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Darcy Riley

Teaching Artist

Darcy’s first exposure to dance was in kindergarten when the Garth Fagan Dance company came to her school and taught a workshop in Modern and African Dance styles.  Then and there, dance became her lifelong passion, starting with a role in the Nutcracker with the Pittsburgh Ballet at age nine. She continued her dance education throughout high school and into college, where she studied dance and theatre at the University of Buffalo, earning a B.A. in Theatre History and a B.F.A. in Dance Performance. Upon graduating, Darcy began her professional dance career, which lasted over 15 years. Her performances ranged from national musical theatre tours to off-Broadway shows with noted veterans including one of her childhood idols, Ben Vereen.


Following a career-ending shoulder injury, Darcy transitioned to academic research, focusing on art conservation and dance preservation. Darcy’s first-hand knowledge of the performing arts enabled her to take a unique perspective on artistic cultural research. Darcy earned her Master’s Degree in Art History/Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies at Rutgers University. Her thesis, ‘Performing Heritage: An Examination of Dance Preservation in the United States’, looked at how societies preserve and maintain their dance history. Upon graduation, Darcy worked at the Dance Notation Bureau on conservation of their notated dance works archives. In addition to her work on dance conservation, Darcy enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband and their two elementary school aged sons.

World Dance Residency

Founded by Joanna Pang Atkins

Following an illustrious performance career, Joanna Pang Atkins decided to bring her wealth of dance knowledge to young learners. By combining a love of dance and travel, the founding principles of the World Dance Residency were born. Graciously, Joanna has mentored Darcy to expand the Residency's reach and impact.

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