TAD recognizes exceptional contributions to the field through four awards for professionals, awards for student choreography and scholarship opportunities for students pursuing summer study in dance.
The Margaret Martin Award is TAD’s highest honor. Named for one of the founding board members of the organization, the award is given to those who have made an impact on the Tennessee dance community. The Award recognizes consistently outstanding contributions in furthering the public image and accessibility of dance in Tennessee.
Candidates for this Award may encompass individuals as well as organizations, and need not be limited to performing artists, teachers, or choreographers. Candidates should have been actively involved with dance for at least five years.
Areas of service to dance include but are not limited to:
Complementary Arts Activity (journalism, technical support, photography, etc.)
2018 Awardee: Morgan Fleming, Past President of TAD, Data Coordinator, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville, TN
2017 Awardee: The Tennessee Arts Commission
2016 Awardee: Amy Morton Vaughn of Appalachian Ballet Company & Van Metre School of Dance, Maryville, TN
The Outstanding Dance Educator Award, is a peer award that honors excellence in teaching dance. This peer award honors the fine professionals working in Tennessee and also earns public recognition for the importance of dance education. The honoree is awarded a plaque at the Tennessee Dance Festival and receives free annual membership and conference registration the following year.
The Outstanding Dance Educator Award recognizes and honors excellence in the field of dance education. The recipient must have a minimum of five years experience teaching dance within the state of Tennessee, hold current individual professional membership of the Tennessee Association of Dance and have been a member of TAD for at least three out of the last five years
2018 Awardee: Thom Yzaguirre, Artistic Director of Civic Ballet, Tupelo, MS; Ballet Director at Franklin School of Performing Arts, Franklin, TN
2017 Awardee: Valeria Sinyavskaya, Artistic Director of Kingsport Ballet, Kingsport, TN
2016 Awardee: Lisa Hall McKee of Studio Arts for Dancers & Go! Contemporary Dance Works, Knoxville, TN
The Dance Advocate Award recognizes individuals or corporations that are noted for generating interest in the art of dance at the local or state level.
Preference will be given to those who have supported the Tennessee Association of Dance or its member companies. This award may be bestowed upon anyone who has made a significant contribution to dance.
2017 Awardee: Kathryn Wilkening from Nashville Metro Parks, Nashville, TN
2015 Awardee: Kids on Stage Foundation of Maury County
Cathie Ault Kasch Student Choreography Project
The Cathie Ault Kasch Student Choreography Project is designed to encourage leadership, creativity, and collaboration for TAD student members between the ages of 16-22 during the Tennessee Dance Festival. The adjudicated lunchtime concert provides a performing outlet to support their choreographic work. The feedback session, led by the same faculty adjudicators, is designed to give choreographer's objective, supportive input on their work and direction to hone their abilities. Monetary awards will be given to the top three works as adjudicated on the Saturday concert.
Caio Godoy from Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts
2017 Awardees in no particular order
Chyna Clark from Center for Creative Arts and Ballet Tennessee
Katherine Stamey from Girls Preparatory School
Reagan Sanborn from Girls Preparatory School
Rachel Miller & Tarrisha Hicks from Middle Tennessee State University
Trevor Edwards & Hannah McCarthy from Western Kentucky University
Reagan Sanborn from Girls Preparatory School
Honorable Mention: Jessie Faircloth from Center for Creative Arts
Isabelle McCurdy from Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts
Emilia Stuart from Franklin School of Performing Arts
Stephanie Byndloss from Atlanta Academy of Ballet and Dance
The Judith Woodruff Professional Development Award. This award gives a monetary grant for professional development in dance.
TAD is currently not accepting nominations for the Judith Woodruff Professional Development Award. Nomination cycle closes April 15th.
2017 Awardee: Lauren Wilson Phillis from Beaumont Magnet Academy in Knoxville, TN
Summer Study scholarships
Three $500 Scholarships for summer study are awarded each year to dance students between the ages of 14-22. The Kitty Sharp Scholarship, Van R. Ault Scholarship, and Mary Willie Scholarship are awarded at TAD's annual Tennessee Dance Festival. Festival Faculty Members from outside Tennessee adjudicate an audition class in ballet, modern, and jazz technique. Each winner must use his/her award to attend an intensive national summer program. Some programs attended by previous winners are UNC North Carolina School of the Arts, American Dance Festival, Alonzo King LINES Ballet School, Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Bates Dance Festival, and the Julliard School.
TAD Allegro Scholarship-Annabelle Daniels fromScenic City Dance, Chattanooga, TN
TAD Allegro Scholarship-Zoey Matthews from Collage Dance Collective, Memphis, TN
1st Runner Up - Leia Riehl from Angela Floyd School of Dance, Knoxville, TN
2nd Runner Up - Elizabeth Russell from Franklin School of Performing Arts, Franklin, TN
Van R. Ault Scholarship- Abigail Herron from Ballet Tennessee
TAD Allegro Scholarship- Abigail Denning from Ballet Tennessee
TAD Adagio Scholarship- Anna Mains from the Nashville Ballet
Alternates: Jasmine Blackburn from Nashville School of the Arts, Delaney Shelton from Kingsport Ballet, Emilie Sears from Franklin School of Performing Arts.
USA International Ballet Competition Scholarships: Graham Barnes, Chyna Clark, Abigail Denning, Abigail Herron, Anna Mains
Kitty Sharp Scholarship- Rachel Miller from MTSU/ Murfreesboro, TN
Van R. Ault Scholarship- Chyna Clark from Ballet Tennessee and Center for Creative Arts/ Hixson, TN
Mary Willie Scholarship- Alayna Farmer from Kingsport Ballet/ Kingsport, TN
Alternates for Scholarships: Grace Farrell, Emily Whitehorn, Selah Tiblier
Kitty Sharp Scholarship- Catherine Cooley from Dancer's Studio and Studio Arts for Dancers/Knoxville, TN
Van R. Ault Scholarship- Abby Fish from Kingsport Ballet/ Morristown, TN
Mary Willie Scholarship- Emma Brown from Kingsport Ballet/ Chuckey, TN
Alternates for Scholarships: Bridget Perry, Lily Farrar and Rachel Frey