Harlem resident Carolyn Adams was recently appointed director of education, a new position at The Paul Taylor Dance Foundation (PTDF). A celebrated alumna, Adams will be responsible for overseeing the operations and expansion of The Taylor School, as well as cultivating future educational leadership for the institution through her vast network in the dance community.
“In addition to her illustrious time dancing as one of Paul Taylor’s greatest muses, Carolyn Adams is a renowned dance educator who has dedicated her life to transforming the lives of dancers, dance-lovers, and students of all interests, abilities and backgrounds,” said Artistic Director Michael Novak. “Her insights on modern dance, coupled with a passion for inspiring others to find and nurture their artistry, will provide the leadership for our students and school to advance. I look forward to working with her to propel and expand our curricula at The Taylor School, and to develop new educational offerings throughout our organization,” according to the press release.
The release further notes that Adams joined the Company in 1965 and during her 17-year career there she created roles in Taylor masterpieces such as “Esplanade,” “Airs,” “Cloven Kingdom,” “Arden Court,” “Polaris” and “Big Bertha,” and the classic “Aureole.”
“I am honored to take on this new position. With its amazing body of work, dedicated staff, and talented collaborators, PTDF is now positioned to expand all of its educational programs and build new partnerships, both nationally and internationally. Paul Taylor’s work should belong to the world. So, we begin with the children,” said Adams.
Adams is a life-long dance educator and advocate who, with her sister Julie Adams Strandberg, co-founded the Harlem Dance Studio, Dancing Legacy and the Repertory Etudes Collection. She is also a faculty member at The Taylor School, faculty emerita at The Juilliard School and former director of education at Jacob’s Pillow. Adams is the founding artistic director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Dance. She serves as chair of the external affairs committee of the Taylor Board of Advisors, chaired Dance/USA’s national task force on dance education and has been a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and for the New York State Council on the Arts. Adams holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.S.W. from Fordham University. She has received the 2019 Martha Hill Award for Lifetime Achievement, a Dance Magazine Award in 2016, an award for Artistic Excellence from the International Association of Blacks in Dance in 2010, and the Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching from the American Dance Festival in 2009.