School Overview

move and be moved.

Each year, over 400 dance students and artists from around the world converge on the East Campus of Duke University to discover the possibilities at the ADF School. Under the direction of Dean Leah Cox, the school hosts its core summer programs of the Summer Dance Intensive, the Pre-Professional Dance Intensive, and the Dance Professional Workshops

Students can also study intensively with ADF’s outstanding roster of teachers during their winter break in NYC at the Winter Intensive in New York City.

Our mission & Vision

To educate a diverse student body of dance practitioners through a curriculum that represents modern dance’s breadth of forms and practices. In so doing, the ADF School connects the diversity of the future of the dance landscape with its next leaders with an emphasis on building leadership skills and community-mindedness.

To be an indispensable and central educational force in the modern, contemporary, and experimental dance landscape.

About the american dance festival, durham, and Duke University

Durham remains a magnet for young dance artists from around the world… and a place where important connections are forged. –The New York Times, May 2012

The American Dance Festival is now held for five and a half weeks each summer at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It was founded in 1934 in Bennington, Vermont, with choreographers Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman. Through its school and performance season, ADF serves professional and pre-professional choreographers and dancers from around the world. 

The studios and student dormitories are spread across the Georgian-style Duke University campus as well as downtown Durham. Performances by visiting dance companies occur in the Durham Performing Arts Center in downtown Durham and Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke. ADF students are able to use Duke facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, bookstores, libraries, and computer labs. The Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau states, “Durham is a colorful, creative, and entrepreneurial community that continuously earns accolades as one of the best places in the world to visit, live, and do business. With nationally acclaimed restaurants, shopping, historical sites, and myriad other things to do, Durham is the place where great things happen.”