The Dance/USA Awards have been given to extraordinary leaders in the dance field, both artists and administrators, over the past thirty years. The awards are a long-standing tradition of Dance/USA beginning in 1986 with the first Honor Awards given to Antony Tudor and Martha Graham and in 1990 with the first ‘Ernie’ Award given to Ian ‘Ernie’ Horvath. Over the years, outstanding leaders such as Arthur Mitchell, Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, Deborah Jowitt, Sam Miller, Katherine Dunham, and many more have been recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the national dance field.
The Dance/USA Honor, 'Ernie', and Trustees Awards recognize an individual’s contributions to dance in America and acknowledges the roles they play in the national dance community. Nominations for Dance/USA's Honor and 'Ernie' awards are accepted from the entire dance field, and the final selection is made by the Dance/USA Board of Trustees. The Trustees Award is given at the discretion of the Dance/USA Board of Trustees to recognize an outstanding professional whose work has special significance to the field. The Dance/USA Awards are presented each year at the Opening Night Celebration during the Dance/USA Annual Conference.
The 2019 Awards will be presented at the Opening Night Celebration on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
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|
Freed of London is proud to exclusively sponsor this year’s Dance/USA Honor Award presented to Debbie Allen.
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.
The ‘Ernie’ Award is named for the late dancer, choreographer, director, AIDS activist, and dance champion Ian ‘Ernie’ Horvath, in recognition of his important role in dance history and his passionate commitment to growing and strengthening the national dance community.
|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|
|2004 Alan M. Kriegsman||2013 Sharon Gersten Luckman|
|2007 Dr. Richard Gibbs||2015 Raven Wilkinson|
|2008 Rena Shagan||2016 Ella Baff|
|2011 Andrea Snyder|| |
2017 Douglas Sonntag
|2012 C.C. Conner, Jr.||2018 Mary Verdi-Fletcher|
|2010 The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation |
and the Meyer Foundation
|2015 Toby Lerner Ansin|
|2011 Pamela Crutchfield||2016 Sarah & Dr. Ernest Butler|
|2012 Chris & Warren Hellman and Kary Schulman|
2017 Billie Mahoney
|2014 Dr. Robert and Katherine Goodale||2018 Lula Washington and Erwin Washington|