerging indigenous and artists of color. She intends to deepen her healing movement practices based on yogic and ayurvedic principles and build community relationships near her space, Shawngram Institute, in St. Paul.
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Sarah
Crowell Oakland, CA
Crowell practices social change primarily within Destiny Arts Youth Company, which she founded, and which explores issues of interest to young people, including identity, race and sexual orientation. She intends to expand her time investment in a new project to ritualize and memorialize youth who have been killed in Oakland by working with their families.
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Mama Naomi Diouf Castro Valley, CA
As an immigrant from Liberia who arrived during the Black Power Movement, Diouf has been an artist, educator and activist who shares the diverse narratives of people of African Descent. She intends to take a sabbatical to develop the next generation of African dance leaders, both within her company and locally, and train African artists to teach and to advocate. Learn More 



Sean Dorsey San Francisco, CA
As a transgender modern dance choreographer, writer and activist, Dorsey creates dances in and with community; creates opportunities for trans and gender-nonconforming (gnc) people to experience supported creative expression and cultural leadership; and challenges the exclusion, silencing and harm of trans/gnc people in Dance. He intends to travel and meet current and former trans/gnc dancers and provide himself open-ended creative time.
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Tony
Duncan Mesa, AZ
As a champion Hoop Dancer, Duncan uses the traditional concepts of Hoop Dance to bring youth closer to an understanding of themselves and their communities. He intends to travel to Taos Pueblo, the source of Hoop Dance, to meet with elders and dancers and learn oral histories; and to support his own practice at home by making hoops and working with youth.
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Marjani Fortè-Saunders Pasadena, CA
As a facilitator, educator, choreographer and performer, Fortè-Saunders uses the medium of art in pursuit of liberation, committed to black narratives, black stories, and black wellness as an an indelible commitment to this nation's dreams.  She intends to use time to focus on creative practice, research and experimentation, and hire executive partners.
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Robert Gilliam Woodland Hills, CA
Gilliam is an Urban Contemporary Dancemaker who, with his Krump Crew, co-creates movement experiences for communities to eliminate lines of division in a variety of settings, including parking lots and juvenile halls. He intends to create a summer artist training and mentorship program that will pair master teaching artists with local emerging artists.
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Naomi Goldberg Haas New York, NY
Through her practice called Movement Speaks®, Goldberg Haas inspires low and fixed income older adults to move and create dances, and mentors teaching artists to do the same. She intends to deepen her partnership in the South Bronx, with the William Hodson Senior Center and BronxCare, by presenting performances of participants from her program with professionally trained dancers.
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Jennifer
Harge Highland Park, MI
Harge’s practice actualizes the somatics of thriving in black flesh, looking to the organizing and corporeal possibilities within Black liturgical and Black social dance forms.  She intends to continue pursuing artmaking and infrastructural building within Detroit’s Black dance community.
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Antoine Hunter Oakland, CA
Hunter is a Deaf African American choreographer, dancer, instructor, speaker, and Deaf advocate who creates opportunities for Deaf artists and produces Deaf-friendly events; he founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival. This artist intends to continue working with schools, and provide more free workshops for marginalized families, Deaf institutes, community centers, public schools and senior centers.
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Assane Konte Washington, DC
Konte advances the mission of his company Kankouran, which fosters connections between his native Senegalese community and his African American community, in DC and around the country. He intends to pay for materials for school programs in NE and SE Washington, costumes, and drum repairs for his company, and to organize a roundtable in Senegal between African and US-based dancers who are social change practitioners.
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Laurel Lawson Tucker, GA
As an artist, activist, and product designer & engineer, Lawson explores technique and choreography that is authentic to disabled embodiments. She intends to expand frontiers in technique and choreography, study pedagogy, explore ways to expand access to the field via technological platforms, and create work.


Patrick Makuakane San Francisco, CA
As a Kumu Hula, a tradition bearer and shaper, Makuakane is obliged to keep traditional dances and chants intact and pass transgenerational knowledge onto students and has been given permission to create work that reflects those traditions. He intends to continue working with San Quentin State Prison, creating a transitional space within his company for men leaving prison and to elevate the value of ancient cultural practices.
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Paloma McGregor New York, NY
Within her practice, McGregor visions with Black and POC communities and aims to center their voices and create pathways for exchange across generation and geography. She intends to deepen her practice on her home island, St. Croix, by working with local and mainland collaborators, exploring ideas such as activating “abandoned” spaces and embodying vanishing traditions across the island, and to document this process.
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Murda Mommy Chicago, IL
As a lesbian teen who experienced homelessness and was exonerated, Mommy brings her life experiences into mentoring, and teaches Chicago footwork to people who face similar adversities on the South and West sides of Chicago. She intends to mentor young people, extend partnerships with numerous local organizations, and work on a new video game.


Yvonne Montoya Tucson, AZ
Montoya co-creates works with community, building relationships among Latinx in the Southwest. She intends to expand her community work, growing Dance in the Desert: A Gathering of Latinx Dancemakers, traveling to research Latinx movement aesthetics unique to the Southwest, and working with collaborators to create art focusing on positive self-representations of border communities.
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Christopher K. Morgan Washington, DC
Within his work, Morgan is investigating the intersection of western dance practices, native Hawaiian cultural values and hula, as well as storytelling and interdisciplinary collaboration. He intends to continue this ongoing investigation, pay collaborators and Hawaiian cultural consultants, and strengthen his connection to a growing network of contemporary Hawaiian performing arts professionals.
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Jose Navarette  Oakland, CA
Navarrete collaborates with San Francisco Bay Area communities severely impacted by systems of oppression, in partnership with organizations that offer parallel professional support. He intends to use unstructured time to work with the women of Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) and travel to Mexico to research a new work based on forced disappearance.
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Prumsodun
Ok Long Beach, CA
As a Khmer American classical dancer, Ok established a practice that includes founding the first openly gay dance company in Cambodia, training the next generation of Khmer dance artists, and layering Khmer classical dance with contemporary elements shared on social media. He intends to strengthen relationships with Khmer American groups, conduct research in a Buddhist center in Japan, and experiment in the studio.
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Allison Orr Austin, TX
Orr creates dances that highlight the beauty and skill in the virtuosic movement of work. Collaborating primarily with working class people—frequently city employees or other institutional staff—Orr and her team at Forklift Danceworks use performance as a catalyst for long term community-led action.She intends to connect with fellow dance artists committed to community-based social justice work and to finish a book about her practice.
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Alleluia
Panis San Francisco, CA
As a choreographer and culture bearer, Panis embraces the sometimes contradictory dynamics of Pilipinx Diasporic life, combining modern Western dance and indigenous cultural ceremony. Her practice involves research in Pilipinx arts, community storytelling, relationship building, and mentoring of next-generation artists, particularly in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. She intends to continue building relationships, mentoring and researching Pilipinx stories.
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Danys "La Mora" Pérez New York, NY
As a choreographer of Afro-Cuban folkloric dance, an art form born of resistance to oppression, Pérez strives to preserve the traditions of Afro-Cuban culture and folklore by using these traditions to educate, uplift, and unite people. She intends to rehearse, and pay musicians, without relying solely on personal sacrifices from family and dancers, who have offset her expenses in the past.
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Pamela
Quinn New York, NY
After a 20-year dance career, followed by a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD), Quinn developed techniques to retrieve many of the functions that the disease takes away, utilizing visual and auditory cuing to teach and create dances for people with PD. She intends to codify and record her techniques to make them accessible to local and international communities of patients, artists, and medical professionals.
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Deneane Richburg Saint Paul, MN
Richburg expands the boundaries of ice skating from a Black perspective, using facilitated conversations and the wisdom of the moving body on and off ice to heal the wounds caused by racial trauma. She intends to spend time on a new work about 17th-19th century Black social dance and explore new formats for post-show discussion.
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Vanessa Sanchez San Francisco, CA
As a Chicana dancer, choreographer, and educator, Sanchez focuses on community arts and traditional dance forms to provide a platform for Latinx communities, emphasizing the voices and experiences of Latina and Chicana women and youth. She intends to deepen her relationships in the Bay Area, create a new piece about farm and domestic workers and laborers, and reduce her teaching and administrative work.
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Rosy Simas Minneapolis, MN
Rosy Simas’ (Seneca) choreographic work centers Native cultural/political persistence, weaving themes of personal/familial/collective identity with matriarchy, sovereignty, equality, and healing. During the fellowship period she will foster new and strengthen existing relationships with urban and rural Native communities, work with Native writers on the contextualization and visibility of writing on Native contemporary dance, focus on documenting her work, and strengthening her tribally based leadership skills.
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Amara Tabor-Smith Oakland, CA
In her practice, called Conjure Art, Tabor-Smith utilizes Yorùbá Lukumi ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity and belonging; and to cultivate meaningful and lasting relationships in Oakland, CA. She desires time to research and experiment with Yorùbá ritual in collaboration with Black women/Femmes and girls, leading to a neo-folklore ritual performance society in Oakland based on the Egungun masquerade.
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Qacung Yufrican Anchorage, AK
Yufrican works in Yuraq, the dance practice of the Yup'ik people of Alaska, and creates traditional dances with contemporary masks and movement for communities in Alaska. He intends to connect with rural communities around Alaska and create original work with masks and dance regalia.


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