2019 Call for Awards Nominations

The Call for Awards Nominations is now closed. Thank you for your submissions. 


Join Dance/USA in honoring extraordinary leaders in the dance field. Nominations for Dance/USA's Honor and 'Ernie' awards are accepted from the entire field, and the final selection is made by the Dance/USA Board of Trustees. 

Dance/USA will present the awards during the Opening Night Celebration at the 2019 Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, June 12-15, 2019.

The Honor and 'Ernie' awards recognize an individual’s contributions to dance in America and acknowledges the roles they play in the national dance community. Presented by the Dance/USA Board of Trustees, these awards are presented to outstanding members of the national dance community. You do not need to be a Dance/USA Member to submit a nomination.

Dance/USA Honor Award


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

 2008 Frederic Franklin

1988  Robert Joffrey and Merce Cunningham

 2009  Tina Ramirez

1990  Agnes de Mille, Paul Taylor and Alvin Ailey

 2010  Carmen de Lavallade

1992  Katherine Dunham and Bella Lewitzky

 2011  Lar Lubovitch 

1994  Alexandra Danilova and Charles Reinhart

 2012  Helgi Tomasson

1996  Willam Christensen and Donald McKayle

 2013  Joan Myers Brown

1998  Judith Jamison and Bruce Marks

2014  Liz Lerman

2000  Jeraldyne Blunden and David R. White

 2015  Trisha Brown

2002  Chuck Davis

 2016  Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

2004  Arthur Mitchell

 2017 Cleo Parker Robinson

 2006  Anna Halprin

 2018 Debbie Allen

Dance/USA ‘Ernie’ Award


Named after the first recipient, 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.

1990  Ian ‘Ernie’ Horvath

2009  Sali Ann Kriegsman

1992  Richard E. LeBlond Jr.

2010  Richard J. Caples

1994  Martha Hill Davies and Bessie Schonberg

2011  Verdery Roosevelt

1996  Barbara Horgan and Ivan Sygoda

2012  Sam Miller

1998  Deborah Jowitt

2013  Barbara Weisberger

2000  Norton Owen and John R. Killacky

2014  D. David Brown

2002  Cora Cahan

2015  Linda Shelton

2004  Sage Cowles

2016  Ann Williams

2006  Madeleine Nichols

2017 Gina Gibney

 2008  Anna Kisselgoff

2018 Carla Perlo

Statement on Equity and Inclusion
Dance as an art form provides expression, celebration, exploration and transformation for all people.  Inclusion and equal treatment of all members of the professional dance community are core values of Dance/USA and central to its mission.  In achieving core values of equity and inclusion, Dance/ USA is committed to diversity in every aspect of its programming and services. Diversity in this context refers to groups, communities and individuals identified by dance genre or form, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, age, or disability status.  Inclusion means a commitment to making all members of the professional dance community feel welcome and comfortable at Dance/USA. 

Dance/USA is committed to honoring, nurturing and advancing dance through the lens of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in all aspects of its programming, services and organization. 

If you have any questions please contact us at AnnualConference@danceusa.org