Mark DeGarmo, PhD, BFA, is Founder, Executive & Artistic Director. He is exemplary for his transcultural transdisciplinary achievements as dancer, choreographer, writer, and researcher.
Honors and awards include hosting Miss America 2019 Nia Imani Franklin at MDD’s Dance for Dance 2019; cover feature articles for Dance Informa Magazine USA (May 2019) and DanceTeacher (June 2017); American Web Design Award (2017); Martha Hill Dance Fund Mid-Career Award (2015); A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum Exhibitions (Moscow, Russia, 2015 & 2012); Grupo Cultural Uk’Ux Pop Wuj Quiché Mayan International Dance and Music Festival Recognition (Guatemala, 2003); Columbia County Council on the Arts, Arts Awards Honoree in the Category of Dance (Hudson, NY, 2002); Volograd International Dance Festival for Russia, Newly Independent States, and Eastern Europe, USA Lecturer and Representative supported by The Trust for Mutual Understanding (2001); National Finalist, Millennium Artist Program, an Official Project of the White House Millennium Council, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts (2000), American Cultural Specialist Award from the U.S. Department of State (Ecuador, 2000); and Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship (Peru, 1998-99).
He earned Doctorate of Philosophy grounded in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Experiential Education and the Arts from Union Institute & University and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from The Juilliard School. Dr. DeGarmo’s dissertation established his work as a learning theorist by analyzing the relationship between movement improvisation and nonverbal learning. His doctoral study serves as the basis for MDD’s scientifically-researched and “evidence-based” interdisciplinary dance education program. His writing includes Transdisciplinary Performative Improvisation for University of Colima, Mexico’s performing and visual arts textbook, Teaching Choreographic Composition from a Transdisciplinary Approach (2020 publication in Spanish).
New York critics and audiences have lauded his performance and choreography as “mesmerizing” and “fearless,” while describing him as “a gladiator in various arenas.”
“We bring education programs to 1,000 disenfranchised and under-resourced children a year during the school day…we’re so delighted at their progress. Dance brings joy to their lives, it helps with their academic pursuits, it helps them self-regulate their behavior and improves their critical thinking and writing.”