Dance/USA Announces Its 2022 Artist Fellows

Dance/USA Announces Its 2022 Artist Fellows

Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance, has announced that the second round of Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists (DFA) will award $905,010 in funding to 30 dance and movement-based artists with sustained practices in art for social change. Each Fellowship includes a $30,167 grant that may be used at the artist’s discretion. DFA is made possible with generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).

As society grapples with unprecedented challenges and increasingly recognizes systemic inequities and injustices, Dance/USA is reaffirmed that the work of supporting artists who engage in art for social change is pivotal and overdue. The goals of DFA include offering unrestricted financial support for individual artists, building a peer cohort among the Artist Fellows, and facilitating cohort spaces that are emergent and honor the artists’ choices and desires.

The 2022 Dance/USA Artist Fellows are: MK Abadoo (Columbia, MD; Richmond, VA); Mesma Belsaré (West NY, NJ); Natalie Benally (Albuquerque, NM); Phil Chan (Brooklyn, NY); Jemal “P-Top” Delacruz (Chicago, IL); Tyde-Courtney Edwards (Baltimore, MD); Peter Rockford Espiritu (Honolulu, HI); Jenn Freeman | Po’Chop (Chicago, IL); Gabriel “MoFundamentals” Gutiérrez (Los Angeles, CA); Harrison Guy (Houston, TX); Dr. Julie B. Johnson (Decatur, GA); Petra Kuppers (Ypsilanti, MI); ShanDien Sonwai LaRance (Ohkay Owingeh, NM); cat mahari (Chicago, IL); Muisi-kongo Malonga (East Palo Alto, CA); Kesha McKey (New Orleans, LA); Prathiba Natesan Batley (Louisville, KY); Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez (Brooklyn, NY); Luis Ordaz Gutiérrez (Austin, TX); Nkeiruka Oruche (Oakland, CA); iele paloumpis (Brooklyn, NY); Bhumi B Patel (Oakland, CA); Potri Ranka Manis (New York, NY); Angelina Ramirez (Tucson, AZ); Vershawn Sanders-Ward (Chicago, IL); Gema Sandoval (Los Angeles, CA); Dr. Iquail Shaheed (Philadelphia, PA); Shakiri (Sacramento, CA); Olivier Tarpaga (Philadelphia, PA); and Anna Martine Whitehead (Chicago, IL).

Learn more about the 2022 Dance/USA Artist Fellows and their work.

“As I consider Dance/USA’s impact on the national dance ecosystem, it means so much for us to be able to deepen our commitment to artists through programs like DFA,” said Dance/USA Executive Director Kellee Edusei. “We are humbled to create a space for disruption within the dance ecosystem and performing arts sector by uplifting and honoring these incredible artists. We are immensely grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for their steadfast support and trust as we center the artist in every aspect of this program.”

“The new cohort of DFA Fellows exemplifies the range of creative expression and impact that social practice artists have on the dance field and their communities more broadly,” said Maurine Knighton, chief program officer at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “We are excited to partner with Dance/USA to provide artists with the resources and flexibility they need to hone their practices, advance their visions and support their cultural communities.”

The 2022 DFA cohort features 30 artists from across the country representing an array of modalities rooted at the intersection of social and embodied practices. These include community-building and culture-bearing practices, healing and storytelling practices, activism and representational justice practices, and more. These artists work in a wide range of dance and movement-based forms including African Diasporic, Afro-contemporary, Ballet, Bharatanātyam, Black Social/Social Dance, Burlesque, Butoh, Chicago Footwork, Contemporary, Dance Theater, Disability Dance, Embodied Memory Mapping, Fancy Shawl Dance, Flamenco, Folklórico, Funk/Family Kitchen Dances, Freestyle, Hip-Hop, House, Hula, Improvisation, Indigenous-Based Dance, Jazz, Kathakali, Mindanao Indigenous Forms, Modern, Native American Hoop Dance, Neo-traditional Ghanaian, New Orleans Vernacular, P’urhépecha Bailes, Pan Afro-urban, Physically Integrated Dance, Poetic Audio Description/Audio Description for Dance, Poppin, Queer/Feminist Movement Art, Salsa, Somatic, Traditional Congolese Dance, Vocal Kinesthetics, West African, and more.

As part of their Fellowship experience, the Artist Fellows will have the option to participate in an emergent programming process that honors the Fellows’ choices around connection, rest, and desire. The facilitated process will be self-led by artists and administratively supported by Dance/USA. DFA will compensate the artists for the time spent on this initiative and resources will be provided for the facilitation and prototyping of the ideas generated.

Dance/USA received 413 initial applications to the DFA program and conducted a multi-phased, seven-month review process that included 27 peer readers and ten panelists. Dance/USA is committed to ensuring artists review artists’ work; over 90% of DFA’s peer readers and panelists are practicing artists. 59 finalist applicants were selected to complete the full application before the final panel selection of the 30 Artist Fellows.

Propelled by the belief that dance can inspire a more just and humane world, Dance/USA will amplify the power of dance to inform and inspire a nation where creativity and the field thrive.

Established in 1982, Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. Dance/USA’s core programs are focused in the areas of engagement, advocacy, research, and preservation. Learn more about Dance/USA at