Constance Valis Hill

Five College Professor Emerita of Dance
Hampshire College Professor Constance Valis Hill
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Constance Valis Hill

Constance Valis Hill, Five College professor emerita of dance, has a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University; M.A. in Dance Research and Reconstruction from City College of the University of New York; Bronze Certificate from the International Society of Ballroom Dance; Neutral and a Character Mask certificate from Pierre LeFevre at the Juilliard School.

Professor Hill has taught at the Alvin Ailey School of American Dance, Conservatoire d'arts Dramatique in Paris, and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. As a choreographer, director, and mask specialist, she has worked with the French playwright Eugene Ionesco; Czech scenographer Josef Svoboda; Romanian director Liviu Ciulei, and Toni Morrison on her play Dreaming Emmett, directed by Gilbert Moses. Her writings have appeared in such publications as Dance Magazine, Village Voice, Dance Research Journal, Studies in Dance History; Discourses in Dance, and in such edited anthologies as Moving Words: Re-Writing Dance; Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African-American Dance; Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake: A Social and Popular Dance Reader; Taken By Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader, and Kaiso! Writings By and About Katherine Dunham. Her book, Brotherhood in Rhythm: The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers(2000) received the Deems Taylor ASCAP Award; and her most recent book, Tap Dancing America, A Cultural History (2010), for which she received the Tap Preservation Award from the American Tap Dance Foundation, was supported by grants from the John D. Rockefeller and John Simon Guggenheim foundations.

As a Five College Professor of Dance at Hampshire College, Professor Hill teaches courses in dance history, performance theory, jazz studies, choreography on camera, and feminist performance; and is working with her colleagues to establish a black studies core curriculum.