ADF School Overview

ADF school programs

Each year, dance students and artists from around the world converge on the campus of Duke University to discover endless possibilities at the ADF School. Under the direction of ADF School 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 in Durham, NC.

2022 Intensives & classes

Join us for our IN-PERSON summer programs! Online applications open January 2022.




ADF’s Samuel H. Scripps Studios in Durham, NC, also offer year-round Youth and Adult classes. Experience a taste of our signature programs throughout the year. 

During the winter, students study intensively with ADF’s outstanding roster of teachers at the New York City Winter Intensive. 

the adf school is… 

A place for dance artists who want to study, perform, create, research, and build lifelong connections in an immersive, meaningful community. For over eight decades, ADF has been a career-defining destination for dancers around the world, a place where movers learn from each other, generate new ideas together, share their stories, and form lasting relationships. 

ADF provides the critical meeting ground for vibrant, diverse dancing bodies to mobilize, align, and become the leaders our society needs us to be. It is an indispensable educational force in the contemporary dance landscape by offering an innovative curriculum and presenting best pedagogical practices. In all of its programs, it seeks to foster community-mindedness, ethical leadership, and respect for difference. 

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 four 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 Duke University campus as well as downtown Durham. Performances by visiting dance companies occur at Reynolds Industries Theater, Page Auditorium, and von der Heyden Studio Theater at Duke and in the Durham Performing Arts Center in downtown Durham. 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.”