Deborah Riley

Sustaining Individual Member
Member since January 25, 2014


Deborah Riley is the Co-Director of Dance Place after serving as Associate Director from 1994-2004 and as artist-in-residence and faculty member since 1987. As a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher she has been instrumental in the training and development of dancers for over thirty years.

Ms. Riley also appears as a guest artist in numerous universities around the country, most recently at The American University. Her work has been presented in the U.S., England, France, and has been funded six times by the NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship Program, by the Jerome Foundation, and in 1990, ’91, ’93, and ’95 by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She was nominated for a Mayor’s Arts award for “Excellence in an Artistic Discipline.”

Deborah Riley was awarded one of the first Local Commissioning Grants from the Kennedy Center for the Millennium Stage. In 2001 she received the inaugural award of Distinguished Alumni in Fine Arts from Ohio University and in 2002 was honored with the Pola Nirenska Award for distinguished leadership in the field of dance. From 1978-87 she was based in New York City where she performed and toured extensively with Douglas Dunn & Dancers throughout the U.S. and Europe, and where she created collaborative choreography with dancer Diane Frank.

In service to the field of dance she has served as a panelist for Pennsylvania Arts on Tour panel 2003; the American College Dance Festival/Capezio Awards ’96, ’98 and 2000; Scholarship Awards ’94 -American College Dance Festival Adjudicator; DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities – Artist Fellowship 2000, 2001; “Women’s Words/Women’s Works,” Mt. Vernon College; “Meet the Artists,” Reston Community Center; “Dialogue With the Artists;” “Lavender Language” American University Linguistics Conference; Philadelphia Repertory Development Initiative – Artist Awards Adjudicator; Dance Place – Choreographer Adjudication; and as a consultant to Gina Gibney Dance outreach to domestic violence shelter 2000. Her article, “Helping the Healing/On Community Partnerships,” was published by Dance/U.S.A in Spring 1993.