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NDEO celebrates the following 11 National Award Winners in 2022. These individuals have been selected from a two part application process, and were adjudicated by our Awards Committee.
View the 2022 Virtual National Awards Ceremony Recording Below
Dr. Brennan was also a prolific contributor to the growth of dance as a field. She reviewed grants for the Wisconsin Arts Board for five years, was on the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, and the National Commission on National Dance Education Standards. She consulted on dance curriculum guidelines for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She was president of the Board of Directors of the Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy from 2010 to 2013. She received the National Dance Association Presidential Award for Service in 1993, the Wisconsin Dance Council Research and Journalism Award in 1996, and the National Dance Association Award for Contributions to the Field of Dance Technology in 1999. Buff often acknowledged that she had been born and raised during an extraordinary time of the twentieth century - a time which allowed her to live a wonderful life of dancing, teaching, researching, and traveling around the world.
Dr. Ofosuwa Abiola has a PhD in African history with a specialization in African dance history and has taught Dance History at Howard University since 2013. In February 2022, Abiola was appointed the inaugural Associate Dean of Research and Creative Endeavors in the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard. To address gaps in the narrative and facilitate her instruction of dance history, Abiola has published several books including, Fire Under My Feet: History, Race and Agency in African Diaspora Dance; History Dances: Chronicling the History of Traditional Mandika Dance; and Historical Perspectives on Dance in Africa. Abiola was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship and a Council of American Overseas Research Centers (COARC) Fellowship to travel to Africa to conduct research for her current book project, Unwitting Witnesses: Unearthing African Dance in Pre-Colonial Logs. She is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed digital journal, Evoke: Am Historical, Theoretical, and Cultural Analysis of Africana Dance and Theatre. In addition to fellowships she was awarded several grants including a $100,000 NEH grant, as well as grants from the Department of Education, among others. Abiola was appointed the interim Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts from 2020 to 2022. Her numerous awards include: a Deans Cabinet Award (Howard University, 2022), the Mary Ellen Lane Award for the top-ranked research proposal for a book project (2020), the Outstanding Assistant Professor Award (Howard University, 2017), Outstanding Student Advisement Award (Howard University, 2017), Special Commendation (Office of the Mayor, DC), Excellence in the Arts Award (Virginia Arts Association), the Master Folk Artist Award (VFH), among others. Abiola has been featured in arts journals, magazines, newspapers, online articles, and broadcast TV.
Frederick Curry is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the Dance Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. His scholarship focuses on equity-informed dance pedagogy and somatic practices, on which he has led workshops and presented at conferences internationally including in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, South Korea, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. Frederick has served on the Board of Directors of NDEO, as Assistant Editor for Dance Education in Practice journal, and was a founding member of the NDEO Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access Committee.
He has served on the faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory at the 92nd Street Y, NYU Steinhardt, and as coordinator for the modular certification program at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. Frederick is a Polestar Pilates Educator and a National Pilates Certification Program Commissioner.
At Rutgers, he has served as Director of the EdM Program in Dance Education, Interim Chair of Dance, and as Director of the Rutgers Polestar Pilates Teacher Training Program.
Aquila Kikora Franklin is a Professor of Theatre/Dance and the Associate Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the Penn State School of Theatre where she teaches courses including Intro to West African Dance, Hip Hop Theatre/Dance, jazz, and Mojah dance. Franklin has performed, choreographed, and taught in cities across the globe including Linz, Austria, Grahamstown, South Africa, Dakar, Senegal, Minas Gerais, Brazil, throughout China, Europe, and the United States. Franklin has choreographed and performed for the Atlanta Hawks Dance Team, Grammy Award Winning group, Arrested Development, and renowned poet, Sonia Sanchez. Franklin’s creative work focuses on teaching and presenting the Mojah dance technique, an original style that fuses modern, jazz, and West African movement into one form. As a community artist, Franklin shares her passion for dance and culture with students of all ages as the co-founder and artistic director of Roots of Life Performing Arts Ensemble, an arts education program housed in the State College Area School District. Roots of Life is comprised of 4th-12th grade students who engage in weekly dance and drum workshops and perform throughout central Pennsylvania. Franklin’s greatest joy is spending time with her three children, Khari, Gyasi, and Lila Afi, and husband, Wendell.
Rebecca McGregor has a Secondary License in Dance, BS in Exercise Science, and Master’s in Education. In 2003, she developed Lyndon Institute’s dance program, the annual Vermont State Dance Festival, and added a NHSDA chapter in 2021. She helps the VT Agency of Education with dance standards, licensing, and advocacy. She is an arts education mentor for the state of Vermont and has been volunteering with NDEO’s mentorship committee since 2017. Rebecca has presented for Northeastern University’s NExT Professional Learning Conversations and received numerous awards: Youth Impact Award, VAHPERD's Dance Educator of the Year Award, David Dwyer Teacher of the Year, and a Presidential Award from the National Dance Education Organization for her service to the Mentorship Committee. This past year, Rebecca served her greater Vermont community in the Vermont Leadership Institute. Her core values are honor and integrity. Her mission is to create opportunities to honor self and others and build integrity through courageous moments.
Recent awards include City of Los Angeles Master Artist Fellowship (2022), The Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research (2021-22 and 2020-21), The Art of Recovery Award from the City of Santa Monica (2020-21.) Branfman is also a community gardener and prison abolition activist.
Michelle is one of the Founders of Ntrinsik Movement and functions as the Artistic Director of the company. With Ntrinsik, she has choreographed several works, produced concerts, hosted community and school workshops through the company’s Dance Residency Program, and has performed in various theaters across NYC, as well as theaters out of state. In 2020, her company launched and opened the doors to their new home in Brooklyn, New York: Ntrinsik Studios. Ntrinsik Studios is the home of the performance company Ntrinsik Movement and their pre-professional program, IFE The Movement. Ntrinsik Studios is dedicated to providing high quality instruction for all ages and levels of dance and functions as a performing arts venue for a diverse array of creatives in the greater NYC area to utilize.
Maguette has been a faculty member at The Ailey School and Barnard College since 1997. In addition, he teaches weekly open classes at The Ailey Extension and Djoniba at Peridance Capezio Center for all levels and all ages. Camara is known for his incredible energy and positive demeanor. Maguette’s New York City in-person classes have enjoyed a devoted following at all skill levels. During the Coronavirus outbreak, Camara’s remote live classes reached hundreds of participants from across the globe from France, Germany, Israel, Canada and Australia. “If an educator shows passion for what they do, it can only draw students in,” said Katie Glasner, Assistant Chair and Senior Associate at The Department of Dance at Barnard College. “His absolute unbridled joy for what he does is simply infectious.”