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Panelist Biographies


NOVEMBER 13, 2014

JANUARY 31, 2015 at Rider University, 9am - 5 pm

MAY 2, 2015 at Rider University, 7:30pm


Submission Details


NOVEMBER 13, 2014

To Learn More
For more information about the submission process please contact:

Pamela Mingle
Associate Director, Major Gifts
Office: Moore Library 137
Phone: 609-896-7725
Email: [email protected]

Edward Villella, legendary dancer and artistic director 

Douglas Martin, Artistic director, American Repertory Ballet

Dr. Kimberly Chandler Vaccaro, professor, Rider University

Kerry Gallagher Rowan, Curator, American Dance Legacy Institute


Edward Villella

Legendary Dancer and Artistic Director

Edward Villella has been recognized as the greatest male ballet dancer ever produced in America.  A star at the New York City Ballet, he has received nearly every important honor given to artists in the United States. He showed the world that a tough brash kid out of Maritime College could turn into a major artist, and in doing so, changed the way men danced in America as well as the way male dancers were perceived.  He has lectured all over the world.

Mr. Villella has received nearly every important honor given to artists in the United States. He was appointed by President Johnson to the Presidents National Council of the Arts.  In 1997 he was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and was also awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton.   In 1999 The Dance Heritage Coalition named him as one of the first 100 of America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures and in 2009 he was awarded a fellowship to the Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Villella has honorary doctor of fine arts degrees from Fordham University, The Boston Conservatory of Music, Long Island University, the College of Charleston, Allegheny College, Skidmore College,  Florida Atlantic University, Sienna College, St Thomas College and Florida State University. He was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of North Carolina. 

Mr. Villella was the first American male dancer to perform with the Royal Danish Ballet, and the only American ever to be asked to dance an encore at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.  He danced for President Kennedy’s inauguration and for Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford.  He was producer/director for the PBS series “Dance in America” for one and a-half years, and in 1975 won an Emmy Award for his CBS television production of “Harlequinade.”  He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the School of American Ballet. In 1998, the University of Pittsburgh Press reissued Villella’s 1992 autobiography, Prodigal SonDancing for Balanchine in a World of Pain and Magic, written with Larry Kaplan.

In 1986 Edward Villella founded the Miami City Ballet which garnered international acclaim. He was also the Faculty Chair for the Miami City Ballet School. He left in September 2012 and now resides in New York. 

On May 15, Mr. Villella will receive the 2013 Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Douglas Martin

Douglas MartinArtistic director, American Repertory Ballet

Douglas Martin started his ballet training with Dimitri Romanoff at the San Jose Ballet School and was one of six dancers selected by Mikhail Baryshnikov to study in the newly-formed American Ballet Theatre School. He performed with the Joffrey II dancers in 1982/83 and was invited to join the Joffrey Ballet in 1984 where, as a principal dancer, he performed roles in ballets by Ashton, Arpino, Cranko, Balanchine, Joffrey, Taylor, Pendleton, Kudelka and many other great 20th century choreographers. Martin was featured in performances of Dance in America on PBS and was an original cast member of the historic recreation of Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. He was among the last dancers of the Joffrey Ballet to spend the majority of his career in the company working under founder Robert Joffrey. Martin joined the Cleveland Ballet in 1991 and danced an array of principal roles including the Minister in Agnes de Mille’s Fall River Legend. In 1993, Martin was invited to join the American Repertory Ballet. As leading dancer and Ballet Master for ARB, Martin collaborated with directors in creating ballets, including productions of Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Dream and The Nutcracker as the original cast lead. Martin continued to be a principal dancer in the company as well as Ballet Master for ARB and ARB Workshop and Principal Faculty for the Summer Intensive until his retirement from performing in 2002.

After retiring from ARB as a performer, Martin expanded his teaching, production and choreographic work. Martin has been an integral part of the teaching staff at the Princeton Ballet School, Rutgers University and Westminster College of the Arts/Rider University, and has also served as the School’s Music Director. He has staged full-length and repertory ballets for several companies, including Romeo and Juliet and Philip Jerry’s Our Town and Septime Webre’s Fluctuating Hemlines. Additionally, Martin has choreographed for several Princeton Ballet School productions, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Coppélia. In 2010,  Martin became Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet. Since then, he has premiered a new production of Nutcracker, choreographed several new works including Ephemeral Possessions, Pathways, Rite of Spring and a new full-length, Romeo and Juliet, and has commissioned 14 new works for the company, including 7 world premieres.


Dr. Kimberly Chandler Vaccaro

Professor and Chair of the Dance Department, Rider University

Dr. Kim Chandler Vaccaro is Professor of Dance at Rider University, Lawrenceville. She began her dance career in Barrington, Rhode Island, studying and teaching with Irene Seeley. She became a professional dancer and teacher whilst earning a Bachelor’s degree in Choreography and Performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a Master’s degree in Dance Education from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Doctorate of Education from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. During this time, she performed in numerous modern dance companies, choreographed and produced her own work, and taught dance at colleges on both east and west coasts.

Dr. Vaccaro has taught at the American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton Ballet School since 1989 where she is also an Educational Consultant. She wrote the librettos, and/or trained the teaching artists, and/or wrote the educational materials for Billy the Kid (1998), Nutcracker (1999, 2002), Cinderella (2001), Lambarena (2002), Ballet 101 (2002), Dangerous Beauty (2003), and The Shrew (2004). In addition to lecturing nationwide on dance education, Dr. Vaccaro often leads workshops for dance and public school teachers, both for ARB and around the state with various arts organizations.

Dr. Vaccaro has choreographed more than 30 dance pieces including Proximity, Signatures, Webtango, Walkin’ for Rider students; and Fantastics (2000), and Spunk (2004) Rider’s Theater program. Last year she wrote the music and choreographed Mi Fuego for Rider Dances, the annual Dance Program event. Her current interests are born out through collaborations and interdisciplinary projects in the arts.

Dr. Vaccaro is the author of Jazz Dance Today with Lorraine Person Kriegel, the editor for Dance In My Life (at publisher) and was a contributing editor to the award winning Core Collection in Dance. Her current research is with the NJ Department of Education investigating the relationship of technology to dance teaching and learning in the 21st century.


Kerry Gallagher Rowan

Curator, American Dance Legacy Institute, Brown University

 Kerry Gallagher studied at the School of American Ballet in NYC under such teachers as Alexandra Danilova, Elise Reiman, Richard Rapp, Kay Mazzo, Helene Dudin, Antonia Tumkovsky, Muriel Stuart, Andrei Kramarevsky.  While at SAB, she had the honor of performing with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.  She spent summers training at the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, NY, under teachers Olga Kostritzky, Bojan Spassoff, Stephanie Wolf, Peter Martins, Stephanie Saland, Heather Watts and other members of the New York City Ballet.  Her professional career began when she became a member of Annamaura Silverblatt and Co. from 1989-1991 where she performed works by the Martha Graham trained Ms. Silverblatt.  She joined Fusionworks Repertory Dance Company under artistic director/founder Deb Meunier from 1991 to 2001 performing works by choreographers Art Bridgman and Myrna Packard, David Dorfman, Pooh Kaye, Creach and Koester, David Parsons, Sita Fredrick, Deidre Morris, Laura Bennett, Deb Meunier.  While with Fusionworks, Kerry began her teaching career teaching ballet at the Fusionworks School and also teaching modern dance residencies in public elementary schools throughout Rhode Island.  She danced with Classics Dance Theatre Ballet Company under Artistic Director Catherine Barribal from 2001-2010 performing works by Catherine Barribal, Janet White, Justin Sherwood, and her own choreography.  She danced with Adam Battlestein of Pilobolus from 2003-2008 performing his work in school systems throughout the country.  Kerry danced with MacArthur Dance Project from 2007-2010 under artistic director Browen MacArthur touring throughout New England.  Kerry began her involvement with the American Dance Legacy Initiative(ADLI) in 2001 while dancing the Parsons Repertory Etude with Fusionworks. In 2005 she was asked to join Dancing Legacy – the performing company of ADLI.   With ADLI and Dancing Legacy, Kerry has performed, taught and coached the Repertory Etudes of David Parsons, Robert Battle, Danny Grossman, Donald McKayle & Anna Sokolow all over the country including many public schools and private dance schools, Brown University and the New York State Summer School of the Arts.  She is currently working with ADLI on developing the Limon Etude in conjunction with Carla Maxwell Artistic Director of the Limon Company.