Regional Dance America presents the 63rd National Choreography Intensive

to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for choreographers to explore the craft of choreography and for dancers to study in a variety of dance styles and with diverse choreographers.


RDA’s National Choreography Intensive (NCI) is a multifaceted program, providing dancers, emerging choreographers, and seasoned choreographers the unparalleled opportunity to work, study, and create under the guidance of nationally recognized professionals in the fields of dance and music. The 63rd NCI will take place at Wright State University’s Creative Arts Center, directed by Janis Brenner and Jerome Begin of the Juilliard School.

Tracing its roots back to 1961, the NCI has been guided by luminaries from the professional dance world. For dancers, daily master classes enrich training in many genres of dance while afternoon work with new choreographers provides depth and understanding for nightly performance showcases. For choreographers, daily exploration of choreography concepts with NCI’s Directors of Choreography and Music followed by afternoon choreography rehearsals filled with dancers, space, and time enables choreographers to hone their craft and develop their choreographic voice.

Train with NCI’s world class faculty in a focused and inspired environment. Experience the 2024 National Choreography Intensive June 17 – 29 in Dayton, Ohio!

2024 NCI Dates

Arrival Day
Sunday, June 16, 2024
The NCI officially begins with dinner and a residence hall meeting in the evening.

Showcase Day
Saturday, June 29, 2024 — Showcase Performance
The Showcase Performance begins at 2:00pm. Family and friends are invited, and guest tickets may be purchased within your registration.

Departure Day
June 30, 2024
In order to accommodate everyone’s travel schedules, please arrange your departure travel in the morning or early afternoon.

Get ready for an amazing experience this summer!

Please click to expand any of the following tabs to learn more and get involved in this summer’s National Choreography Intensive!


RDA’s National Choreography Intensive exposes dancers to a professional company training atmosphere. Each day begins with two classes – one ballet class and one complimentary dance form to broaden dancers’ vocabulary & increase technical readiness and versatility. Working with new choreographers provides tremendous opportunity for artistic growth and expression. Daily performance showcases highlight the dancers’ work throughout the NCI. The NCI trains dancers to be marketable in today’s dance landscape – technically proficient, artistically curious, and versatile. Quite simply, a day at the NCI is a day in the life of a professional dancer!


Dancers must be at least 13 years of age and studying dance at an intermediate to advanced level.

RDA Associates
Apply for NCI acceptance and scholarship consideration through RDA’s Online Scholarship & Recruitment Process.

Tuition, Food & Housing . . . . . . . $2000


Online Application & Registration:

Application portal opens December 15, 2023
Application portal closes May 1, 2024 (or when all spaces are filled)
The 2024 Intensive is currently full. We hope to see you next year!


Registration site opens January 2, 2024
Registration site closes May 31, 2024
The 2024 Intensive is currently full. We hope to see you next year!

Non-RDA Dancers
We have a brief online application for you to complete since you are not affiliated with Regional Dance America. Items needed for application include:

  • Personal information, contact information
  • Headshot and photo in first arabesque
  • Dance video reel link
  • OPTIONAL: letter of recommendation, resume/CV

The online application includes a non-refundable $45 application fee. A fee waiver program is available.
Tuition, Food & Housing . . . . . . . . . . . $2200

Online Application & Registration:

Application portal opens December 15, 2023
Application portal closes May 1, 2024 (or when all spaces are filled)
The 2024 Intensive is currently full. We hope to see you next year!


Registration site opens January 2, 2024
Registration site closes May 31, 2024
The 2024 Intensive is currently full. We hope to see you next year!


RDA’s National Choreography Intensive provides daily exploration of choreography concepts. Choreographers delve deep to unearth their own unique movement, and spend time in choreography rehearsals working with dedicated dancers each day. The NCI challenges choreographers to hone their craft and develop their choreographic voice in an innovative and nurturing working environment.


Emerging Choreographer Track
Designed for choreographers at least 16 years of age or older who are looking to immerse themselves in different aspects of the choreographic process to experiment with choreography and music choices and develop their unique choreographic voice. Emerging Choreographers receive choreography assignments to work on each day from NCI’s Directors of Choreography and Music and receive space, time, and dancers to set new pieces of choreography each day. Works are presented in evening showcases with constructive feedback given in a supportive setting.


Project Tier Choreographer Track
Designed for more established choreographers who wish to incorporate new perspectives in the choreographic process to advance their craft and refine their voice in an innovative, collaborative environment. Project Tier choreographers receive space, time, and dancers to create a single, more fully-developed work during the NCI. This work is presented in evening showcases with constructive feedback given throughout the choreographic process.

All Choreographer Applicants
Whether or not you are affiliated with RDA, all choreographers must complete a brief application for acceptance into the 2024 NCI. Items needed for application include:

  • Personal information, contact information
  • Headshot
  • Brief statement about your choreographic background and dance history
  • Brief statement about why you wish to attend the NCI
  • Choreographic video reel
  • OPTIONAL: additional video link, letter of recommendation, resume/CV

RDA Associates
Tuition, Food & Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,200


Non-RDA Choreographers
Tuition, Food & Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,400

Online Application & Registration:

Online applications for Emerging and Project Tier Choreographers will open December 15, 2023 and remain open until May 1, 2024 (or until all spaces fill). Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and acceptances awarded until spaces fill.

Registration portal closes May 31, 2024
The 2024 Intensive is currently full. We hope to see you next year!


Janis Brenner, Director of Choreography
Janis Brenner is an award-winning dancer/choreographer/singer/teacher and is Artistic Director of Janis Brenner & Dancers in N.Y. Known for her “meticulous artistry” (The Village Voice), she has toured in 36 countries and is recognized as a “singular performer” (Eye On Dance) with a multifaceted artistic range. Honors/grants include: 2018 “Best Production” Award for Inheritance: A Litany at the United Solo Theatre Festival Off-Broadway, as well as the 2019 “Critic’s Choice” Award from All About SOLO, 2017 “Best Choreography” Award for Eva Petric’s eden, transplanted at United Solo Theatre Festival, NY Dance & Performance Award (group “Bessie”) for her performance in Meredith Monk’s The Politics of Quiet, Lester Horton Award for Choreography in LA, Copperfoot Award for Lost, Found, Lost at Wayne State University, a “Bessie” nomination for Solo for Janis by Richard Siegal, NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, The Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, the U.S. State Department, Asian Cultural Council, The Trust for Mutual Understanding, O’Donnell Green Music & Dance Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance (10 grants) UNESCO, US Embassies in Moscow, Bosnia, Jakarta, and Dakar, and a commission for the interdisciplinary work, The Memory Project from The Whitney Museum of American Art.


Ms. Brenner’s work has been commissioned/restaged on more than 50 companies and colleges worldwide, including at least six re-stagings each of Lost, Found Lost, The Memory Project, and Suspicions. She performed with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble from 1990 – 2005, 2014 (recording on ECM Records) and is an Affiliate Member of the Vocal Ensemble leading workshops since 1994. She is a sought-after master teacher conducting workshops in Improvisation, Composition, Repertory and Vocal Work which, over the course of decades, created long-term relationships with artists and institutions throughout Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, Senegal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Basel, Stockholm, Florida, S. California and New York. She has coached and mentored hundreds of companies, artists and student work over the course of nearly forty years.


Ms. Brenner was with the Murray Louis Dance Company from 1977-84, working with legendary artists such as Rudolf Nureyev, Placido Domingo, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Joseph Papp/The Public Theater, Paul Winter Consort, Batsheva Dance Company, and Alwin Nikolais. Ms. Brenner staged Murray Louis’ work in the US and abroad, including at the Dallas Ballet, Balettakademien-Stockholm, the Univ. of Hawaii @ Manoa and The Juilliard School. She and composer/vocalist Theo Bleckmann recorded their acclaimed work Mars Cantata available through Earrelevant Music. She was Co-Choreographer for juggler/dancer/physicist and MacArthur Award-winner Michael Moschen (1988-92: BAM’s Next Wave Festival, US tours and PBS’ Great Performances), and a soloist with Annabelle Gamson’s company of esteemed female artists (1984-87) performing Ms. Gamson’s work and historic solo repertory, particularly the solos of Mary Wigman which she continued to perform for more than 20 years.


Ms. Brenner was on faculty at The Juilliard School from 2009-2021, mentoring the Choreographers and Composers collaborations and teaching improvisation, mainly under the Direction of Lawrence Rhodes. She is currently on faculty at Marymount Manhattan College and at STEPS Conservatory. She was on the Board of The Gender Project in NY, which sought to raise awareness of gender bias and empower women in Dance. Ms. Brenner received her MFA degree from the Hollins University/ADF in 2009, and has served as Director of Choreography for Regional Dance America’s National Choreograhpy Summer Intensives from 2010-11, and 2017-2018. She had her debut Visual Art exhibit at the Susan Eley/Fine Art gallery in Manhattan in March 2022, and a second exhibit at Loy Luo Gallery in Spring 2023 presenting Mixed-Media Collage works based both on abstracts and personal narratives. Her two critically acclaimed one-woman shows, Inheritance: A Litany (2018) and She Remembers Her Amnesia (2022), both billed as “personal narratives, dance-opera-non-linear plays and comic dramas”, have received more than twelve outstanding reviews and are currently available for continued touring.

Jerome Begin, Director of Music
Called a “fabulous composer-pianist” and an “unimpeachable” choice of collaborator by the New York Times, Jerome Begin has composed many scores for dance, theater, concert works, installation and film. Equally at home in the classical, experimental, theatrical and pop worlds, he has always been drawn to collaboration. Begin takes from classical music concepts of form, process and compositional rigor. From experimental electronic and acoustic music he draws on ideas of sonic expansion and innovation in ways for musicians to connect in time and texture. In popular music, he is strongly attracted to the power of rhythm and sound over the body and the ability of the “hook” to resonate within the consciousness of individuals and masses. His vast experience composing in the dance and theater realms has lent to his music a deep understanding of the dynamics of live performance. He writes with a keen consciousness of the inherent theater present in the making of music


Begin’s recent works have incorporated extensive use of electronics to process and augment the sound of acoustic instruments, employing customizable touch screen interfaces which allow him to “play” the effects live. Through this technology, the electronics function in a dynamic, musical way as part of the ensemble, imbuing the effects with a necessity to the work.


Jerome Begin’s works have been performed throughout the USA, Europe and Asia, including a nationally televised performance of his score for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company for President Obama at the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors. Commissions include works for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Abraham in Motion, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Juilliard School, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Keigwin + Company, Gallim Dance, Sean Curran Company, Richmond Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and many others. He co-wrote the score for the feature length documentary Flex Is Kings, about Brooklyn street dancers. In 2011 his music was featured on the PBS American Masters series in A Good Man, about the making of a Bill T. Jones work.


Recent projects include: Dearest Home and INDY (with Kyle Abraham/Abraham in Motion), Prelude and Wilderness (with Brian Brooks), BUBBLE, ROOT, NEVEREND and THIRST (with Da-On Dance), and Kwaidan (multimedia opera based on traditional Japanese ghost stories, with choreographer Luke Murphy). Jerome’s 2022 album Post-, out on New Amsterdam Records received critical acclaim, including being named Contemporary Classical Album of the Month by The Guardian. His latest record, WILDERNESS, featuring Sandbox Percussion, was released in September 2023 on Better Company Records.


Photo by Masson LeMieux


Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Sarah Hairston Berkley began her early ballet training at Charleston Ballet Theatre. At the age of 9, she continued her training in Columbia, South Carolina under the direction of Ann Brodie at the Calvert Brodie School of Dance and later went on to graduate from North Carolina School of the Arts. Upon graduation, Ms. Hairston Berkley joined Boston Ballet II where she danced for a year and in 2001 she joined Cincinnati Ballet as a Corps de Ballet member. Ms. Hairston Berkley was promoted to Soloist in 2006 and later to Principal in 2010 after a successful debut as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Throughout her performance career, she held featured roles in the breadth of classical repertoire including Myrtha and Giselle in Giselle, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the Lilac Fairy, Carabosse and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Snow Queen and the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, among others. In addition to the classics, Ms. Hairston Berkley’s Balanchine repertoire includes the Siren in Prodigal Son, the Second Movement in Symphony in C, Emeralds in Jewels, Dark Angel in Serenade and “The Man I Love” in Who Cares?. Ms. Hairston Berkley has also performed in work by such notable choreographers as Adam Hougland, Luca Vegetti, Jessica Lang, Amy Seiwert, Val Caniparoli and Yuri Possokhov. She danced with Cincinnati Opera for many seasons and choreographed their production of Die Fledermaus in 2016. Since 2006, Ms. Hairston Berkley has been an instructor in Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Academy and was promoted to the role of Academy Director for the 2016-2017 Season.

Debbie Blunden-Diggs became Artistic Director for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) in 2007. In 2019, she was named Chief Artistic & Producing Director. For over 20 years she performed with the company appearing in most of the company’s repertoire. Before becoming Artistic Director, she served as the company’s Associate Artistic Director, Deputy Director for Arts and Operations, and Resident Choreographer. In addition to her choreographic and artistic leadership, Ms. BlundenDiggs is the Executive Director of Jeraldyne’s School of the Dance, the cornerstone to Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and she works closely with DCDC’s pre-professional company, DCDC2. She has created works for the company, which have become part of the company’s artistic blueprint. Her notable works include Configurations, Kaleidoscope, Fragments, In My Father’s House and Traffic. Her first piece Variations in Blue, composed when she was seventeen, was submitted as an entry in the Young Choreographers Showcase and selected for inclusion in the National Choreographic Plan. She has contributed an impressive body of work including No Room, No Place, No Where for which she received a Monticello Award in 1982. In May 2002, she adjudicated the Regional Dance America Northeast Competitions. Ms. Blunden-Diggs was Co-Director/Choreographer for The Human Race Theatre’s production of Crowns, as well as Director/Choreographer for Central State University’s original production of In The Pursuit of Wind among others. She created ballets for and worked with students at University of Dayton, Sinclair Community College, Wright State University, Central State University, South Dayton Dance Theatre, and Stivers School for the Arts. She served on the Board of Directors for The International Association of Blacks in Dance from 2000-2006. She has received numerous awards and accolades. Among them are honors from Regional Dance America, Monticello Choreographic Fellowships in 1979 and 1980, and two Individual Fellowship Awards from the Ohio Arts Council in 1981 and 1984. She received the Black History Month Congressional Award for Community Service by Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) in recognition of 40 years serving the community through dance and dance education. The Fisk University Alumni Association honored her with an Excellence in Artistry Award, and she was awarded a Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District Master Fellowship for artistic excellence and community outreach initiatives in 2000. In 2014, she received the Image of Hope Youth Advocacy Award for her contributions to improve the lives of youth in the Greater Dayton area. Ms. Blunden-Diggs is an adjunct professor at University of Dayton in the Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology Program, and serves on numerous boards: membership chair of the International Blacks in Dance Association (IABD), Secretary for the national Board of Trustees of Dance/USA since 2020, and the Seedling Foundation Board for Stivers School for the Arts.

Julius Eclypse Jenkins is a street style dance professional and has been engaged in the street dance world for 20yrs. His training has taken him across the world teaching and performing. While his primary focus is Robotic animation, he has a working knowledge of the most popular street dances of Hip-Hop, Breaking, Popping, Locking, House and Krump. Eclypse has performed with a variety of artists like Krs- One, Mr.Carmack, Lupe Fiasco, Herobust, Flux Pavilion and many others. He is the founder of Heroes Rise Street Dance Academy Cincinnati Ohio’s first Street Dance Academy program. He is also a teaching artist at the Cincinnati Ballet, Adjunct Instructor at The University of Cincinnati-CCM and provides street dance sessions at after school programs for Cincinnati Public Schools. Eclypse is passionate about street dance culture and always open to opportunities to share his passion with others.

Ashley Pabst is a native of Dayton, Ohio and graduate of Point Park University. Ms. Pabst has worked with many notable instructors and choreographers such as Darla Hoover, Margo Sappington, Christian Holder, Alan Hineline, Ron de Jesus, Doug Varone, Lynne Taylor-Corbett. While at Point Park University Ms. Pabst was chosen to perform at Kennedy Center, where she was awarded Northeast Performer of the Year. Ashley has appeared with both Atlanta Ballet and Dayton Ballet, where she performed principal roles in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Septime Webre’s Peter Pan, Stephen Mills’ There Once Was a Time, Alan Hineline’s Thresholds, William Whitener’s Caprice, and Stuart Sebastian’s Dracula. In 2009, at Regional Dance America’s Northeast Festival, Ashley received the Monticello Award for Best Emerging Choreographer and the Barbara Weisberger Choreographic Award for her work Aloft. In 2010 she received both the Project Tier Award and The National Choreographic Recognition Award for Sudden Impulse. Since then Ms. Pabst was granted eight additional National Choreographic Recognition Awards for her work throughout the Northeast and Pacific regions. Ashley has been commissioned to stage several new works by professional companies and conservatories such as Sacramento Ballet, Philadelphia Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Stivers Dance Company (IABD Festival) Eisenhower Dance Detroit, Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet, Long Beach Ballet, GreeneWorks Project, Erie Contemporary Ballet, Metropolitan Ballet, Mid-Columbia Ballet, Ballet Yuma, Dayton Dance Conservatory, Delaware Dance Company, Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, Vineland Regional Dance Company, and Jazz Dance World Congress. In addition to her repertoire works, Ms. Pabst has choreographed and produced full length ballets such as Cinderella, Princess and the Pea, Snow White, and Ugly Duckling. Ashley’s professional teaching credits include International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS, Regional Dance America Festivals (Northeast, Mid-States, and Pacific), adjunct faculty at Wright State University, Cinicinnati Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, NewDANCEfest, National Choreography Intensive, Dayton Arts Project, Delaware Dance Festival, Mid-Columbia Ballet, Dayton Dance Conservatory, and Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater.

Onjélee Phomthirath, from Columbus, Ohio has performed with Giordano Dance Chicago as a Main Company dancer and Sr. Performing Associate. Onjélee earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University in dance with a focus in arts administration and costume design in 2019. While studying, Onjélee toured with BellaMoxi Dance Convention as a faculty assistant. She has trained with SALT Contemporary Dance Company’s second company (SALT2) and has danced in numerous states and countries. Throughout her career she’s performed works by Ohad Naharin, Ronen Koresh, Ray Mercer, Peter Chu, Jon Leher, Keisha Lalama, and Ray Leeper. In addition, Onjélee has taught in dance schools in Ohio, Utah and Illinois. Her students have won numerous top awards from regional and national championship competitions along with scholarships to commercial dance conventions and concert dance intensives such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. After working with Onjélee, her students furthered their dance education or to perform on dance teams at universities such as Point Park University, University of Indiana, The Ohio State University, The University of Cincinnati, and University of Kentucky. Onjélee is certified in the Basic, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Level of the Nan Giordano Certification Program (NGCP®).

Brandon Ragland danced with the Louisville Ballet as a leading artist and served as the Pre-Professional Program Manager for the Louisville Ballet School and Resident Choreographer for the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble (LBYE). He has taught for Alabama Ballet, Alabama Ballet School, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Next Generation Ballet, Samford University, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, and Ballet Arkansas. Most recently, Brandon is honored and thrilled to take on the role of Artistic Director of Dayton Ballet. Brandon is the recipient of The Lift A Life Foundation Emerging Leader in the Arts Award presented by The Fund for the Arts; a Hadley Creative recipient; and was awarded Louisville Magazine’s Best Artist Award. He has created works for Louisville Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, Sedona Chamber Ballet, and The Perla Ballet. His choreography has been presented at several RDA/Southeast Festivals. Brandon has also created two one-act ballets, Cinderella’s Ball and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for the Louisville Ballet School. He has collaborated with community programs such as Root and Wings project, IDEAS xLab, and The Kentucky Center’s Artsreach program. He performed with the Black Iris Project at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of their Dance Across America Program. Brandon received his early training in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Butler University with a B.S. in Dance-Arts Administration. He then joined Alabama Ballet where he performed numerous classical and neoclassical works by choreographers such as Roger Van Fleteren, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, and Septime Webre. Brandon spent 13 years as a leading artist with the Louisville Ballet where he performed featured roles in classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works by choreographers such as Alun Jones, George Balanchine, Adam Hougland, Val Caniparoli, Ma Cong, Lucas Jervies, Stanton Welch, Ronald Hynd, and Tim Harbour.

Erin Long-Robbins began her dance training with the Northeast Regional honor company, Allegheny Ballet where she performed many lead roles.  She also studied at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, on full scholarship at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and Saratoga Summer Program in New York.  She graduated summa cum laude from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance and a Minor in Psychology.  Mrs. Robbins has taught at Antioch College, Dayton Ballet School, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Gem City Ballet, Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre in California, Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and Regional Dance America’s Northeast Festival held in Dayton.  She is currently an adjunct professor at Wright State University and Sinclair Community College.  Mrs. Robbins is also co-owner of The South Dayton School of Dance in Centerville, OH as well as Co-Artistic Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the award winning, non-profit dance company South Dayton Dance Theatre.

Gregory Robinson began his primary dance training in 1970 at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) with Lou Wall in Graham technique and Phoebe Barr in Denishawn style. His participation marked the first time in the University’s history that a male had performed with the dance group. Resident guest artists in dance for that academic year included Betty Jones and Fritz Ludin, from the Jose Limon Company, and Nicholas Gunn of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. In 1971, Mr. Robinson transferred to the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). He was accepted as a theatre major with a concentration in dance, and began his classical ballet studies in the Vaganova system with Stevan Grebel and Melanie Mihalic. His studies at UAB included a roster of reknowned guest artists and teachers that afforded a strong foundation and a full spectrum dance education from the theoretical to the practical. As a member of BalletUAB, he had the opportunity of performing a repertory of mixed programs and many full length ballets. Mr. Robinson continued to perform with BalletUAB and pursue his BFA through 1980. He joined Dayton Ballet in 1980 under artistic director Stuart Sebastian. He performed with the Company as a principal dancer in a repertory that spanned from the classical canon to neoclassical and contemporary works. His further studies continued in New York City with Maggie Black and Marjorie Mussman. By the late ’80’s, he had begun to choreograph for the Company and was named Ballet Master. In 1993 he was appointed Artistic Associate for the company by Dermot Burke and his duties expanded to include co-directorship of Dayton Ballet II. As a resident choreographer for Dayton Ballet, Mr. Robinson has created many original works for the Company as well as other performing arts organizations. Mr. Robinson has been in demand as a guest teacher and has taught at BalletMet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Ohio Ballet, Wright State University, Miami University, Marygrove College, and the University of Idaho. He is currently on the faculty at Ponteorvo Ballet Studios, Dayton Dance Conservatory, J-Squared Dance (formerly Howard School of Dance), and Company Ballet teacher for DCDC. Mr. Robinson toured nationally as a featured performer in the revival of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. He made his film debut as a dancer in A Rage in Harlem.He served for several seasons as volunteer Artistic Director to produce “Dancing for Tomorrow,”. Mr. Robinson was the first to be awarded the Virginia Sebastian Award for Choreography, in 1986. In 1996, he recieved the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District Bicentennial Impact Grant. He was also a recipient for the Culture Works Artist Fellowship for the year 2000. He was honored with the 2002 Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography from the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation. In 2008 his ballet Corazon earned a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Gabrielle Sharp, a native of Dayton, Ohio, began her classical ballet training at Dayton Ballet, which led her to the start of her professional dance career. The highlight of her time dancing at Dayton Ballet was earning the Josephine and Hermene Schwarz award, as well as working with faculty and guest choreographers, Dermot Burke, Gregory Robinson, Alan Hineline, Susie Payne, and Christopher Fleming. After dancing professionally for Dayton Ballet, she furthered her career and has been Co-Director of Dayton Ballet II for 8 years. In her transition from ballet dancer to co-director, she found a new passion for competitive ballroom dance. She is DaVida trained in American Smooth and currently competes in American Rhythm ballroom. She has had the opportunity to work with Tony Meredith, Sam Sodano, Kimberly Mitchell, and Mark Brock. In the past decade, Gabrielle has achieved national titles at United States Dance Championships, Ohio Star Ball, Cleveland DanceSport, and Michigan Dance Challenge.

Jennifer Sydor, described as “dazzling” by The Boston Globe and “remarkable for her intense focus and vivid dramatic skill” by The New York Times, began her dance training at The Dayton Ballet School. She holds an MFA from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a BFA from Butler University. In NYC she has enjoyed an extensive career as a freelance performer with choreographers such as Laura Peterson, David Parker, Vanessa Walters, John Carrafa, Andrew Schneider, John Heginbotham, Kim Brandstrup, Jill Sigman, Stefanie Nelson, Nia Love, Janice Lancaster, Sharon Moore, Ben Asriel, Janessa Clark, among others. She has toured internationally as a dancer with the avant-garde performance troupe and electro pop band Fischerspooner, in collaboration with The Wooster Group. She has performed in the Bessie Award winning productions Fraulein Maria, choreographed by Doug Elkins and Third Rail Project’s Then She Fell.

Jennifer is in her seventeenth season as a dancer with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet where she has worked with Tony Award winning directors such as Mary Zimmerman, Michael Grandage and Bartlett Sher. She has appeared in The Met Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts worldwide, and on PBS’s Great Performances in the operas Manon, Don Giovanni, Armida, The Magic Flute, Turandot and La Sonnambula.

Her choreographic work has been commissioned by Dayton Ballet, Dayton Ballet School, Dayton Dance Initiative, Dayton Dance Conservatory, Triskelion Arts (NYC), Northern Plains Dance (ND), Mohawk Valley Ballet (NY) and Virginia Governor’s School (VA). She has taught as part-time faculty at Rutgers University in both the undergraduate and graduate dance programs, the Dayton Ballet School and Virginia Governor’s School. She is currently part-time faculty at Wright State University in the Musical Theater Department. Jennifer is a Pilates mat instructor certified through The Kane School/Kinected Pilates under the instruction of Kelly Kane. For more info, visit

Gina Walther is a dedicated teacher/mentor and award-winning choreographer who has choreographed works performed nationally, regionally and on university stages. As a professional dancer, Gina performed works by many of modern dances’ most influential choreographers, they include Dwight Rhoden, Ulysses Dove, Donald McKayle, Merce Cunningham, Talley Beatty, Anna Sokolow, Donald Byrd, and many more. While performing with The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), Gina toured Germany, Russia, France, and throughout the United States. She had the honor of performing at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and The Joyce Theatre and was featured in the PBS special “Free to Dance”. She finished up her professional dance career by winning the Josie Award for Outstanding Female Concert Dancer. After retiring from performing Gina became a sought-after teacher/choreographer throughout the country. Her teaching experience includes Indiana University, Point Park University (PA), New Arts Festival (FL), Craft of Choreography Conference (UT & PA), DCDC, Dance On Tour (NM), Vineland Regional Ballet Company (NJ) RDA Pacific Festival (WA) RDA Mid-States Festival (IN & ILL) and RDA Northeast Festivals. Gina’s choreography has won several choreographic awards including the prestigious National Choreographic Award and the Project Tier Award. The New York Times called her work Still Present set on DCDC “a stirring dance” that “served as a sparkling introduction to the troupe”. Gina also had the pleasure of choreographing works for The Dayton Ballet and The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in addition to over 20 original works at Wright State. Gina received her B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. She is an Associate Professor and 2017-2018 CELIA Fellow at Wright State University.

Nashville native Countess V. Winfrey currently serves as a performer, teaching artist, choreographer, and rehearsal director for The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. She began her training at the age of 11 at Wharton Arts Magnet Middle school and continued her training at Nashville School of the Arts. She later attended the University of Memphis, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Health and Human Performance, and a minor in Dance. Post-graduation, Ms. Winfrey joined Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s pre-professional ensemble, which then led into a professional dance career with DCDC. She has danced professionally with DCDC and has also danced one season with ClancyWorks Dance Company (Washington, D.C.). Countess has performed nationally and internationally in Bermuda, China, Kazakhstan, and Russia. She has performed works by Ulysses Dove, Donald McKayle, Ray Mercer, Dwight Rhoden, Ronald K. Brown, Abby Zbikowski, Dianne McIntyre, Donald Byrd and more. Additionally, she has taught and choreographed for DCDC, DCDC2, The Ohio State University, Miami University, The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, the International Association of Blacks in Dance, Ohio University, Regional Dance Association and more. Her most recent commissions include the world premiere of her newest work “huMAN/NAture” for DCDC, including live musical accompaniment from the University of Dayton Jazz Ensemble; and the world premiere of “Homage: What was, Is, To Come”, commissioned by the Cincinnati Art Museum and Ohio Dance.  Ms. Winfrey is currently in her 8th season dancing with the professional company and her 10th year with the organization.

Tuition, Food & Housing

RDA Member Tracks Tuition Meals & Housing Total
    Dancer $1,200 $800 $2,000
    Emerging Choreographer $1,400 $800 $2,200
    Project Tier Choreographer $1,400 $800 $2,200
NON-RDA Member Tracks Tuition Meals & Housing Total
    Dancer $1,400 $800 $2,200
    Emerging Choreographer $1,600 $800 $2,400
    Project Tier Choreographer $1,600 $800 $2,400

Tuition, food & housing amounts are due in 4 payments:

Registration Fee: Due at the time of registration ($65)
1st Installment: Due March 15, 2024
2nd Installment: Due April 15, 2024
3rd Installment: Due May 15, 2024


Additional Fees

  • Mandatory: A nonrefundable registration fee of $65 is due at the time of registration to officially reserve your spot in the NCI.
  • Optional: On the last day of the NCI, the dancers and choreographers will present a choreography showcase performance at 2:00pm. It is open to family, friends, teachers, and the public, and tickets are $10 per guest. Please include the number of guest tickets your party requires within your NCI online registration.
  • Optional: Ground transportation to and from Dayton International Airport is $60 ($30 one-way). This optional fee may be added on within your NCI online registration.
  • Optional: NCI T-Shirts are available for purchase ($25 each) within your NCI online registration.


RDA is thrilled to present the National Choreography Intensive at Wright State University.

Wright State University

Wright State University’s Dayton Campus in Fairborn is located 8 miles and 15 minutes east of downtown Dayton. Wright State University annually serves more than 11,000 students and offers 315 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional degree programs through five colleges and two schools. The university also operates a branch campus, Wright State University–Lake Campus, on the shores of Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina, Ohio. Wright State University was named to honor aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, who invented the world’s first successful airplane in their Dayton bicycle shop. In fact, the Wright brothers conducted most of their early test flights at Huffman Prairie, just a short drive from the Dayton campus!

Creative Arts Center

The beautiful, newly renovated Creative Arts Center houses the Wright State University Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures. The facility includes classroom and faculty spaces, two concert halls and two theaters that provide settings for plays and dance performances; concerts by the orchestra, chorus, and several instrumental groups; and other performances and exhibitions by visiting artists as well as students and faculty. The Creative Arts Center boasts a state-of-the-art playhouse presenting dramas, musicals, and dance concerts. It offers excellent sight lines and acoustics in an intimate atmosphere. The playhouse features a large main stage comparable to many Broadway and regional theatres, offstage wings and storage areas, and a hydraulically adjusted orchestra pit. The handicap-accessible auditorium seats 376 on the main floor and in the balcony.

The Woods: Dormitory Facilities

Wright State University’s The Woods is a group of fully furnished co-ed residence halls featuring dorms with suite-style bathrooms. Rooms in The Woods are each outfitted with a microwave, refrigerator, and air conditioning. The Woods is a short walk to the Creative Arts Center (dance facilities) and Student Union (meal facilities).




Policies, Contacts & Checklists

NCI Dress Code for Dancers

  • For ballet classes: Solid colored leotard and pink tights with pink ballet slippers or flesh tone tights with flesh tone ballet slippers (ballet slippers or pointe shoes must match the color of the dancer’s tights to elongate the leg line), OR fitted solid color t-shirt or leotard, black tights, and white or black ballet shoes and socks.
  • For modern, contemporary, and jazz classes:  Black tights, leggings, or dance shorts are recommended.
  • For hip-hop classes: dance sneakers are recommended but not required. Please be sure your shoes have clean soles to protect the studio floor.
  • For ballroom classes: character shoes are recommended but not required. Jazz shoes are an acceptable substitute for character shoes.
  • Ballet skirts are permitted at the discretion of the teacher; no leg warmers during class. Warmups and sweatpants will only be permitted in hip-hop classes.
  • Hair must be swept back and secured up from the face. Braids and locs are encouraged but should not exceed a length much lower than the shoulder. The thickness of the braids or locs should allow for a safe, secure, appropriately sized bun that does not move. Dancers with short hair must keep their hair neat, secure and away from the face.
  • Dance socks may be permissible at the discretion of the teacher or choreographer. Please bring options! While packing for the NCI, be sure to include ballet slippers, jazz shoes, pointe shoes, dance sneakers, and black socks along with an assortment of colored leotards, tights, skirts, etc.
  • Modest personal jewelry is permitted as long it does not risk injury to the dancer.

Please bring options! While packing for the NCI, be sure to include ballet slippers, jazz shoes, pointe shoes, dance sneakers, and black socks along with an assortment of colored leotards, tights, skirts, etc.


Dress Code & Packing Instructions for Choreographers

  • Comfortable athletic wear that is easy to move in is recommended.
  • Please bring notebooks, pencils, and a phone or laptop for storing daily music selections. Also bring with you a storage device (USB Zip drive, SD card, or CF card) at least 8GB, for storing video footage from all showings.
  • Please make sure your name is on your devices. We will transfer music selections to you each day for your assignments, as well as provide you with all video footage of your pieces.


Visiting During the Conference
Family members and friends are welcome to visit with dancers during their daily midday break. If a dancer intends to leave campus with a family member or friend, a guardian must provide prior permission. Observer passes may also be purchased by family or friends for $50 per day to watch classes and attend meals with the NCI attendees throughout the conference.


Final Showing
Saturday, June 29 – Showcase Performance at 2pm
The final day of the NCI includes a Showcase Performance beginning at 2:00pm. Family and friends are invited, and guest tickets may be purchased within your registration. You may add on as many guest tickets as necessary. NCI participants do not require tickets. NCI participants are permitted to leave after the Showcase Performance by car with a legal guardian or other adult whom the legal guardian designates in writing to RDA. 

For those participants departing with a guardian immediately following the showcase on Saturday, June 29th, the showcase will conclude by 4pm. You may be on the road by 4:30pm.


  • Arrival by Plane: Please make all airline reservations into the Dayton International Airport (DAY). Please note, if you are flying as an unaccompanied minor, you must notify RDA before you travel so we can plan for your arrival. All flights to the NCI should be booked to land at DAY before 2:00pm on Sunday, June 16th.
  • Departure by Plane: Please make all airline reservations out of the Dayton International Airport (DAY). Please note, if you are flying as an unaccompanied minor, you must notify RDA before you travel so we can plan for your departure. All flights from the NCI should be booked to depart from DAY before 2:00pm on Sunday, June 30th.
  • Arrival by Car: Please arrive to the dormitory at Wright State University by mid-afternoon on Sunday, June 16th to check into your room and get settled before NCI begins.
  • Departure by Car: Please plan to depart from the dormitory at Wright State University. NCI Participants are permitted to leave after the Showcase Performance on Saturday, June 29th with a legal guardian or other adult whom the legal guardian designates in writing to RDA. Otherwise, all participants must check out of the dormitory by 12pm on Sunday, June 30th.
  • Daily Travel: All NCI classes, meals, and dormitory facilities are within walking distance. Alternative walking paths will be provided in the case of inclement weather. RDA will provide any additional necessary transportation throughout the NCI.

Policies and Important Information for all NCI Participants

  • All NCI participants are expected to attend all assigned classes, rehearsals, and performances.
  • NCI Participants should monitor their health for potential symptoms of Covid-19, Flu, or any other illness. If any symptoms are displayed, please do not travel to the NCI until you have been tested for Covid-19 or Flu. NCI Participants are allowed to wear or not wear masks. Each individualʼs choice will be respected.
  • All NCI participants are expected to be well-behaved, courteous, and honest, and to abide by Federal, State, and Local laws and all rules outlined by Regional Dance America and Wright State University. Failure to do so will result in a loss of privileges, notification to guardians, and/or immediate dismissal with forfeiture of all fees. In addition, if any laws are broken, the appropriate authorities will be contacted.
  • The following are sufficient cause for dismissal from the NCI:
    • Unruly behavior
    • Disrespect for University property or personnel
    • Derogatory comments or gestures to anyone
    • Intimidation of others with violence or the threat of violence
    • Use or possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, firearms or fireworks
    • Tampering with fire alarms or other action that could affect the safety of others
    • Smoking or vaping
  • No chewing of gum is not permitted in any dance classes, rehearsals, or performances.
  • Burning of candles is not permitted in any rooms.
  • No participant may leave the dormitory, dining facilities, or NCI studios by themself and must always check in with Staff when seeking to move from one location to another.
  • Participants are not to touch the belongings of others without permission.
  • Participants are not to enter another participant’s room without permission.
  • Participants who cause excessive difficulties or endanger the health, safety, or welfare of themselves or others will be dismissed from the program immediately with forfeiture of all fees.
  • Any participant who is dismissed for misconduct shall be prohibited from attending all future NCI programs.

Emergency On-site Phone Number
Erika Davis, 603-260-3748