Annually, the Maryland Council for Dance awards an oustanding leader in the dance field with our Award for Distinguished Service to Dance in Maryland. Nominations are accepted from the Board of Directors, and/or the general membership and the recipient is chosen by vote. The recipients of this award are more than major contributors to the field of dance within our state. They are vital voices, educators, artists, researchers and developers on national and international levels. Our congratulations, and also our sincerest thanks, go to them for all of their hard work, commitment, and dedication to the field of dance in our state and beyond.
Service Award Recipient Biographies:
2019 Recipient ~ Stephanie Powell
Stephanie Powell is a graduate of Goucher College where she received an undergraduate degree in Dance Performance/Choreography and Dance Education with Certification. At the Johns Hopkins University she received a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Arts and Humanities. Ms. Powell has been a teacher, choreographer, and dancer for over thirty-seven years. Her students have been accepted to colleges, universities, and conservatories throughout the United States. Choreographic commissions have run the gamut from schools, colleges, universities, and professional dance companies. Along with her sister, Yvonne E. Walker, Ms. Powell is the Artistic Director of Baltimore Dance Tech. Currently she is on faculty at the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, Maryland. She is also a professor at Goucher College. She formerly taught at the Baltimore School for the Arts for twenty-one years. Ms. Powell is celebrating thirty-seven years of teaching this year. As a master teacher Ms. Powell has taught for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Cirque du Soleil, Goucher College, Towson University, the Hartt School, Essex Community College, Douglass Anderson School for the Arts, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, Philadanco, and other dance venues. Her students have been found in the casts of the Color Purple, Evita, Little Mermaid, Hamilton, Chicago, Rock of Ages, Pal Joey, the Lion King, the Wiz, The Rockettes, After Midnight, Porgy and Bess, King Kong, Choir Boys and numerous Broadway and Off Broadway shows.
Ms. Powell is absolutely overjoyed at the success of all of her students. All of them are changing the world through their awesome talents and gifts. So many of them have become teachers and have strived to raise, teach, and mentor others. There is a saying that says: “When the students are ready to learn, then the teacher will appear.” Her students past, present, and future are ready to learn. She herself is still learning and growing as a teacher!
Ms. Powell is currently developing community dancers through her adult dance classes at BDT. Her interest is in building community through the moving arts. It is her belief that it is never too late to start dancing and pursuing a dream to perform. Her motto is that she is a “midwife”. Her job is to help others “give birth” to their dreams.
Ms. Powell also serves as an Associate Minister at the Greater Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church. She has traveled extensively throughout the country as a teacher and mentor. Currently she serves as a mentor to young women who are pursuing ministry. Her gift for teaching is used in the In His Presence Dance Ministry which has grown to thirty dancers who are aspiring to become trained and technical dancers.
2018 Recipient ~ Doug Hamby
Doug Hamby is a choreographer who specializes in works created in collaboration with dancers, composers, visual artists and engineers. He is an Associate Professor in Dance at UMBC and the Director of the Linehan Artist Scholars Program. Before coming to UMBC he performed in several New York dance companies including the Martha Graham Dance Company and Doug Hamby Dance. He is the co-artistic director of Baltimore Dance Project, a professional dance company in residence at UMBC. Hamby’s work has been presented in New York City at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Riverside Dance Festival, New York International Fringe Festival and in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. His work has also been seen at Fringe Festivals in Philadelphia, Edinburgh, Scotland and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as in Alaska. He has received choreography awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, New York State Council for the Arts, Arts Council of Montgomery County, and the Baltimore Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Arts and Culture. He has appeared on national television as a giant slice of American Cheese.
2017 Recipient ~ Adrienne Clancy
Adrienne Clancy, PhD, MFA has earned a reputation of working with professional dancers, conservatory students and dance enthusiasts alike. The Washington Post has described Dr. Adrienne Clancy, Founder of ClancyWorks Dance Company, as “wizard of invention” and her choreography as “a tour de force of unpredictable partnering.” Specific to Clancy’s creative process is an exploration of architecturally informed partnering work that uses dance to further pedagogical practices by promoting tolerance, teamwork, community activism, and individual empowerment. Partnering is not only the artistic strength of our company, but also the baseline of our organizational work! Now in our seventeenth season as a 501(c)3 dance company, ClancyWorks presents national and local performances; conducts numerous workshops to participants of all ages and all levels of ability at national conferences, universities, public and private schools K-12; participates in and facilitates panel discussions; adjudicates the work of emerging artists; and coaches youth artists as performers, educators and choreographers. ClancyWorks has recently been included in the 2015-16 Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington as "one of the best" community-based nonprofit organizations in the region.
Prior to directing ClancyWorks, Adrienne was a performing member of the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company; a Rehearsal Director, Project Director, and Company Member for the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange; a principal dancer for Nora Reynolds Dance, Paradigm Dance Company, and a guest artist for: Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, Victoria Marks, Bill Evans Dance Company, Doug Hamby Dance, and Cathy Paine Mixed Media. In addition to directing ClancyWorks, Clancy currently collaborates with Sandra Lacy to co-choreograph and perform duets.
Over the past twenty years, Clancy has choreographed and performed throughout the world: She was invited to perform at the first Suzanne Dellal International World Dance Competition in Tel Aviv; and, the sole student choreographer to represent the United States in the International College Dance Festival in Kobe, Japan, which toured to Tokyo and other Japanese cities. Adrienne has taught and performed at the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia and toured her work along side the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Internationally, Clancy’s work has been presented in Australia, Colombia, England, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay and Poland. She has received numerous awards for her choreographic work (over 150 dances), which in addition to the above listed countries, has been presented nationally in 20 states. She is honored to have just received her 5th Individual Artist Award in Choreography from the MD State Arts Council (FY2017).
Clancy recently completed a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University (TWU). Dr. Clancy, both an artist and a scholar, earned a PhD and a MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University (TWU), a MA in Dance (emphasis in History & Criticism) earned from the University of New Mexico. Clancy penned the foreword for Reminiscences of a Dancing Man, a book written by Bill Evans and published by the National Dance Association in 2006. She has been on the faculty for numerous university dance programs across the country. Adrienne Clancy is honored to receive awards for her educational work in addition to choreography, the most recent being: an invitation to present a 2016 TEDx Midatlantic Talk and a Keynote Speech for the Anne Arundel Arts Council Arts Integration Conference (2016), as well as the 2014 Montgomery County Executive’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities and the 2013 NDEO Outstanding Dance Educator of the Year Award.
Clancy is the Founding Director of the Dance Educators Training Institute (DETI), a professional development workshop for artists and educators that has been in existence since 2007. Through the motto, Shifting Perceptions Through Performance ClancyWorks uses the arts as a vehicle to develop mutual understanding, advance positive social action, and develop emerging artists and educators.
2016 Recipient - Lynda Fitzgerald
Lynda Plavin Fitzgerald is the Coordinator, Performing Arts-Dance and Director of the AACC Dance Company at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland where she developed and implemented the dance curriculum, and the dance major. Since establishing the AACC Dance Company in 1989, Lynda also created a service learning component enabling dancers to teach and give lecture/demonstrations at many Anne Arundel County public schools. She has taught and performed throughout the United States for the American College Dance Association, and has been on the faculty of the MD State Dance Festival, as well as a guest instructor at Towson University. She served on the boards for the Ballet Theatre of Maryland (Vice President for 2 years), and Maryland Council for Dance for more than 10 years where she served as President from 2003-2005. Before coming to Maryland, she performed professionally in California, and taught dance at Stanford University for the “STARTS” program. She was full-time faculty at West Virginia University where she also directed a dance company and choreographed for the Women’s Division I, Varsity Gymnastics Team. Her work has been commissioned by companies in Maine, Maryland, California and Virginia. Lynda has an M.A. from Stanford University in Education with a concentration in dance, and a B.A. from Connecticut College in English and Dance. She is a “NISOD” Excellence Award recipient, nationally recognized for teaching excellence. She and the Dance Company were the first recipients of the Robert E. Kauffman Performing Arts Award in 2012. Lynda currently serves on the National Board of Directors as the Mid-Atlantic North regional representative for the American College Dance Association.
2015 Recipient - Alcine Wiltz
Alcine Wiltz is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Dance, University of Maryland (1983 – 2004). At Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, he served as Artist-In-Residence and founding Director of Dance (1963-1983). He co-founded and directed the Mid America Dance Company, a professional touring contemporary dance company in St. Louis, Missouri. MAD/CO is currently celebrating its 38th year. Wiltz has directed/choreographed more than 60 musical theatre productions and created in excess of 50 concert dance works, receiving prestigious awards for his choreography. His 50-year career has combined academic and professional endeavors emphasizing dance performance, teaching, and choreography.
2014 Recipient - Karen Bradley
Karen is an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a movement analyst, arts education researcher, and educator. She led the research team that produced the recent report, “EVIDENCE: A report on the impact of dance in the K-12 setting”. Karen was also a writer on the Core Arts Standards for dance, and she teaches in the Arts Integration Masters Certificate program at the University of Maryland, where she is also Director of Graduate Studies in Dance and oversees the Masters in Education with Certification in Dance program.
Karen’s research includes a partnership with Dr. Jose Contreras-Vidal at the University of Houston using EEG technology to document the differences between functional and expressive movement in elite movers, and a national project, the Art of Science Learning, NSF-funded project in which communities learn to solve technology and design problems through the arts. Karen is also a part of the leadership team on a grant from the Canadian government entitled “Moving Stories: Digital Tools for Movement, Meaning, and Interaction,” a partnership among the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NY, where she is a Director, Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology in Vancouver, BC, and the University of Illinois’ eDream Center.
Karen was recently named to the Dorothy Madden professorship in dance at the University of Maryland, through which she will develop and oversee a series of workshops, panel discussions, and related events around the topic of women, dance, and peacemaking. And, with all of that free time she has, she also contributes to media on the topic of movement in leadership practices. Congratulations and thank you to Karen, for all of the work that you have done and continue to do for the growth and strengthening of our dance community and for building connections beyond.
2013 Recipient - Vanessa Jackson Johnson
Vanessa is Professor of Dance and Coordinator of the Dance Program at Coppin State University – a dance program geared towards connecting World and Contemporary Dance forms, and the only dance program offering a major area of study by a historical Black College & University in the United States. Vanessa is also the Founding Director of the Urban Contemporary Dance Festival and BRAVO! Youth Dance Program sponsored through Coppin State University and an online dance program called Dancing at a Distance. As a performing artist, Vanessa has toured and presented nationally and internationally as an independent dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. She worked with Jawola Willa Jo Zollar (Urban Bush Women), Karel Shook, and Tranaquil LeClercq (Dance Theatre of Harlem), Frank Hatchett (Broadway Dance Center) and Wally Saunders (Baltimore Ballet Company), and elsewhere. She has studied in West Africa with the Guinea Ballet and performed throughout Cuba with Alvin Mayes as a guest artist as well as appeared as a guest artist for several regional dance companies. She is also a certified Body Logic Body Rolling Therapist. Vanessa taught at Peabody Institute, Towson University, and UMBC and chaired the dance dept. at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), where she directed Dimensional Dance Media, before joining the faculty at Coppin State University. Vanessa has taught and presented at national and international conferences including: American College Dance Festival and Maryland Council for Dance State Festival, the National Dance Association Page-to-Stage conference, and The International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Congress in Seoul, Korea. Now, she focuses most of her time teaching Vinyasa yoga classes and offering career coaching for artists through her company, Changing Heart Yoga Dance, LLC.
2012 Recipient - Alvin Mayes
Alvin Mayes’ research involves making dance for diverse communities. 2012 and 2013 were particularly productive. Fall 2013 he was invited to create e a new work for Community College of Baltimore County, Dream Catchers and to re-stage Eireann Kente for The Maryland Youth Ballet for its spring 2014 season. In summer 2012 he was invited to Manta, Ecuador to work with contemporary dance company Compañía Ceibadanza. Los Ojos Sobre Manabí, which he created there was accepted into XI Festival Internacional “Fragmentos de Junio” 2013 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In summer 2013 he received a grant from the Greenbaum Charitable Foundation to return to Ecuador to create a new work for the youth of Manta, Escenas del Oeste and a collaborative work with Compañía Ceibadanza: Momentos en Tiempo (por fotografías de nos famílias) and Desdamona.