Washington, District of Columbia
Wednesday, June 08, 2016

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016 - Saturday, June 11, 2016

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
& The George Washington University
Washington, District of Columbia 20052
United States

Map and Directions




Welcome to the ACDA National College Dance  website.  Bringing together schools from all over the country to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the National College Dance Festival highlights the outstanding quality of choreography and performance created on college and university campuses throughout the nation.  The 31 participating schools have been selected by nationally recognized adjudicators at each of the 12 ACDA regional conferences. Selections are based on outstanding artistic excellence and merit.

The Festival galas will be performed on June 9, June 10 and June 11. June 8th is reserved for studio and tech rehearsal for the first program.  A different program will be performed each day.  Each program will be presented in two performances a day, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. With two performances of each program there is ample availability of tickets for family, friends, non-performing colleges, and the general public.  Festival registration is open to ACDA members only and includes tickets to the performances.  We look forward to seeing members of the public at the gala concerts; tickets for family and the public can be purchased through the Kennedy Center box office.

The focus of the Festival is on the performances.  A very limited number of morning technique classes will be offered. Each school will have a scheduled rehearsal time in a studio as well as tech time at the Kennedy Center.  Two receptions are scheduled in the evenings, giving participants time to connect with new and old friends.

All performances will be held in the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center.  Registration, rehearsals and classes will be held at the George Washington University.  Special thanks to the Department of Theatre and Dance at The George Washington University for co-sponsoring the Festival, providing space, volunteers and general support.

June is a beautiful time in Washington, DC.  When you are not in tech, rehearsal, onstage or in the audience, we encourage you to explore Washington, DC.  The National Mall with monuments and the Smithsonian (free access to all museums), Georgetown and Dupont Circle are all walking distance from Festival hotels.  There is also easy access to the Metro system. 

Please don't hesitate to contact the ACDA national office with any questions or concerns.  We are looking forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

The National Festival Planning Team:
      Diane DeFries, ACDA Executive Director and Festival Coordinator
      Samantha Greymont, ACDA Administrative Assistant


Click here for schedule of which schools will be performing on which days.
All programs will be performed twice  a day at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
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Please read the National Festival Guidelines.


Tickets for performances are available through the Kennedy Center box office starting April 22.

There will be ample tickets available for all shows.

Tickets are $25 for general admission (no reserved seating).
Group discounts are available through the box office.

Performing Schools

  • Registration fees include tickets to gala concerts. Faculty and other non-performing registrants will receive one ticket for each of the gala programs in which their school is not performing; they will receive tickets for both performances (afternoon and evening) in which their school is performing.

  • Each performer will receive one ticket for each of the gala programs in which s/he is not performing.  Performers may receive tickets for one of the shows in which they are performing, if scheduling permits them to see part of the show from the house.  The schedule for most performers will not accommodate viewing any part of the show from the house; in that case they will be able to watch the show on monitors backstage.

  • Schools will be assigned tickets to one afternoon performance and one evening performance of the programs in which they are not performing.


ACDA and Dance Magazine support two cash awards: Outstanding Student Choreography and Outstanding Student Performance at the National Festival.  All student choreographers are eligible for the Award for Outstanding Choreographer. All performers are eligible for the Award for Outstanding Performer.

A panel of adjudicators views choreography and performance during the three gala programs to determine the recipient for each award.  

ACDA/Dance Magazine Awards Panelists:  TBA

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A truly special aspect of the National Festival is seeing friends and colleagues from around the country and making new connections.  Social gatherings provide a time to do this.   All receptions are an easy walk to or from hotels and Kennedy Center.
Opening Day Reception (Thursday):  Grab some nourishment between the afternoon and evening shows and meet students and faculty from around the country.

Faculty/Board Member Dinner (Friday): Faculty and ACDA Board Members will gather to talk, eat and drink between the afternoon and evening Gala Concerts.  There is an additional charge for dinner and a cash bar.  Festival registrants may bring a guest.   Details are available in the registration pages.

Closing Reception (Saturday):  Following the last Gala Concert, all Festival participants are invited to gather for a farewell reception (and cash bar).  Guests may attend the reception for an additional fee.

A very limited number of classes will be offered during the Festival.  Classes will be held in the mornings.  Studios are reserved in the afternoon for rehearsals.  Moreover, we have found that many Festival participants prefer to use their time in Washington, DC to see the sites.

We do need teachers. Please complete the online teacher interest form if you have an interest in teaching a class. Due to the nature of the National Festival and the limited class opportunities, we are looking primarily for technique/movement classes.  We may not be able to involve all who are interested, but we appreciate your response and we will be in contact with you as soon as possible regarding selections. Due to budget constraints, honoraria will not be possible.

Class Schedule and Teacher Bios


Jacob’s Pillow has invited ACDA to present 30-40 minutes of dance selected from the ACDA National College Dance Festival as part of their Inside/Out Performance Series on August 25, 2016. We are thrilled that Jacob’s Pillow recognizes the exciting dance that is being created at colleges and universities.

Click here to download details of the ACDA/Jacob's Pillow Pilot Project
Please contact Diane DeFries or William Seigh no later than May 20, 2016 to let us know if you would or would not like your work to be considered in the Jacob’s Pillow curation process.


Contact Information

  • Diane DeFries or Samantha Greymont
    Phone: (240) 428-1736
    Email: NationalFestival@acda.dance

Payment Instructions

  • Payment may be made by check or online with a credit card.

    If paying by credit card, have credit card information available at time of registration.
    All checks should
    be payable to:

    Send payment to:
    326 N Stonestreet Ave.
    Suite 204
    Rockville, MD 20850


    Federal Identification Number
    (tax ID):

    Ticket Information
    Tickets for gala concerts are available for purchase through the Kennedy Center Box Office.

    Ticket price for each
    gala concert:  $25.00

    Group discounts available through box office.

    Already Registered?
    Once your initial registration is complete, you may re-enter the system as an Existing Registration using your email address and password. You will need to re-enter the system to submit program information, teacher forms, musician forms and to update participant information, arrival times, etc.

    Click on REGISTER NOW above to re-enter the online registration system. For detailed instructions about viewing, changing or adding to already submitted information, download Updating an Existing Registration.

Header Photo Credits:  Quiver choreographed by David Justin, University of Texas, Austin; Photo by: Lawrence Peart, 2014 National College Dance Festival

ACDA gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors:


ACDA Lifetime Members:  Elizabeth Lowe Ahearn, Judy Allen, Ruth Barnes, Jean Baxter, Jeanne Beaman, B.J. Bray, Lori Bryhni, Mary Cochran, Mary-Jean Cowell, Karen Dearborn, Susan Douglas Roberts, Abby Fiat, Barry Fischer, Lisa A. Fusillo, Amy Ginsburg, Lonny Joseph Gordon, Luke Kahlich, Joanne Lawrence, Paula Levine, Li Chiao-Ping, Luis Martinez, Rhythm McCarthy, Ann Sanders, Russell Sandifer, Mark Santillano, Brent Schneider, William Seigh, Andrew Vaca, Holly Williams, Alcine Wiltz, Candace Winters-March, Marcy Jo Yonkey-Clayton