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Background and Mission

In our 40th season, Carolyn Dorfman Dance (CDD) mission has been dedicated to the creation and presentation of contemporary dance that reveals the individual uniqueness and ultimate commonality of the human experience. CDD opens dialogues between artists, students, and audiences through performance, education, and community programs that affirm the power of this dynamic art form to entertain, enlighten, engage, and connect with the communities we serve.

CDD is considered one of New Jersey’s premiere modern dance companies, whose ten multi-ethnic and stunning dancers tap their unique talents to present high-energy and technically demanding dance that unleashes the powerful storytelling and imagery of its visionary creator and founder, Carolyn Dorfman.

Carolyn Dorfman Dance stands with others for equity and justice and in denouncing racism, intolerance, and exclusion. We, along with many other charitable nonprofits, have been on a path of exploration towards action of building diversity, equity, and inclusion into all our company’s core values, operations, as well as model those values as we advance our mission.

Currently, in our organization, we need both seasoned board professionals as well as young, diverse candidates. We especially need volunteers with the following background, experiences:

  • Fundraising, development (individual gifts, planned giving)
  • Attorney, legal experience
  • Human Resource professionals (benefits, salary, personnel management)
  • Traditional and Social Media Marketing
  • Project/Program Management, Strategic planning
  • Arts education, Curriculum development

Responsibilities of the Board

As the leadership body of the organization with fiduciary duties, the board is responsible for

  • ensuring strong fiduciary oversight and financial management
  • fundraising and resource development
  • helping craft the mission, vision, and core values of the organization
  • selecting and evaluating the performance of the chief executives
  • developing the strategic and organizational plans

Responsibilities of Individual Board Members

Each individual board member is expected to

  • know the organization’s mission, policies, programs, and needs
  • faithfully read and understand the organization’s financial statements
  • serve as an active advocate and ambassador for the organization and
  • fully engage in identifying and securing the financial resources and partnerships necessary for the organization to advance its mission
  • actively use connections, networks, and resources to help organization to    achieve its mission and help board recruit and retain appropriate members
  • give a meaningful personal financial donation (including a board and gala gift)
  • participate in at least one committee

Other responsibilities of nonprofit board members

  • follow the organization’s bylaws, policies, and board resolutions
  • sign an annual conflict-of-interest disclosure and update it during the year, if necessary, as well as disclose potential conflicts before meetings and actual conflicts during meetings
  • maintain confidentiality about all internal matters of the organization
  • attend majority of board meetings annually; participate in committee meetings outside of regular board meeting. We hold at least six meetings annually. During this Covid period, meetings will be conducted virtually.

If you are interested in learning more about our company and board opportunities, please contact Executive Director Anita Thomas at 908.687.8855,


Join Carolyn Dorfman Dance in welcoming our new company members as we embark on our 2022-2023 season! Celebrating our 40th year, we are proud, also, to be celebrating these stunning dancers who are the most diverse ensemble in the history of our company.

Khalid Dunton

Khalid Dunton was born and raised in Washington, DC/MD. He began his training at Ngoma Dance theatre at 18 before receiving a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business from Montclair State University. He has had the privilege of performing works by Martha Graham, Bill T. Jones, and Maxine Steinman, among others. He was a backup dancer for gospel artists such as Tye Tribbett, Mary Mary, and more. Khalid has performed in venues like the Joyce Theater, Alexander Kasser Theater, Bryant Park, and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). This is his first season with Carolyn Dorfman Dance.

Carmella Taitt

Carmella Taitt (Performing Apprentice) is from Brooklyn, New York with BFA in dance from George Mason University. Her dance training initiated with West African and jazz at the Rostoration Youth Arts Academy. Later on, she joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem School as a scholarship student. Her enrollment to the Professional Performing Arts High School was the beginning of her training at the Alvin Ailey School. Simultaneously, she also joined the Jr. Division department of the Alvin Ailey School as a scholarship student. In addition, she has been awarded scholarships from summer intensives including the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, Creative Outlet.

Andréa Ward

Andréa Ward (Performing Apprentice) was born in Boston, MA where she graduated from the Boston Arts Academy in 2018. She is a graduate from Montclair State University with a BFA in dance performance and choreography as well as a minor in business administration. She has worked with and performed works by notable artists such as Paul Taylor, Nathan Trice, Yusha Marie-Sorzano, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Rennie Harris, Darrell Grand-Moultrie, Ruka White, Frederick Earl Mosley, Christian von Howard and Steffanie Batten-Bland to name a few. Hr dance training includes ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, heels, African, contemporary, musical theater and more. She has also attended and trained with institutions such as Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, José Mateo Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Debbie Allen Dance Academy LA. This is her first season with Carolyn Dorfman Dance.

Click Here to Learn More About Our Dancers!


We are so grateful to have been surrounded by such an amazing group of talented dancers. Together we explored new layers of creativity while trusting ourselves to let go during the creative process. It was an honor to watch all of you grow as individuals and artists. 
Thank you to our marvelous Guest Artists: Nubia Lumumba and Joanne Leone. You made this SummerDance a truly unforgettable experience for all of us. You will forever be a part of the Carolyn Dorfman Family! #cdorfmandance #NJSD21

Watch our NJ SummerDance video highlights below!

Click here to Watch

Carolyn Dorfman Dance is so grateful to our generous sponsors and patrons for their support. While we wish our Gala and accompanying performance could be live, thank you for joining us online and helping us “THRIVE”. 

During the evening, Board of Trustees member Joan Chiang Paulin shared a beautiful, original poem that we invite you to enjoy:

Who would have thought COVID-19 would Snap Crackle Pop?
So many lives were lost & the whole world went on Pastorale Pause
As we mourn and try to understand
We don’t want our Dance Stories to end

The Silent Echoes of the past are awakened
WAVES of emotions have risen
When all the injustice & pain has gone Under My Skin, our skin
Will then we finally realize that Mayne Mentshn my people, your people and all people as one?

Modern life had us all tangled up in a Cat’s Cradle
The isolation gave us some time to untangle
When life is not Portrait Perfect
That’s when we find our true Keystone

Instead of Divide and Conquer
What we need is Tikkun Olam
We learn, we love, we heal
And that’s The Legacy Project we continue to build

In addition, Carolyn and and dancers prepared this special video:

Finally, we’d like to thank this year’s sponsors, for their generosity and support:

Company Champions
Henry S. and Mala Dorfman Foundation
Gregory S. Gallick, M.D. and Staff 
Dr. Ann Stock and Arshad Zakaria/Zakaria Family Foundation

Education Enthusiast
Leah and Jeff Kronthal/Kronthal Family Foundation

Creation Collaborator
Geri and Mason Haupt

Performance Patrons
Robin and Russell Aubrey
Gail and Clifford Schob, M.D./Comprehensive Orthopaedics, P.A

Scholarship Sweethearts
Diane Ash
Joan Chiang Paulin and Dominique Paulin
Drucker, Math, and Whitman, PC
Lynne and Elliot Glantz
Kathi R. Levin
Mensch and Severyn Families
The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation
Steven L. Nehmer, M.D. and Paige Albano, Esq.
Don Jay and Linda Smith

Dancer Devotees
Andrea and Evan Berez
Debbie and Jay Berez
Lindsay and Brian Berez
Melanie and Alan Levitan
Michele and John Scioscia/Summit Physical Therapy

Admin Admirers
A. Richard Aitken, Jr., Building-Contractor LLC
Jacquie Dumas Albert and Matt Albert
Mel Batman
Marc and Mindy Friedman
Gabriella Karp
Joanne Leone
Fran and Henry Marcantonio
Ken Maldonado
The Polsky Family
Melinda Wolfe and Ken Inadomi
Ethel Wesley

Studio Superheros
Lisa Altshuler and Leon Goldstein
Susan and Alan Coen
Elizabeth Demkin
Garrett Gilman Garnos
Rabbi Stuart Gershon
Daphne Johnson-Jones
Keyana Jones-Nikaamen
Jersey City Theater Center
Angela Kane
Allen Maniker
Bonnie Monte
Rosanne Moxley
Mark Stephens
Virginia Richmond
Lana and Fred Rosenberg
Baraka Sele
Jennifer Tsukayama
Vicki Ziccarello


By Rabbi Stuart Gershon, D.D.
Board Member, Carolyn Dorfman Dance

This Wednesday, January 27, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, established by the United Nations in 2005 as a memorial day to commemorate the Holocaust.

UN General Assembly Resolution 60/7 urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of genocide, to remember the millions of other Nazi victims, and to develop educational programs to help prevent future acts of genocide.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a reminder of the enduring relevance of the Holocaust to address contemporary manifestations of racism, prejudice, and authoritarianism.

What are the lessons of the Holocaust for this moment?

One overarching lesson of the Holocaust is that democracies can and do fall.
In shockingly short order, democratic values eroded then collapsed in Nazi Germany. When a democracy falls, citizens turn on and betray their fellow citizens. When democracies die the result is unbridled hate, lethal hate that can directly lead to the most barbaric persecution or to the ultimate horror of genocide.

Holocaust history speaks to the challenges we face today, providing powerful lessons on how to overcome them:

One cause of the Holocaust was that outrageous lies went unchallenged. The biggest lie of all revolved around multiple anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. Jews were accused of an international conspiracy to rule the world. It was claimed that Jewish conspiracy also lay behind Germany’s defeat in World War I and its postwar humiliation.

Another cause of the Holocaust was that antidemocratic norms were allowed to take hold. How? The Nazi leadership encouraged and defended the worst tendencies among the German people – lawlessness, extremism, and hate. The Nazi regime pursued a policy of creeping dictatorship. But the vast majority of the German people collaborated with authoritarianism because it came with political, economic, or social benefits.

A third cause of the Holocaust was unchecked German ethno-nationalism. Grounded in the doctrine of German racial superiority, the Nazi regime sought to establish an all-German ethno-state. The Nazi regime pushed an extreme racist agenda – to annihilate an entire ethnic group — in the name of a racially pure Germany.

These forces, in combination with others too numerous to mention here, transformed Germany into a genocidal state. It perpetrated mass murder on a then unimaginable scale – 6 million Jews –roughly one third of all the Jews in the world.

It should be of great concern to us that all three of these forces are active in America today:

Conspiracy theories: QAnon and a myriad of far-right militia groups promote multiple conspiracy theories — from a deep state intent on taking away our individual liberties, to a secret cabal who worship Satan and abuse children, to the secret plot by people of color to commit “white genocide” — all of which are interlaced with accusations of Jewish complicity and historical antisemitic stereotypes.

Antidemocratic norms: Political scientists report “democratic erosion” among the American electorate. There is growing approval among Americans for the use of force to achieve political objectives, as well as “strong-man” leaders who will “save” the nation from some perceived threat. Meanwhile, Americans’ allegiance to the rule of law, freedom of the press, and Constitutional protections is declining.

Ethno-nationalism: The United States will transition from a white majority to a white minority nation in 2042. This consequential demographic inversion not only fuels the cancerous persistence of racial hatred in America. It also activates a significant percentage of the American electorate to push an agenda that perpetuates America’s white majority rule and character. Changing demographics also motivate far right extremists to agitate for a race war in order to transform the United States into an all-white ethno-state.

All these forces were on full display at the assault upon the Capitol on January 6. We saw white mob rule, neo-Nazi slogans, brutal violence against law enforcement, gleeful lawlessness, Confederate flags, and nooses.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds us of our individual responsibility to speak up in defense of American democratic principles and universal moral values. We must hold accountable all our elected officials to condemn conspiracy theories, to reaffirm the sanctity of democratic norms, and to repudiate exclusionary thinking about who is a “true” American.

Regardless of your faith, your country of origin, or the color of your skin – we are all Americans.


(Union, NJ) – Carolyn Dorfman Dance, a premiere modern dance company based in New Jersey and New York City, will embark on a season radically adjusted to accommodate safe programming in this era of COVID-19. The highlights this season, which features virtual, taped and some livestream events, include a blend of educational programming, lectures, and performances.

Following the latest safety guidelines from the CDC and public health officials, Artistic Director Carolyn Dorfman and the company’s nine dancers recently returned to in-person rehearsals as they prepare for a season unlike anything that the Company has experienced in its 38-year history.

“We have taken every precaution possible as the Company prepares for a season of schooltime residencies, classes, lectures and performances,” said Carolyn Dorfman. “With the extreme turmoil in the performing arts world, we feel so fortunate to have some significant work, although a shortened season. As creative artists, our dancers were eager to return to the studio despite the challenges for a dance company of social distancing and using PPE. We are grateful to SOPAC [South Orange Performing Arts Center] for allowing us to use their large Loft space.”

October was a busy month for the Company, Carolyn Dorfman Dance was part of the Jersey City Theatre Center’s (JCTC) “Voices International Theatre Fest,” which presented 24 productions from 20 countries between October 15 and October 25. Dorfman’s enchanting interdisciplinary collaboration “Dance/Stories” was shown on October 21 and 23, followed by Q&A, and Carolyn Dorfman participated on a panel with fellow choreographers Sidra Bell and Vikram Iyengar in a discussion of the impact of world affairs on their art.

The Company was featured in programs at Florida Southern College and Union County Vo-Tech’s Academy of the Performing Arts as well as lectures and demonstrations at Rutgers and the University of Michigan.

One of the Company’s most anticipated events is the 4th Annual Dance Union Festival, a program which showcases the breadth and depth of dance talent in Union County and brings together students and dance aficionados from across the county and beyond. This year’s festival will be enhanced with more masterclasses available, more students, teachers, and dance lovers since it will be virtual and not limited by space considerations. The Company is also considering limited hybrid performances depending on the status of the virus and the ability to work on-site at facilities such as Community Access. However, the structure will be similar to previous years, including “Dance on the Move” with masterclasses and lecture/demonstrations for Middle Schools and schools and organizations which serve individuals with disabilities. The highlight of this weeklong festival will be a livestream performance of high school dancers, dance companies and individual dancers on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Ocean County College has been working to open the new Gia Maione Prima Theatre and is slated to do so in February. As part of that celebration, Carolyn Dorfman has been commissioned to present the world premiere of “Pure Prima,” a work celebrating the career of the iconic Louis Prima. Dorfman is creating a joyous, uplifting work using Prima’s compositions including “Sing Sing Sing,” “Jump Jive and Wail,” and recordings with singers Gia Maione Prima and Keely Smith. The premiere is tentatively scheduled for viewing on February 20, 2021.

Despite the limitations of the pandemic, the Company continues its heralded educational programming with virtual masterclasses, residencies, and lectures at Florida Southern College, Towson State University and the Community College of Baltimore County, Maryland, Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, East Brunswick Schools, and at several performing art high schools in the City of Elizabeth. The ensemble is also scheduled to present “The Legacy Project” at the JCC in Houston.

“The Company is particularly well suited to provide programming for educational institutions,” explained Executive Director Anita Thomas. “Our dancers and company manager have become quite proficient in using the latest video technology and have successfully produced virtual programs for schools, community organizations, and festivals for several months. Unlike many arts organizations, Carolyn Dorfman Dance has maintained an active schedule despite the inability to teach and perform on-site.”

Carolyn Dorfman Dance features an ensemble of nine artists: Samantha Altenau, Jarred Bosch, Nina Chong-Jimenez, Caroline Dietz, Quinton Guthier, Brandon Jones, Lara Friedman Kats, Kaila Moses, and Katlyn Waldo, along with Associate Artistic Director Jacqueline Dumas Albert.

The staff includes executive director Anita Thomas who has led the Company for more than a decade. She is supported by communications/development manager Anna Shaffner, company manager Stephanie Byrnes Harrell, and financial administrator Flora Attardi. For more information, visit

# # # # #

Carolyn Dorfman Dance Season Highlights (Virtual)

  • October 23/24: Voices International Theatre Fest, Jersey City, N.J.
  • October 25/December 3: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.
  • January 27: The Legacy Project Lecture/Performance, Houston, TX
  • February 20: “Pure Prima,” world premiere at the Gia Maione Prima Studio Theatre, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
  • March 1-7: Residency/Performance at Towson State University and The Community College of Baltimore County
  • April 19-25: Dance Union Festival, Rahway, NJ

About Carolyn Dorfman Dance

Carolyn Dorfman Dance connects life and dance in bold, athletic, and dramatic works by Carolyn Dorfman and nationally renowned choreographers. The company’s 10 multi-ethnic and stunning dancers present high-energy and technically demanding dance that unleashes the powerful storytelling and imagery of its visionary creator. This distinctive combination takes audiences on intellectual and emotional journeys that ultimately illuminate and celebrate the human experience. The highly acclaimed ensemble is known for emotional resonance and artistic excellence in both performance and its interaction with audiences, students, and community. Before the pandemic, Carolyn Dorfman Dance appeared at major theaters, dance festivals, universities, schools, museums, and galleries regionally, nationally, and internationally. The company has effectively made use of technology, providing popular virtual programming and taped performances.

Note: For photos, interviews and more information, please contact Anna Shaffner at or Don Jay Smith at


To Our Carolyn Dorfman Dance Family,

As Carolyn often says, dance has the power to “speak” in powerful ways. As an organization, our mission is to use movement to bring people together and spark social change.

Today is National Voter Registration Day, and there is no better time for our community to join us in taking action towards a more just and equitable world. In the spirit of Tikkun (To Repair), we encourage our friends, families, audience members and colleagues to be socially conscious citizens in the following ways:

Register to Vote

Your voice is critical to maintaining our democracy.

Click here to register


Complete Your Census

The census provides critical data for administering daily services, products, and support for you and your community.

More importantly, the results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

There are only 8 days left to complete the census.

Click here to fill out the census


Ask Your Legislators to Support the Arts

Arts and culture is an $878 billion industry in the U.S. (nonprofit, commercial, education)—a larger share of the nation’s economy (4.5%) than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The sector has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nationally, financial losses to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are an estimated $13.1 billion, to date. To learn more, visit

In New Jersey, the state budget will be voted on September 25 (this Friday). Please remind your state legislators that public funding proposed for arts, history, and tourism is critical to these industries. State funding is needed to keep the nonprofit arts industry moving forward in recovery.

Click here to contact your legislators


Together, we can move our municipalities, state and country towards a better future.


Anita signature
Anita Thomas
Executive Director


We’re thrilled to announce the premiere on Alone/Together – a new video work created in collaboration with the Ballet of National Theater Sarajevo and composer Svjetlana Bukvich.

In this time of great uncertainty and physical distancing, two artistic friends reached across thousands of miles to create a work that reinforces the unifying power of dance and the triumph of the human spirit. Carolyn Dorfman and Belma Čečo Bakrač, the ballet choreographer of the Ballet of National Theater Sarajevo, have asked their dancers to work with each other to choreograph a piece that celebrates their common bond.  Alone/Together also features music by contemporary Sarajevo composer Svjetlana Bukvich, who has composed two other Carolyn Dorfman Dance works. 

Click on the video embedded below to watch now!



Choreography: Belma Čečo Bakrač, Carolyn Dorfman, and the dancers

Carolyn Dorfman Dance: Samantha Altenau, Jarred Bosch, Nina Chong-Jimenez, Caroline Dietz, Quincy Dow, Lara Friedman-Kats, Brandon Jones, Robert Rubama, Katlyn Waldo, Martin Austin (Training Apprentice)

National Theater Ballet Sarajevo: Bajramović Lejla, Čmančanin Til, Efendić Selma, Kalkan Admir, Kečo Zulejha

Music and Lyrics by Svjetlana Bukvich, featuring the Lafayette Chorale

Graphic Design: Anna Shaffner

Photography: S. Omerbašić and Vandy Photography

Production Design/Video Editor: Madeline Moore

This project was designed remotely and was made creatively possible via Zoom and Google Earth Pro.

Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Dorfman Dance. All Rights Reserved.


Dear Carolyn Dorfman Dance Community,

As an African American woman from Philadelphia who grew up in the turbulent, rebellious 1960’s and saw many great cities burn (including my own), watching all of the demonstrations and “burnings” happen again over the weekend has left me speechless, angry for sure, and just incredibly sad. I am particularly sad because the circumstances that ignited these demonstrations across the US (even the world) is based on an unchanging system of oppression and racism, where police cruelty leads to the maiming and/or murder of unarmed, innocent Black men.

As the Executive Director of Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and incidentally one of the few People of Color leading a Majority arts organization in NJ, on behalf of Carolyn Dorfman and our multi-racial, multi-ethnic company of dancers, Board of Trustees and staff, we want you to know that we stand in solidarity with the peaceful demonstrators and people letting their voices and pain be heard and seen around the world. We are meeting with our whole organization tomorrow, and will issue, a message representative of the whole organization over the next few days.

Carolyn Dorfman, as a child of Holocaust survivors, has always been concerned about the human condition which is reflected in her emotionally resonant dance works. Carolyn Dorfman Dance stands with all of our brother and sisters in the struggle and desire to become part of the solution once things calm down.

We firmly believe in the James Baldwin quote that “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

Anita signature                 Carolyn signature
Anita Thomas
Executive Director
  Carolyn Dorfman
Founder/Artistic Director



Dear Carolyn Dorfman Dance Community,

Our founder/artistic director Carolyn Dorfman, the dancers, staff, and trustees of Carolyn Dorfman Dance hope his message finds you well, healthy, and safe.

We know of far too many who have experienced personal tragedies.

Our hearts ache for your loss.

We know so many feeling desperation about their livelihoods, jobs, businesses, their ability to put food on the table. We wish you the strength to endure, to hold on.

This harrowing pandemic has brought out the best in people and the worst.

We must hold fast to our moral obligation to call out the scapegoating and xenophobia we hear around us.  At the same time, we can feel truly heartened and lifted up by so many acts, both large and small, of amazing human kindness and decency we see around us. Dr. Craig Smith writes, “Nobility in small things will get us through this.”

We yearn to return to “normalcy.” Yet this crisis has changed us for the better in valuable ways. Life feels more precious now. Family feels more precious now. Our shared humanity is more clear to us now. Our capacity to be strong and resilient, to adapt and improvise is more apparent to us now.

Let us give the very best within us.

Carolyn Dorfman Dance is here for you. Take good care and stay safe!

Rabbi Stuart Gershon
Board of Trustees


P.S.  Please enjoy this beautiful, thought-provoking video by British poet Tom Roberts.

Tomfoolery – The Great Realisation from Tom Roberts on Vimeo.


Dear Carolyn Dorfman Dance Community,

Our founder/artistic director, Carolyn Dorfman, along with the dancers, staff, and trustees of Carolyn Dorfman Dance hope you are feeling well and staying safe.

We are living in unimaginable times – pandemic times.

How do we keep our sanity?

By remembering the beauty in life. And how much we will emerge from this crisis smarter and wiser about what is truly most important in life.

At this time of rising fear and tension, how do we bring out the best in ourselves?

By remembering we are all interconnected – and interdependent.

We have a responsibility to protect our loved ones, our fellow human travelers, and the medical professionals who are putting their lives on the line for us.

This is a life-changing global crisis. What matters most is how we shall choose to respond:

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks writes, “One of the greatest challenges in free societies is to maintain a balance between the ‘I’ of self-interest and the ‘We’ of the common good…There is within each of us an ‘I’ that asks: “what’s in it for me?’ But there is also a ‘We’ that knows ‘we are all in this together.’

We will get through this – by “pulling together and looking after each other.” Carolyn Dorfman Dance is here for you. Take good care and stay safe!

Rabbi Stuart Gershon
Board of Trustees


Dear Carolyn Dorfman Dance Community,

We send this with hopes that you and yours are well and taking the necessary precautions and medical care to manage the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

To ensure the safety of our dancers and staff, Carolyn Dorfman Dance has suspended all in-person artistic, educational and community programming until it is considered safe and recommended by local, state and national governments and the CDC. During this time our number one goal is to financially support our dancers, staff and collaborating artists as we navigate this crisis. We also will work creatively with our presenting, education and community partners as we look to the future and, where possible, provide virtual programming to fulfill our joint commitments, goals and missions.

Our May 2, 2020 performance and gala benefit at NJPAC, entitled TOGETHER, will be postponed, yet its message will continue to be our mantra. At a time when social distancing is required for our health and well-being, our artistic and life philosophy, “that at our best, we are unique individuals who exist in relation to each other” and “that we are inextricably linked” is more important than ever. We are, in fact, in this TOGETHER, and it will take our individual and collective commitment to ourselves and one another to overcome COVID-19 and its effects on all of us.

These steps have not been easy because our annual Performance and Gala Benefit at NJPAC is our biggest and most important fundraiser. The success of our Performance and Gala Benefit is essential not only for the salaries of our dancers, but also for the implementation of our performance, educational and community programming. We hope that in the coming weeks you will answer our call for support and that you continue your generosity during this very, very challenging time.

TOGETHER, with your help, Carolyn Dorfman Dance will be able to fulfill our vision for creating a better world by transforming lives through Dance.

We will stay connected…so stay tuned.

All our best,

Carolyn signature                               Anita signature
Carolyn Dorfman
Founder/Artistic Director
  Don Jay Smith
Board Chair
  Anita Thomas
Executive Director


click here to donate


“THANK YOU for challenging the young students to work together, to be a bigger, better version of themselves, to respect one another, their ideas and opinions AND to love what they do.” – Parent of a Carolyn Dorfman Dance student. 

Dear Friend,

Thank you for being part of the Carolyn Dorfman Dance family. We are so grateful for the support of our community. Last year, funding from our generous donors allowed us to:

  • Reach more than 10,000 patrons and students through performance and educational programming.
  • Share 20 performances in 13 venues.
  • Conduct 13 school residencies serving 21 schools, reaching over 2,500 students.
  • Restage signature works including Love Suite Love, Odisea, and Interior Designs.
  • Experience robust teaching/performance tours to Madison, WI; Lehigh Valley, PA; and Fairfax, VA.

Impact. Connect. Community. Collaboration. These words are at the heart of our mission to change the world through dance. We’re excited to announce several landmark partnerships with internationally renowned artists in 2020:

  • An expansive six-month, multi-faceted exchange with Katha Ghera, a women theatre collective, from Kathmandu, Nepal. The project is one of only six selected for support from Communities Connecting Heritage (CCH) a world learning program funded by the US Department of State.
  • A new work set to the music of Louis Prima, commissioned by the Gia Maione Prima Foundation and the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College. The work will premiere in the fall of 2020.
  • A potential new collaboration with master jazz violist Regina Carter.

Of course, all of our work is not possible without the support of generous donors. We hope we can count on you for a gift of any size to help us bring the joy of dance to communities large and small.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season of peace and hope,

Anita signature

Carolyn signature

Anita Thomas
Executive Director

Carolyn Dorfman
Founder/Artistic Director


A call to action to celebrate and elevate the power and essentialness of women’s voices in domestic and international cultural preservation, evolution and social change. A six month US State Department Cultural Exchange program partnering with Katha Ghera from Nepal.


Carolyn Dorfman Dance is seeking diverse women dance artists to join us for a six-month, multi-faceted exchange with Katha Ghera, a women theatre collective, from Kathmandu, Nepal. This project is supported by Communities Connecting Heritage (CCH) a world learning program funded by the US Department of State.

Click here to read a complete overview.


We’re seeking women dance artists (ages 18- 25, especially women of color, LGBTQ, various religions) to participate in the project (February-July 2020), including a two-week in-person cultural exchange featuring workshops, creation and performances across New Jersey and New York City in June 2020.

Selection Process:

Participants will be selected through an on-line application (see link below). Selected applicants will be interviewed before final decision. You will be notified no later than December 23, 2019 via email.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  December 18, 2019. 

For More Information:  Contact us at or call our office at 908-687-8855

Click here to apply


Carolyn Dorfman Dance has a mission to create and present work that shares the uniqueness and commonalities of the human story. Maintaining a vibrant and diverse company of dancers is essential to our work, philosophy and social impact. We are currently looking for male dancers.

Carolyn Dorfman Dance’s 2019 – 2020 Touring Season, includes creation of new work, repertory reconstruction, performance and touring, teaching and community residencies.

  • Full-time/part-time company positions beginning early December
  • Paid rehearsals, performance, and teaching
  • Non-union, 20+ week contract
  • Rehearsals, held primarily in NYC
  • Legal work status verification

Male Dancers should have a strong contemporary modern dance and ballet technique, bold athleticism, a broad theatrical range, and strong ensemble and partnering skills. The Company is seeking dedicated, passionate and committed dancers with a strong desire for artistic growth, who have at least 2+ years of professional performance experience.


  • Complete Online Form:
  • Submit audition video by uploading a link to an online video (up to 3 minutes)
  • Upload a current resume, headshot, dance photo and references
  • Selected dancers will be contacted and invited to attend company rehearsal at a mutually agreed upon time during the weeks of November 11-15 & 18-22, 2019

Carolyn Dorfman Dance is an equal opportunity employer that fosters a creative environment that features a deep respect for artists, the work process and produces dance that reflects a profound humanity. Thank you. We look forward to learning more about you and your artistry from your submission.

Click here to apply!


Another great NJ SummerDance intensive has come and gone. We are proud that our students survived a tough week to experience a wonderful week of dance, reflection, and exploration.

Whether it was in technique class, repertory, or the master classes with talented choreographers/dancers/teachers Arvin Arjona, Nai-Ni Chen, Amos Machanic, Jr., and Chiara Tofani, we loved having the chance to work with an incredible group of hardworking, highly motivated students.

Special Recognition for our generous donors who provided funding for NJ SummerDance Scholarships:

Richard V. Carney Electrical Contractors, Inc., The Designing Woman of NJ, Leonard Finkel, Mindy and Marc Friedman, Eric and Shirley Freidman, Sarah and John Garvey, Kathi R. Levin, Ali LoConte Memorial Fund, Bonnie J. Monte, Dalia Pepe, Steven and Judy Stanbrook, and Vicki Ziccarello.

Carolyn Dorfman Dance would like to extend a SPECIAL THANK YOU to Super Stop&Shop, ShopRite, and Target of Union Township for providing refreshments.

Stop&Shop logo Target logo

We are so grateful to the following people for their consistent support of Carolyn Dorfman Dance and NJ SummerDance 2019:

Carolyn Dorfman Dance Board of Trustees; Kean University General Administration Staff especially Luis Martinez, Associate Professor of Physical Education, Recreation and Health; Jessica Adams, Executive Director of the School of Health and Human Performance; Valerie Winslow, Director of Conference and Event Services; and Tara Bogota, Equipment Manager.


Meet one of our 2019 Guest Artists for NJ SummerDance!

Guest Artists’ Master Classes are included in full registration or can be attended at a drop-in rate of $30/each. Email Company Manager Madeline Moore,, with any questions.

Click here to learn more about NJ SummerDance, and click here for the complete drop-in class schedule.

Franklin Diaz, Salsa Movement Workshop

Thursday, August 15th at 3:00 – 5:00PM

NJ SummerDance welcomes Franklin Diaz. Mr. Diaz will conduct the Salsa Movement workshop.

About Franklin Diaz

Franklin is a resident choreographer at Adelante Studios in New York City. He began choreographing in 1999 and has studied salsa, ballet, modern, jazz, and flamenco. Since then, Franklin has worked with international Grammy award winning artists. Selected collaborations include Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Fania All Stars, Jose Alberto El Canario, and Tito Nieves. Franklin has also starred in the hit television show All My Children. In addition to training his student team, Franklin often travels internationally to perform and continues teaching his global student base in over 20 countries.


Meet one of our 2019 Guest Artists for NJ SummerDance!

Guest Artists’ Master Classes are included in full registration or can be attended at a drop-in rate of $30/each. Email Company Manager Madeline Moore,, with any questions.

Click here to learn more about NJ SummerDance, and click here for the complete drop-in class schedule.

Amos Machanic, Jr., Horton Technique Workshop

Image of NJ SummerDance Guest Artist Amos Machanic, Jr.

Wednesday, August 14th at 3:00 – 5:00pm

NJ SummerDance welcomes Amos Machanic, Jr. Mr. Machanic will conduct a workshop based on the Horton Technique created by modern dance pioneer Lester Horton. Students can expect a fun, energetic class that explores alignment, opposition and musicality.

About Amos Machanic, Jr.

Amos Machanic, Jr. is currently a Teaching Artist with Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs. Mr. Machanic also teaches at The Ailey Extension, Ballet Academy East, and for the American Ballet Theater Kids Summer Intensive Program. Mr. Machanic studied dance at The New World School of the Arts and continued his training at The Ailey School where he was a fellowship recipient. Machanic was a member of Ailey II and Joined The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1996. During his 15 years with the company, Amos had the pleasure of traveling and performing across the globe. In 2010, he performed at the White House tribute to Judith Jamison and now enjoys being a freelance artist and teacher.


Meet one of our 2019 Guest Artists for NJ SummerDance!

Guest Artists’ Master Classes are included in full registration or can be attended at a drop-in rate of $30/each. Email Company Manager Madeline Moore,, with any questions.

Click here to learn more about NJ SummerDance, and click here for the complete drop-in class schedule.

Arvin Arjona, An Integrated Class Can Create Unified Dance Workshop

Thursday, August 15th at 9:30 – 11:10am

NJ SummerDance welcomes Arvin Arjona. Arvin will be teaching a workshop about Integrated Dance, one that welcomes and includes all dancers regardless of abilities or limitations. The class will include learning different dance genres and improvisation. You will experience it in two ways: One as being you and the other with different limitations imposed on your body.

About Arvin Arjona

Arvin Arjona has taught in various dance studios in New Jersey and is currently a full-time dance educator at Milburn High School in New Jersey and an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts.  He is also a Master Dance Teacher in the summer teaching around the country at local dance studios.  Arvin has also taught at the Bi-Annual National High Dance Festival and has presented at the NJEA Teacher’s Convention, the NJAHPERD convention and the CTAHPERD convention.  Arvin is one of the most sought out presenters of Dance in the nation for Physical Education Educators and Dance Educators and has done many professional development for these Educators across the country.  He has also presented at Shape America’s National Conference and National Dance Educators Organization National Conference and recently did a webinar for the Spark and Sportime Company in June of 2015. 

Mr. Arjona has a Masters in Dance Education at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. He received an AA in Dance from County College of Morris and a BA in Special Education, with a minor in English, History, and Psychology from Jersey City State College.  He is responsible for development of the curriculum and the dance program for Millburn High School. Before being a full-time Dance Educator at Millburn High School, he was a Special Education Teacher for ten years in different schools in New Jersey.  He is also an adjunct professor at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and teaches a graduate course for future dance educators.  Mr. Arjona has taught at the Brockus Conservatory of Musical Theater and Dance in Redlands, California as one of the summer dance educators and the assistant director of the Brockus Conservatory summer dance intensive. 

Arvin has performed with Funk That Hip Hop Dance Company, Mooshi Sushi Crew, Triple Threat Dance, La Tin Dance Company and AP Motion Dance Company between 1995-2003. Mr. Arjona has been in National Tours of Chorus Line, Footloose, and Les Miserables.  He has choreographed various musicals for Bloomfield High School and Millburn High School in New Jersey.  Arvin also served as a Vice President of Dance for the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NJAPHERD) Executive board.  He has also received NJAPHERD’s 2013-2014 Dance Teacher of The Year Award. Arvin has also received Shape America Eastern District Association’s 2015 Dance Teacher of the Year.   The Millburn High School Dance Program and Arvin were a featured article, Boundless Enthusiasm, in the August 2013 Dance Teacher Magazine written by Hannah Marie Hayes.  In 1996, he received the Dancer of the Year Award from County College of Morris.  Arvin received a Teacher Fellowship to Bates Dance Festival in 2007 and was included in the 2007-2008 Who’s Who Among American Teachers, which honors the nations most respected teachers at all levels and disciplines of education.


Meet one of our 2019 Guest Artists for NJ SummerDance!

Guest Artists’ Master Classes are included in full registration or can be attended at a drop-in rate of $30/each. Email Company Manager Madeline Moore,, with any questions.

Click here to learn more about NJ SummerDance, and click here for the complete drop-in class schedule.

Nai-Ni Chen, Kinetic Spiral Workshop

Nai-Ni Chen dancingTuesday, August 13th at 3:00 – 5:00pm

NJ SummerDance welcomes Nai-Ni Chen, founder and artistic director of Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Nai-Ni Chen will conduct a workshop on her unique technique and repertory. “Like visual poetry, Chen’s phrases, part exoskeletal rigidity, part boneless grace, embodied an epic dignity.” – The Village Voice

The Kinetic Spiral technique centers around the exploration of a wide range of physically challenging, intricate movement ideas that combines the grace, sensibility, delicacy, and flow of motion driven by the proper use of the breath, building a foundation to support the limitless spiral energy that supports the powerful athletic movements inspired by the common ground found in Chinese martial art, calligraphy, graffiti and contemporary dance. Ms. Chen will also introduce the fundamental elements involved in traditional Chinese Dance and how they serve as inspiration for creative movements.

About Nai-Ni Chen

“Spiritual Choreographer” -Dance Magazine

“A rare modern dance choreographer…”-NY Times

Nai-Ni Chen is the founder, choreographer and Artistic Director of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. Nai-Ni Chen comes from a rich dance tradition. She was a renowned traditional dancer who studied with some of the most respected Peking Opera and traditional dance masters in Taiwan. She served on several ambassadorial culture missions to 19 countries around the world. An early member of the Cloud Gate Dance Theater, she graduated from the Chinese Cultural University and came to America to seek her own voice in the world of contemporary dance. Since then, Ms. Chen has created a diverse repertory with dances some from hundreds of years ago to highly abstract, modern works. Touring over 20 years around the United State, her company is the premier resource for immigrant Chinese American cross-cultural dance works for presenters across the country. In addition to domestic touring, her company has also visited international festivals in Mexico, Canada, Germany, British Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, South Korea and China with support from Fund for Mutual Understanding, The President’s Committee for the Arts, Arts International and the State Department of the United States.

Nai-Ni Chen has received multiple Choreographer Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the NJ State Council on the Arts. Her work has been commissioned by the Joyce Theater Foundation, the Lincoln Center Institute, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Towson University, Dancing in the Streets, Ballet Met, and the Cleveland Dancing Wheels. She has taught master classes at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Russia, Poland, Taiwan, Mongolia, and China. Nai-Ni Che is currently in residence in New Jersey City University creating new dance program for the university as well as starting a new collaboration with the A Harry Moore Laboratory School for children with multiple disabilities.

Commissioned dances include Peach Flower Landscape for the Lincoln Center Institute, Qian Kun for the Joyce Theater Foundation, Unfolding for Dancing in the Streets, The Three Riddles of Turandot for New Jersey Ballet, Unconquered Warriors for Dancing Wheels, and Water and Tiger Lily for Ballet Met, The Way of Five – Fire for Townson University; Dragons on the Wall, a collaboration with Nobel Literature nominee Bei Dao and internationally acclaimed composer Joan La Barbara for the Alternate Roots Festival curated by Baraka Sele of New Jersey Performing Arts Center. She has set her choreography at Case Western Reserve University, Alvin Ailey school’s professional development program, and Long Island City University.

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