ADF is fortunate to have some of the most dedicated faculty in the country on its roster.  These individuals form a group of generous, inspired, and accomplished dance artists that are the foundation of the ADF community. They serve as guides and mentors, inspiring students to attain new levels of artistry and physicality. After a summer spent working side by side in the studio, seeing performances together, and dialoguing with one another, students and teachers often forge relationships that last long after the festival is over. We invite you to read about each of our faculty below.

As part of the Dance Professional Workshops, participants also take classes in the Summer Dance Intensive. Check out our Summer Dance Intensive faculty here!

2020 faculty


Michelle Boulé is a dance artist and teacher who was based in New York for 20+ years and is currently living nomadically. Her research in energy work, somatic practices, spirituality, and mindset/psychology provides the framework from which she dances, teaches, and makes dances, with a desire to create aesthetically enlivened experiences that remind us of the potential of what and who we are. She is a “Bessie” Award winning performer, having collaborated with Miguel Gutierrez (2001-16), Bebe Miller, John Jasperse, and Deborah Hay (Ten, If I Sing To You), amongst others. Boulé has received commissions and presentations from The Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, Triple Canopy, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Summer Stages Dance @ICA Boston, River to River Festival, American Realness, The Met Breuer (with Okkyung Lee), and ISSUE Project Room. Recent awards include: Distinguished Legacy Award from the University of Illinois, NY Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, Boekelheide Creativity Award, Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant, and residencies from LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development Program, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, MacDowell, Yaddo, Bemis Center, Movement Research, and Dance Ireland. She teaches internationally and has maintained a private coaching/healing practice since 2008. michelleboule.com

Photo credit: Jim Coleman

Gerri Houlihan

Gerri Houlihan studied at the Juilliard School with Antony Tudor and members of the Martha Graham and Jose Limon dance companies. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. From 1991-1999 she directed her own company, Houlihan and Dancers, based in Miami, Florida. During that time, she was on the faculty of the New World School of the Arts. Ms. Houlihan serves on the Advisory Board for the American Dance Festival. She has been on the faculty of the ADF from 1981-1983 and from 1987 to the present. As an international representative for ADF, she has participated in 17 international linkage programs in such countries as Korea, China, Mongolia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Estonia, Poland and Russia. She is the recipient of the ADF’s Balasaraswati, Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. She was Co-Dean and then Dean of the ADF School from 2010-2015 and received her MFA from the Hollins/ADF MFA program. She recently retired from Florida State University, where she was the Pearl S. Tyner Distinguished Professor in Teaching and is now Professor Emerita. Currently, she teaches at the ADF studios in Durham and is the Artistic Director of the Big Red Dance Project.

Dr. s. Ama wray

For over 30 years Wray has been performing, teaching and choreographing across 3 continents. With London Contemporary Dance Theater and Rambert Dance Company she toured Russia, China, USA and across Europe. As the Artistic Director of JazzXchange Music and Dance Company she was Artist-in-Residence at The Royal Opera House and Southbank Center, UK. Wray now also pursues ethnographic research and the Comparative and International Education Society presented her with the 2018 African Diaspora Emerging Scholar Award. Her current work encompasses knowledge embedded within African and diasporic performance practices.  After completing her PhD at the University of Surrey in 2017, Wray developed Embodiology®a culturally inclusive approach to improvisation. She has published work in British Dance, Black Routes (2016) and The Oxford Handbook of Improvisation (2019). The methodology has also been utilized in an integrative medical setting with Nimishia Parekh, MD, working with her IBD patientsDisseminating the praxis internationally has included Temple University where she gave the 2017 keynote for the International Dance Studies Colloquium. and in 2018, she was Artist-in-Residence at: University of Wisconsin-Madison; Atlantic Center of the Arts, Florida and New Waves! Institute, Trinidad and Tobago. In California, through JazzXchange, Wray brings jazz dance and music back into closer alignment, as it was at its inception. Collaborators have included include Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Julian Joseph, OBE, Nicole Mitchell, Mojisola Adebayo, Fleeta Siegel and Kei Akagi. Additionally, in 2017 she co-founded the Africana Institute for Creativity, Recognition and Elevation with Ngugi wa Thiong’o. www.embodiology.com

Photo credit: Irven Lewis