Mary Lisa Burns

Mary Lisa Burns

Dean of Dance

High School & College


Mary Lisa Burns earned a BA from Barnard College/Columbia University and an MFA, Tisch School of the Arts (NYU) in Dance under the direction of Stuart Hodes and Lawrence Rhodes. Burns served as Director of Education for the Cunningham Dance Foundation (and prior to that, Studio Director) for over ten years, and as a faculty member of the Merce Cunningham Studio for over twenty years. She also served as Lecturer at Barnard College from 1996-2011 and was a professional modern dancer in the companies of Kenneth King, Brenda Daniels, Gina Gibney, Robert Kovich, and others and her choreography has been presented at the Miller Theater in New York City, the Merce Cunningham Studio, the Minor Latham Playhouse, Union College in Schenectady, New York, and the Cambridge Art Association. She has taught as a guest artist at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, the University of Texas at Austin, Wesleyan University, Young Dancemakers Company, and the Isle de Danse Festival in Colombe, France, among others, and has served a Board member and past President of the Emergency Fund for Student Dancers in New York City and currently serves on the National Association of Schools of Dance Commission on Accreditation.

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