Faculty

ADF is fortunate to have some of the most dedicated faculty in the country on its roster.  These individuals form a group of generous, inspired, and accomplished dance artists that are the foundation of the ADF community. They serve as guides and mentors, inspiring students to attain new levels of artistry and physicality. After a summer spent working side by side in the studio, seeing performances together, and dialoguing with one another, students and teachers often forge relationships that last long after the festival is over. We invite you to read about each of our faculty below.

Past faculty

E. Moncell “ill kozby” durden

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Moncell is the new assistant professor of practice in Hip-Hop for the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California. Before USC, Moncell taught at the Yale School of Drama, Wesleyan University, and Bennington College. Moncell specializes in pedagogical practices that provide cultural and historical context in AfroDiasporic social dance formations. He began his professional career opening up for visiting recording artists in his hometown of Harrisburg, PA. In 1992 Moncell befriended and began dancing with Hip-Hop pioneer and commercial choreographer Emilio Austin Jr., who played a key role in Moncell’s comprehension of NYC “street” dance culture. In 1998 Moncell was invited to become a member of Philadelphia Hip-Hop theater company Rennie Harris Puremovement, which awarded him international travel and exposure to concert dance. Moncell held an appointment for 7 years at Drexel University until 2010, when he was accepted into an MA program to study Anthropology of Dance at Roehampton University in the UK. Moncell has published articles in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches and the Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America, is currently writing an article for the Oxford University Press, and is working on his own book, Hip-Hop Dance in Context, as well as developing a documentary on the genealogy of Hip-Hop dance.

Photo Credit: Kate Singh (Aevum Images)

Michelle GibsoN

Choreographer, educator, and performing artist Michelle Gibson received her BFA in Dance from Tulane University and her MFA in Dance and Performance Studies from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. Second Lining from New Orleans, LA, she has been blessed to have studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Delta Festival Ballet Company, Milton School of Dance, the Young African American Dance Ensemble, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, the American Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow. In addition to her diverse training, Michelle has had the wonderful opportunity of performing works choreographed by Baba Chuck Davis, Baba Richard Gonzales, Donald McKayle, Sean Curran, Ronald K. Brown, Trebien Pollard, LaMora Perez PradesMarlies Yearby, Tommy F. DeFrantz, Thaddeus and Tanya Davis, Vernel Bagneris, and Scott Grossman, just to name a few. She has toured and performed throughout Germany and Japan. Her motion picture credits include Academy Award nominated film, Interview with the Vampire, the Academy Award winning film, Ray, and the movie, Just My Luck, with Lindsay Lohan. Michelle, a seven year faculty member with the American Dance Festival Six Week School and the Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer Intensive, returned to the states in the summer of 2014 after being an Artist in Residence in Port Au Prince and Jacmel, Haiti, with New Waves Dance and Performance Institute. Founder and Artistic Director of Exhibit Dance Collective, she has taught and set choreography at various intensives, institutions, and universities, not to mention choreographing for several theater companies and live entertainment organizations locally and out of state. Currently a freelance artist, Michelle is an NPN artist in residence with the South Dallas Cultural Center, Artistic Director of the Dallas Youth Repertory Project, Artistic Director of the New Orleans Youth Brass Jumpers, Artistic Director/Choreographer for Voices of Congo Square Production, and a CAP artist with Office of Cultural Affairs in Dallas, TX. As an educator, choreographer, and performing artist presently living in Dallas, Michelle has presented as a guest speaker at the Extra Yard Teacher’s Summit 2015 and presented at the Dallas Festival of Ideas 2015 held at the Dallas City Performance Hall. Her choreographic works range from genres of the African Diaspora, Contemporary Modern, Afro Funk, Jazz, and her own New Orleans Second Line Aesthetic. One of her many choreographic works was  based on the novel Wading Home by Roslyn Story presented in April 2015 at the Dallas City Performance Hall in tribute to the survivors and lost souls of Hurricane Katrina, Michelle being one of those survivors. One of her latest works, Voices of Congo Square, produced by Shakaand Naimah Zulu, about the rich culture and history of the Black Mardi Gras Indians, premiered at the Black Dance USA conference in June 2016 at the Sun Theatre in St Louis, MO. Michelle is ecstatic to have become a candidate in 2014 working towards receiving the Katherine Dunham Technique Certification in 2017. In September 2015, she left for Rennes, France, teaching her New Orleans Second Aesthetics and being a quest lecturer with the Compagnie Engrenage and the festival Le Funk Prend Les Rennes (translated: the Funk Takes the Reins). The festival honored and focused onboth the music and dance of the brass band culture of New OrleansMichelle’s current projects involve  sharing her New Orleans culture through a series of workshops called The Original BuckShop, engaging in the culture and Diasporaic traditions of the black New Orleans community as it pertains to the history of New Orleans through dance, language, art, and music. Creating what she calls her Second Line Aesthetic through dance workshops, lectures, and demonstrations focuses on New Orleans Brass Music, New Orleans Social Aide and Pleasure Clubs/Benevolent Societies, and the New Orleans Black Mardi Gras Indians bringing a true essence to the impulse of who she is, where she comes from, and why she buck jumps during that Second Line like she does.

Feet don’t fail me nah!

In 2013 Michelle was awarded a National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network Creation Fund Grant to produce her first one-woman show entitled Takin’ It To The Roots, co-commissioned by South Dallas Cultural Center and Ashe Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans. This production was also made possible in part by National Endowment for the Arts and Texas Commission on the Arts and premiered in March 2016. Takin’ It to the Roots investigates the creative impulse in her choreography and practice that is rooted in her New Orleans African American experience. Blessed to have accomplished many things in her life, Michelles greatest achievement is being the mother/artist of two beautiful children.

For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.” Luke 12:48

SHERONE PRICE

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Instructor, choreographer, and dancer Sherone Price is currently Associate Professor of Dance at Appalachian State University. He has been a Lecturer at UNC-Greensboro, Visiting Instructor of Dance at Florida International University in Miami, and Artist in Residence/Henry Bascom Professor of Dance at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has had selected choreography performed by Moving in the Spirit Touring Company, Atlanta, GA, at the White House hosted by President George Bush for a reception for the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He has a  BFA from University of North Carolina-Greensboro and an MFA from Hollins University in Roanoke VA. He has been a  Principal Dancer with Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble and a guest performer with Gamble Dance Theater and Jan Van Dyke Dance Group. He performed Talley Beatty’s Mourner’s Bench at the 1995 Scripps/ADF Award ceremony.

Photo credit: Grant Havlerson/ADF 

CHRISTIAN VON HOWARD

Christian von Howard is the Artistic Director of the VON HOWARD PROJECT, a contemporary dance company based out of New York City. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and nurtured in the big ole state of Texas, Christian is an international performer, teacher, and choreographer. His professional career began as a teenager at Ballet Concerto, under the artistic direction of Margo Dean. He would later become a founding member and Assistant Director of JAADE Dance Theatre (a sister company to Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre) under the direction Keisha Breaker-Haliburton. In Texas, Christian also worked with Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, Darryl B. Sneed (former Assistant Director of Dallas Black Dance Theater), Dancers Unlimited, Mary Kay Industrials, Dian Clough West, NOVA Dancing Company, and many others. Overseas, he graced the stage with the Trier Ballet (Germany) and Let’s Dance/Teatro de Reggio (Italy). In 1997, Christian co-founded 1*4*8 The Collective, a collaborative dance and theater company of seven artists creating work in the NYC area. From 2000 to 2003 he served as the Artist in Residence at Columbia College (SC) and the Associate Director of The Power Company, a South Carolina contemporary dance company under the artistic direction of Martha Brim. As a concert performer, Christian has worked with such artists as Doug Varone, Fernando Bujones, Douglas Becker, Mark Dendy, and Randy James and has danced with the Fred Benjamin Dance Company, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, to name a few. In 2006, Christian was awarded a Choreography Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. In 2010, his choreographic work was presented at the National Conference of the American College Dance Association Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  His choreography has been produced in various venues across the globe including Germany, Japan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Chile, and South Korea and in the states at Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), Joyce SoHo, Dixon Place, DanceNow/NYC Festival, d.u.m.b.o. arts festival, the Ailey School,  and the Spoleto Festival (SC). He has also set work on various colleges and universities, including the  University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Columbia College (SC), Jacksonville University, Texas Christian University, Winthrop University, and various other schools of dance across the country. Christian has also been a member of the dance faculties of the Texas Christian University, Morris County Academy of Visual & Performing Arts, Mason Gross School of the Arts-Rutgers University, Columbia College (SC), and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Christian is a 2013-2014 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in Teaching Award from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts, where he was part of the teaching faculty in the Department of Dance & Choreography from 2008 to 2014. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Montclair State University and concurrently teaches at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC, where he has been on faculty since 1998. Christian serves as the Northeast Regional Director of the American College Dance Association. He holds advanced degrees in Performance and Choreography from the School of Classical and Contemporary Dance at Texas Christian University and from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Photo credit: Steven Schreiber

Kate wALKER

Kate Walker graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and an MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Argosy University. Her performing credits include works by Christopher Huggins, Deborah Wolf, Mark Haim, Pat Graney, Lily Cabatu Weiss, and many others. She was rehearsal director for Dallas Black Dance Theatre II and has had choreographic works commissioned and presented by DBDT II, Brookhaven Community College, The Hockaday School, Contemporary Ballet Dallas, and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She has been featured in Dance Studio Life, Dance Spirit, and Dance Teacher magazines for her experience as both a teacher and dancer. Kate joined the dance faculty at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in 2008 and became Dance Department Chair in 2014. She is thrilled to be joining the ADF 3WS faculty again this summer!