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Press Release  
Release Date: Friday, August 8, 2014 11:38 AM
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Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Thompson Elected to Dance/USA Board of Trustees
Denise Saunders Thompson

WASHINGTON (Aug. 6, 2014) – Denise Saunders Thompson, alumna, administrator and professor at Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts, has been elected to the board of trustees of Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance. She is one of eight new members who will serve three-year terms that began July 1, 2014.

“I am interested in nurturing dialogue about diversity, equity and inclusion,” Thompson said. “It is my hope that we can explore opportunities for joint ventures with other dance professionals which will help to support the artistic work presented in dance communities around the world.”

Thompsonwill hold the board position in her capacity as chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance ( IABD preserves and promotes dance by people of African ancestry and origin and assists and increases opportunities  for artists in networking, funding, performance, education, audience development, philosophical dialogue, touring and advocacy. 

“The significance of this appointment is extremely important for the dance community of African ancestry or origin having a voice at the table with this national dance service organization,” Thompson said. “Our population has been underrepresented for so long in ballet, modern dance and so many other genres. It is time to have more meaningful dialogue with results attached.”

Dance/USA, established in 1982, serves a diverse national membership of dance groups from multiple genres. It sustains and advances professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns and interests of artists, administrators and organizations. Dance/USA enhances the infrastructure for dance creation and education by providing national leadership and services.

Thompson has held positions at prestige dance academies such as the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Lincoln Theatre and the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival. In addition, she is a grant recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts, St. Paul Companies and the D.C. Arts and Humanities Commission.

Contributing Writer: Disa Robb / RSM


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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