Dance Professional Workshops

Coming December 2021:
Details for the IN-PERSON 2022 DPW’s

For Educators | Gerri Houlihan
July 12 – July 16, 2021

workshop overview

This Dance Professional Workshop is designed for educators of all sectors and led by Gerri Houlihan. Replenish creative and pedagogical capacities through community-building with fellow educators, focused sessions that develop skills, and opportunities for engaging in the wide range of classes that ADF offers. 

  • Daily movement classes include reflection time to delve into pedagogical strategies and content details.
  • Professional development discussion sessions are tailored to consider different educational environments.
  • The schedule of activities is tailored to address your specific interests and issues.
  • Classes will have live musical accompaniment to inspire joy as we dance together!

We hope you’ll join our community of dance educators and form connections and new practices that last far into the future!

Who can participate in this workshop?

Dance Professional Workshops (DPWs) are for dancers who have either five years of professional experience, an undergraduate degree in dance plus three years of professional experience, or who are currently enrolled in or have completed a graduate degree in dance. No audition is required to enroll. 

As our capacity for this workshop is limited, we’d like everyone who attends to be fully present at each class to create a community and reap the benefits of the five-day experience.  

Enrollment overview

how to apply

Complete the following within the online application: 

  • Submit $50 non-refundable application fee (not credited toward tuition).
  • Submit a résumé of your dance training, education, and professional experience.

Apply Now

If you have any questions in completing any phase of the application process, contact the ADF School through the messaging tool in your online application or via email at For technical questions please check out Acceptd’s Help Desk for frequently asked questions.


Summer 2021 Tuition

Application Fee   $50   Nonrefundable
Tuition Fees  $325   $100 deposit is nonrefundable and applied towards tuition

tuition discounts

ADF offers a 20% tuition discount to members of NCDEO, NDEO, or an ACDA Institution. When completing your online application for the DPW program, you will be asked if you are a member and to specify which organization. Tuition discounts will be applied to your online application upon acceptance into the program. 

Students may receive either a tuition discount or a scholarship, but may not receive both. 


Tuition scholarships

A limited number of full tuition scholarships are available for Pre K-12 public/private school educators for this workshop. 

Dance Professionals Workshop scholarships are provided by The Jones Dance Education Scholarship.


ADF will match up to $100 towards tuition fees from sponsoring organizations and businesses. These scholarships are open to any participant. Sponsorships may come from:

  • Dance Studio
  • College or University
  • High School
  • Arts Organization
  • Business or Corporation


  • Matching scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Only a limited number are available. 
  • Matching scholarships cannot be combined with any other ADF scholarships. 
  • Matching scholarships may only be used to towards ADF tuition fees. 
  • Matching scholarship awards are contingent upon sponsorship agreement. Matching scholarships from ADF will not be allocated until the school office receives sponsorship agreement and funds. Students are strongly encouraged to reach out to their possible sponsors EARLY, before indicating interest in the matching scholarship to ADF. 


May 1  Scholarship application deadline
May 14  Scholarship Awards announced

how To apply for scholarships

Please submit the following through your online application to be considered for Scholarship:

  • Complete your online application for the Dance Professional Workshops, pay the $50 nonrefundable application fee, and wait for your application to be accepted. 
  • Once accepted, indicate your interest in applying for a Tuition or Matching Scholarship in your online application. 
  • For Tuition Scholarships:
    • Upload a one-page statement explaining how this experience will benefit you professionally.
    • Upload a brief written statement of financial need.
  • For Matching Scholarships:
    • The sponsoring organization will need to complete a Matching Scholarship Application Form.
      • Provide your sponsoring organization’s email in your online application and they will automatically receive the form. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the form is submitted by your sponsoring organization.
      • If your sponsoring organization does not have an email, contact the ADF School and we will provide a hard copy of the form for you to send to the organization. 

Students may receive either a tuition discount or a scholarship, but may not receive both. 

Dates & deadlines

May 1  Scholarship application deadline
May 14  Scholarship Awards announced
July 1  Payment due in full
July 1  Last day to withdraw and receive a refund, less the $100 deposit and $50 application fee.


Minimum Enrollment

ADF requires a minimum level of enrolled students for each Dance Professional Workshop and reserves the right to cancel the program if that minimum is not met. All tuition payments will be refunded in the event of cancellation. The $50 application fee is nonrefundable. 


  • Summer 2021:
    • The $50 application fee and $100 tuition deposit are nonrefundable.
    • July 1, 2021: All paid tuition (less the $100 deposit).
    • July 1–July 11, 2021: Tuition (less the $100 deposit) will be refunded for medical reasons only. A signed note from a doctor is required.
    • After July 11, 2021: Tuition will not be refunded for any reason.
  • ADF refunds, if applicable, will be processed within 2 weeks of withdrawing.

Schedule & class descriptions

class schedule

Monday – Friday: Everyday from 12:00pm-4:00pm ET


Schedule updated as of 5/19/2021

class descriptions

Technique Class, Led by Gerri Houlihan

Grounded in the fundamentals of traditional modern technique, particularly the work of José Limón, this class focuses on concepts of alignment, core strength, and the use of breath for efficiency of movement. Class will begin with simple floor exercises and develop into standing warm-up combinations and a center movement phrase. Music and rhythm are important elements in terms of artistry, along with coordination and spatial awareness. However, the key element of this class is the sense of community that develops as one is moving through space surrounded by a group of like-minded spirits. Our goal is to explore technique not as an end goal, but as a basis for developing skills and strategies that encourage a sense of freedom of expression which is so important to our practice of the joy of movement!

Teaching intensive & discussion: Working with a musician/selecting music for claswith Gerri Houlihan and John Hanks

We will discuss such topics as music copyright, sound design/preparing scores, hiring a musician and/or a composer and what the expectations might be, selecting music for class, and exploring helpful language to use when demonstrating and working with a musician. We also welcome any specific questions or topics participants might like to discuss. 

“As someone who has been teaching dance technique for about 50 years now (!), I realize that I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have worked for most of that time in studios with wonderfully talented musicians. While I know that is not everyone’s experience, I thought it would be valuable to share what I have learned over the years, especially because we have the opportunity to gain insights from our marvelous ADF musician, John Hanks. This is a subject that is dear to my heart and I look forward to sharing ideas and experiences!” – Gerri Houlihan

Movement Practice Class: Hybrid Teaching of Technique, led by Matt Pardo

This session will explore methodologies and tools that can be used to navigate hybrid teaching for movement-based classes. Special focus will be placed on simultaneously engaging students in virtual and in-person scenarios in an effort to learn teaching tools that can transcend the pandemic.

Movement research lab: Moving, writing, drawing, led by Leah Cox

Moving, drawing, writing, sculpting, and talking all work together to fashion a complex and energizing experience of movement/the world/ourselves/any topic. We will alternate between these various modes to create new understandings about moving and ourselves. Finally, we’ll consider what, if anything, we want to do with our discoveries and these practices.  

Amalgamated Future Pedagogies: Applying diverse delivery models to embodiment pedagogy and creative practice led by Ray Schwartz

This session will include a presentation of basic consensus anatomy, a guided somatic exploration of the same, and a presentation and discussion of applications of embodiment practice towards creative response. Examples of platforms and assignments will be shared. Discussion questions include: What do we gain through integrating synchronous and asynchronous learning objectives? How does remote learning both support and challenge embodied inquiry? What can we imagine towards an amalgamated future pedagogy?

Workshop, Led by Liz Lerman

A workshop focusing on creative tools that Lerman has developed during the making of her current piece Wicked Bodies, and which she has sustained through the pandemic. Using tools such as adding meaning and subtracting meaning, walking and talking, writing and sharing, participants will try on a variety of approaches to subject matter and to the relationship of our personal stories to the wider currents of our time.

Class Needs

  • For all classes:
    • We recommend a space of 8 ft x 8 ft to move in if possible, but a slightly smaller space can also work!
    • A journal for discussion. 
  • Moving, Writing, Drawing, led by Leah Cox:
    • pen & paper for writing
    • coloring utensils & unlined paper for drawing
    • tape or glue, plus scissors for 3-d work
    • colored paper optional, but if you have it, it can be used for 3-d work
    • Digital or analog drawing/3-d creating materials: We will have the option to work with drawing and 3-d art creation in 3-d space. If you have an interest in this kind of work, bring your favorite digital or hard copy materials to class. 


Gerri Houlihan

Gerri Houlihan studied at the Juilliard School with Antony Tudor and members of the Martha Graham and Jose Limon dance companies. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. From 1991-1999 she directed her own company, Houlihan and Dancers, based in Miami, Florida. During that time, she was on the faculty of the New World School of the Arts. Ms. Houlihan serves on the Advisory Board for the American Dance Festival. She has been on the faculty of the ADF from 1981-1983 and from 1987 to the present. As an international representative for ADF, she has participated in 17 international linkage programs in such countries as Korea, China, Mongolia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Estonia, Poland and Russia. She is the recipient of the ADF’s Balasaraswati, Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. She was Co-Dean and then Dean of the ADF School from 2010-2015 and received her MFA from the Hollins/ADF MFA program. She recently retired from Florida State University, where she was the Pearl S. Tyner Distinguished Professor in Teaching and is now Professor Emerita. Currently, she teaches at the ADF studios in Durham and is the Artistic Director of the Big Red Dance Project.

Allie PFEFFER, Class assistant

Allie Pfeffer received her BFA with honors in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In New York, her work was presented at Gibney and as part of the LaMaMa Moves Festival. After moving to NC in 2014, she co-founded A+A Dance Company with Alyssa Noble. A+A has produced two evening length works, in 2017 and 2019, and participated in other split bill performances around Durham. In addition to her work with A+A, she has performed with Gerri Houlihan, Renay Aumiller Dancers (RAD), Anna Barker/, Stephanie Woodbeck. She has taught at Ninth Street Dance, ADF’s Samuel Scripps Studios, and various high schools around the area. Allie has been demonstrating for Gerri at ADF for several summers now.

John Hanks, musician

johnhanks-1John Hanks has been ADF faculty since 1984, attended ADF/Seoul (Korea) in 1990-1991, and ADF/Henan (China) in 2012 and 2014. He is Music Coordinator for the Duke University Dance Program and a busy freelance drummer/percussionist performing with many jazz, classical, musical theater, rock/blues, and contemporary music groups. He has released three albums of music for dance: Here Come the Drums, Drumjazz, and Percussion Jams.

guest workshop faculty

leah cox

Leah Cox is dean of the American Dance Festival and an associate professor of dance at the University of Texas at Austin. Cox is a frequent adjudicator for the American College Dance Association, served on the New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award Committee from 2015 to 2018, and was a master teacher for YoungArts. She worked with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company from 2001 to 2014. Cox began as a company dancer and became the company’s first education director. She developed the company’s educational materials, annual workshops, and highly successful educational licensing program. Her work as education director was featured in the documentary about Bill T. Jones, A Good Man, which aired on PBS nationwide. Cox has been the subject of a cover story feature in Dance Teacher magazine and is regularly sought out by professional publications and organizations for her expertise.

Photo by Jim Lafferty

Liz Lerman

Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant,” a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance, and the 2017 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, construction workers to ballerinas, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and cultivated the company’s unique multi-generational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance until 2011. She was an artist-in-residence and visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 2011, and her most recent work, Healing Wars, toured across the US in 2014-15. Liz conducts residencies on Critical Response Process, creative research, the intersection of art and science, and the building of narrative within dance performance at such institutions as Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Wesleyan University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the National Theatre Studio, among others. Her collection of essays, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press and released in paperback in 2014. In 2016 Liz was named the first Institute Professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, where she is building a lab focused on creative research.

Photo by Lise Metzger

Matt Pardo

Matt Pardo – M.F.A., AEA.  Experience: Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, River North Chicago Dance Company (apprentice), Pittsburgh Opera, Groundworks Dance Theatre, “Einstein on the Beach” (Olivier Award – Best Opera), Lucinda Childs Dance Company (company member/company class instructor), among others. Dance Europe Magazine selected him as a “Top 100 dancer in the world” for 2010/2011 and called him “an artist to watch”. Pardo is a co-founder of the Pittsburgh-based organization, The Blanket (, which has been featured in Dance Magazine-online, Departures Magazine (American Express), and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Recent choreographic and teaching credits include the American Dance Festival, Point Park University, Elon University, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Centre National De Danse (Paris), and Slippery Rock University. Recent writing includes an article in the Journal of Dance Education discussing the use of experiential observation in developing a practice of performance and an insert in the Genius Guide to College Dance Programs. Pardo is an assistant professor at James Madison University.

Photo by Dirty Sugar

Ray Eliot Schwartz

Ray Eliot Schwartz graduated high school from the North Carolina School of the Arts and received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MFA from University of Texas-Austin. He was the Head of the Dance Program of the University of the Americas-Puebla in México from 2008 to 2018. He is a founder of Performática: Foro Internacional de Danza Contemporánea y Artes del Movimiento, a research associate at the Center for Mind Body Movement, and a consultant and teaching artist for ArcDanz International Dance Workshop. Ray co-founded four contemporary dance projects in the southern US: Sheep Army, The Zen Monkey Project, Steve’s House Dance Collective, and THEM. He has been a guest artist for diverse populations in the US, South East Asia, South America, and Mexico and has served on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, MELT, the ZMP Summer Dance Intensive, Verano Chilango, Camp_iN, the Colorado College Summer Dance Festival, SFADI, and the Mexican television series showcasing national and international talent in the Mexican contemporary dance scene, Opera Prima@elcolectivo, among others. He is a published scholar who writes in Spanish and English about the interface of somatic movement education and contemporary dance practice. His somatic studies include certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and the Feldenkrais Method®. Additional studies include Zero-Balancing®, Gross Anatomy (Dissection), Bio Mechanics of Sport, Molecular Cell Biology, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and Traditional Thai Massage. His current research seeks to identify central issues and fundamental aspects of embodiment practice that transcend traditional delivery and invite individuals to consider ensemble and collaboration in new and dynamic ways.

ADF offers equal opportunity of admission to all applicants.