News: Donna Faye Burchfield Says Goodbye to ADF

After spending more than half her life in association with the American Dance Festival School, Donna Faye Burchfield has decided to move on. At the conclusion of the 2010 season in July, she left ADF to accept a position as director of the University of the Arts School of Dance in Philadelphia.


Burchfield first joined American Dance Festival in 1982 as a student and became part of the staff two years later. As dean since 2000, she has overseen all of ADF’s educational offerings. In addition to structuring the school’s curriculum, she created the MFA, post-baccalaureate and combined BA/BFA program in collaboration with Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.


“ADF continues to be this transformative place for me, so this step is a big leap of faith,” says Burchfield. “My biggest accomplishment was making sure that students know that dance matters every single day. By creating new relationships at the University of the Arts, I will hopefully find out things about this artform that I never thought of.”



Photo courtesy of ADF

Leap! Executive Director Drew Vamosi (Courtesy Leap!)

Since its inaugural season in 2012, Leap! National Dance Competition has been all about the little things.

"I wanted to have a 'boutique' competition. One where we went out to only one city every weekend, so I could be there myself, and we could really get to know the teachers and watch their kids progress from year to year," says Leap! executive director Drew Vamosi. According to Vamosi, thoughtful details make all the difference, especially during a global pandemic that's thrown many dancers' typical comp-season schedules for a loop. That's why Leap! prides itself on features like its professional-quality set design, as well as its one-of-a-kind leaping competition, where dancers can show off their best tricks for special cash and merchandise prizes.

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Health & Body
Getty Images

The term "body shaming" might bring up memories of that instructor from your own training who made critical remarks about—or even poked and prodded—dancers' bodies.

Thankfully, we're (mostly) past the days when authority figures felt free to openly mock a dancer's appearance. But body shaming remains a toxic presence in the studio, says Dr. Nadine Kaslow, psychologist for Atlanta Ballet: "It's just more hidden and more subtle." Here's how to make sure your teaching isn't part of the problem.

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Courtesy Russell

Gregg Russell, an Emmy-nominated choreographer known for his passionate and energetic teaching, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, November 22, at the age of 48.

While perhaps most revered as a master tap instructor and performer, Russell also frequently taught hip-hop and musical theater classes, showcasing a versatility that secured him a successful career onstage and in film and television, both nationally and abroad.

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