Schedule & Community Life


e. moncell “ill kozby” durden

Hip Hop is the expression of… your socio-cultural experience. This class will experience first-hand its rhythms, moods, dynamics, creative expression, and improvisation. Exploring its roots in the social fabric of Afro-diasporic retentions and their reinventions from vernacular jazz to present day. Each perspective of movement will be taught using basic B.E.AT.S. principles of body, emotion, attitude, time, and space. Exercises and combinations using isolated/integrated counter-flow, polyrhythmic/polycentric exercises, call-and-response, with intermediate rhythmic synchronization and coordination. Prepare to be exhausted, challenged, enlightened, opened, exhilarated, and transformed!

michelle gibson

Technique classes will focus on movement aesthetics derived from both contemporary modern concepts /styles and the African Diaspora as it connects to modern techniques, a combination of traditional and cultural vocabulary addressed through movement and history. West African, Brazilian Samba, Afro Cuban/Haitian, and Dunham influenced techniques will be utilized. Musicality and rhythms will also be explored and studied to assist students’ awareness of movement as it lives in the body creating artistic impulse. The use of the body as it pertains to isolations, center core strengthening, dynamics of movement related to rhythm, time, and space will be explored, as will the release of the entire body within a particular style and vocabulary of technique and recognizing the communal exchange of movement as a lifestyle within cultural diversity and contemporary art forms. THE ATTACK! BE PRESENT! 

Repertory class for the three week school will involve students understanding how to create works as a collaborative experience within community as young artists, immersing in the process of youthful discovery, finding connections, investigating and respecting new approaches, and embracing diversity. A platform will be provided for young dancers to utilize critical thinking and movement to generate new possibilities within choreographic and repertory experiences. Movement as we live. Movement as we think. Movement as we feel.

adam mckinney

As a community, we will focus on dynamic and efficient balletic alignment while we transition through space in differentiated movement qualities. Unabashed expression, the circulation of energy, lush musicality and phrasing, and a fully resonant kinespheric engagement will be at the core of our intelligent work together. We will develop strength, artistry, and healthy habits while supporting each other to take big, huge, daring risks.

momar ndiaye 

AFRO-FUSION: From bare-feet to sneaker
This technique class is designed to trace the patterns and intersections between traditional African dances and urban African dance (Afro-house). We will draw from the rigorous physical practice of some traditional West African dances to strengthen coordination skills, improve flexibility, embody polyrhythms, increase stamina, and gain awareness in order to acquire foundational skills to access an African urban dance circle. As the result of globalization, flavors from different regions of the African continent and the rest of the world are blending together to give birth to new forms of expression which, in the context of Africa, are deeply connected to traditional aesthetic foundations. This class is meant to break assumptions that disconnect “traditional” from “modern/contemporary” notions of African dance. By the end of this course, students will be able to identify the multiple layers that compose the new forms of dance, such as Afro-house.

matt pardo

This ballet class focuses on the contemporary application of the classical aesthetic on the modern-dance body. The class places a specific focus on the functional use of plié and teaches students how to move transitionally through a position-based genre. Additionally, students in the class will be encouraged and guided to develop a practice of performance inside of the ballet-idiom which they will be able to translate to other areas of their dance training. 

kate walker

In this class, students will explore a hybrid of modern and contemporary techniques taught through anatomically focused concepts of alignment, core support, kinesthetic awareness, and more. Students will be given the opportunity to integrate contemporary and modern dance vocabulary into movement that allows for full-bodied exploration and expression.

This class is designed to combine a repertory and composition experience in which students can explore movement vocabulary from a variety of sources as well as practice composition and improvisation skills. 


Health Insurance

Participants in all programs must provide ADF with proof of adequate health insurance coverage. This must be provided before arrival. Students will not be allowed to take class until the ADF School Office has their insurance information on file—no exceptions!

Duke University Student Health Center

For basic health needs that can be taken care of in a clinic, Duke University allows ADF students the option to pay a Student Health Center Fee and take advantage of the outpatient services on campus. Examples of services provided include medical care for illnesses and minor injuries, medication dispensed by the Center’s pharmacy for short-term treatment of acute problems, and basic laboratory services. This fee does NOT COVER emergency room or hospital visits. Please note that purchasing the Student Health Center Fee DOES NOT take the place of health insurance. The Student Health Center Fee is highly recommended for students.


Participants will have access to a Duke University Physical Therapy walk-in clinic for the duration of the festival. The physical therapy clinic is conveniently located in the same building as the ADF offices, and is available to all ADF participants free of charge. Physical Therapy is usually open for a limited number of hours, three days a week. 


Tickets to ADF Performance Series

An essential component of the student experience during the summer is the opportunity to see an exciting array of programs featuring companies representing both the established greats and the cutting edge in modern dance. Students receive a complimentary ticket to one performance by each visiting company in the Reynolds Industries Theater and Durham Performing Arts Center ADF performance series during these three weeks of the festival.


Activities will be planned outside of the daily class schedule to provide students with fun and relaxing time to spend with their classmates and dorm counselors. Past activities have included the Eno River Festival, baseball games, museum tours, movies, arts & crafts, swimming, roller skating and indoor rock climbing. The costs for all activities are included in the tuition fee. 

duke facilities

Students have access to purchase items at East/Central Campus stores with cash or card, as well as use cash/coins to utilize the vending machines and the laundry facilities.

community life

The Pre-Professional Dance Intensive is a life-changing experience, designed to create thoughtful dancers who exhibit personal integrity and community-mindedness.  In addition to rigorous technical and creative training in the dance studio, this Intensive prioritizes community building; respect for difference; and responsibility both inside the classroom as well as in daily life. All students are expected to contribute to an environment where individual actions do not violate the integrity of the community. Intimidation, harassment, and bullying will not be tolerated. 

All students accepted into this Intensive must sign a commitment statement affirming that they will adhere to the community rules established to guarantee a safe, healthy, and happy environment for all participants.



To ensure that all students are emotionally and physically present and integrated into the program, restrictions will be placed on cell phone and internet usage. Cell phones and internet-enabled devices brought to ADF will be collected at the beginning of the program and are only distributed to students during phone home times or to support the classroom learning experience.