PRESS RELEASE: Joy of Motion Announces Mary Chase as its Next Executive Director

Mary Chase seated looking up at camera and smiling against a neutral background.
Mary Chase

WASHINGTON, DC (JANUARY 13, 2020) – With much excitement, Joy of Motion Dance Center announces the appointment of Mary Chase as its fifth Executive Director following an extensive, nation-wide search. She will succeed Julie Meyer, who has been serving as our Interim Executive Director since May 2019.

“Mary brings an extensive background in dance education, administration, and performance to the role,” said Joy of Motion Board Chair Natalie Adler. “She impressed the board and senior staff with her artistry, her attention to detail, sincerity, listening skills, and her unique combination of visionary ideas for Joy of Motion’s future, which embody deep respect for our history and roots.”

Mary Chase is a dance educator, administrator, and artist. She is trained as a Laban Movement Analyst and Bartenieff Fundamentals Practitioner and holds an MFA in dance from UT Austin and BFA from the University of Illinois. Her teaching and administrative style braids tradition with innovation. Since 2001, Mary has held positions at Kansas State University, the University of Texas at Austin, Austin Peay State University and The University of Tampa, American Ballet Theatre (summer intensive), Tapestry Dance Company, SpectorDance, Carmel Performing Arts Academy, Contempo and Suncoast Dance Theatre. She has been a guest teaching artist at Monterey Peninsula College, Denver Metro State University, The University of Mississippi and EuroLab in Berlin, Germany. She directed the dance programs at McCallum Fine Arts Academy in Austin, TX and Merrill International School in Denver, Colorado and is thrilled to bring her expertise and dedication to openly inclusion dance education to Joy of Motion as the Executive Director.

Having traveled extensively and lived in eight cities in the US and abroad, Mary’s choreography and performances have been produced in nineteen states and in Europe, Asia, and South America. As a choreographer, in the last twenty years, she has had over fifty works produced on stages large and small. From the Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel National Theatre of Guatemala or the Castle Schoenbrunn in Vienna to community performances at the Center for World Music outside of Ubud, Bali, at The
National Steinbeck Center, in the Dance Barn in Wilton, New Hampshire, or recently at Chase Public in Cincinnati, every place Mary has lived and worked has been an opportunity to grow towards cultural inclusion as a compassionate global citizen and artist. As a charter for compassion, ​Mary’s dance-making process Adapt/Synthesize/Create and her touring work The Breath of the Compassionate has become a driving force. Her process, in part, is motivated by experiences performing for acclaimed artists like Tandy Beal, Claire Porter, David Justin, Karl Schaffer, Josephine Garibaldi, Tara Rynders, and Helen Hansen French.
“The mission and vision of Joy of Motion Dance Center is one that I have believed in for a long time,” said Chase. “Most of my career in dance education and choreography has been about bringing people together, connecting them, finding the joy of movement, and expressing what life is like through that movement. I want Joy of Motion to be seen not just as a place to study dance, but as an organization that is building bridges throughout the community and providing opportunities for people from all walks of life to engage with dance, with a dedication to the freedom to express themselves through movement.”
We are thrilled that Mary has joined the Joy of Motion team, and know that under her leadership Joy of Motion will not only thrive and grow but will continue to​bring high-quality dance education to more and more diverse students in the greater DC area.
Joy of Motion Executive Director Mary Chase is available for interview upon request. To request press access, please contact Elena Forbes, Director of External Relations, at​or at (202) 710-3304.
About Joy of Motion Dance Center 

Founded in 1976, Joy of Motion Dance Center provides high-quality dance education and performance experiences that reinforce the principle that the art of Dance is for Everyone. Joy of Motion is committed to building strong, healthy communities of people who dance professionally and avocationally, attend dance performances, and who support dancers at all ages and stages of development.

Every week, Joy of Motion offers over 350 hours of classes and workshops to thousands of youth and adults at three studio locations across the metro DC region. The broad spectrum of dance classes, festivals, and performances fall into four primary programs: Community Dance School, Dance Institute, Neighborhood Steps, and Performance Program.
Joy of Motion has earned a reputation for excellence in dance education, diversity, and innovation in programming and community service. It has been honored with the Mayor’s Arts Awards for Excellence in Service to the Arts and Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education. Joy of Motion is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that receives support from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.
For more information on Joy of Motion Dance Center, please visit