ADF School Overview

ADF Update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19): March 27, 2020

ADF is continuing to closely monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is committed to providing regular updates. As we assess the status of our 2020 summer season due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we are currently not accepting new applications for our programs at this time. We will provide updates and assess all deadlines as needed the week of March 30th.

In the event that ADF is forced to cancel any of its educational programs during the 2020 Season (June 18 – July 25) as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), ADF will refund any deposit and/or tuition payments. Please note that application fees are non-refundable. We strongly encourage participants to hold off on booking airline tickets and housing until May 1st. Participants will be responsible for travel and off-campus housing expenses incurred.  

ADF Staff are working remotely. You may reach us via email at 

ADF school programs

Each year, over 350 dance students and artists from around the world converge on the campus of Duke University to discover the endless possibilities at the ADF School. Under the direction of Leah Cox (Dean of the ADF School), the school hosts its core summer programs of the Summer Dance Intensive, the Pre-Professional Dance Intensive, and the Dance Professional Workshops in Durham, NC. Since 2017, ADF and DANCECleveland have partnered together to offer a 5-day Summer Dance Workshop in Cleveland, OH.

During the winter, students can study intensively with ADF’s outstanding roster of teachers in NYC at the New York City Winter Intensive

the adf school is… 

is a place for dance artists who want to study, perform, create, research, and build lifelong connections in an immersive, meaningful community. For over eight decades, ADF has been a career-defining destination for dancers around the world, a place where movers learn from each other, generate new ideas together, share their stories, and form lasting relationships. 

ADF provides the critical meeting ground for vibrant, diverse dancing bodies to mobilize, align, and become the leaders our society needs us to be. It is an indispensable educational force in the contemporary dance landscape by offering an innovative curriculum and presenting best pedagogical practices. In all of its programs, it seeks to foster community-mindedness, ethical leadership, and respect for difference. 

About the american dance festival, durham, and Duke University

Durham remains a magnet for young dance artists from around the world… and a place where important connections are forged. –The New York Times, May 2012

The American Dance Festival is now held for five and a half weeks each summer at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It was founded in 1934 in Bennington, Vermont, with choreographers Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman. Through its school and performance season, ADF serves professional and pre-professional choreographers and dancers from around the world. 

The studios and student dormitories are spread across the Georgian-style Duke University campus as well as downtown Durham. Performances by visiting dance companies occur at Reynolds Industries Theater, Page Auditorium, and von der Heyden Studio Theater at Duke and in the Durham Performing Arts Center in downtown Durham. ADF students are able to use Duke facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, bookstores, libraries, and computer labs. The Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau states, “Durham is a colorful, creative, and entrepreneurial community that continuously earns accolades as one of the best places in the world to visit, live, and do business. With nationally acclaimed restaurants, shopping, historical sites, and myriad other things to do, Durham is the place where great things happen.”