Greetings friends and colleagues!

On behalf of the CORPS Board of Directors and the newly-established Conference Planning Committee, it is my pleasure to announce the details of the 2024 conference, Ballet Pedagogies: Past, Present, and Future. From June 11-13, we’ll gather around the pedagogical center of our organizational mission: “the development, exploration, and advancement of ballet in higher education.”

With guest panels and curated events, adjudicated research presentations, shared choreographic works, award and scholarship announcements, and opportunities for member engagement in elections and membership meetings, this CORPS conference will offer opportunities for critical inquiry, network-building, and the camaraderie that CORPS members value as an essential component of annual conferences. Our illustrious lineup of guest speakers for this conference includes Peter Boal, Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet; Alicia Graf Mack, Dean and Director of the Juilliard Dance Division; and a panel on the work of Pilates elder Kathy Grant with Blossom Leilani Crawford and Wendy Amos. The full conference schedule is available here.

Jessica Zeller Head Shot

This conference will also mark the conclusion of our yearlong 25th Anniversary Legacy Fund Campaign, spearheaded by founding members and Past Presidents David Curwen and Shari Garber, with support from Past President Courtney Harris and the Planning and Development Committee. This development campaign has been an enormous undertaking – one designed to bolster another 25 years of CORPS de Ballet International. We will announce the outcomes of the campaign during our awards and scholarships conference event. If you are interested in making a donation to the fund (no amount is too small), please visit us here, or click the “Give” button at the top of our website. We are grateful for your support and for the generosity of donors who have already given. You sustain CORPS, and CORPS will do our best to continue sustaining you in whatever ways we can.

Again this year we will meet virtually; across time zones and from the comforts of our individual spaces. The Board’s decision to hold another virtual conference was the result of member surveys distributed in the late summer of 2023 that highlighted fluid economic contexts, shifting institutional support for member research and travel, and the increased options for access, equity, and safety that virtual conferences enable. I am hopeful that spending another year online will allow us to maximize possibilities for participation now and in the near future. As renegade pedagogue Sean Michael Morris prompted educators in 2021 to “Teach through the screen, not to the screen,” I am certain we will find ourselves gratified by our experiences together – fully embodied, multidimensional experiences – from wherever we are.

Conference events will take place June 11-13, 2024, and I hope you’ll plan to join us by saving those dates in your calendars now. In response to member concerns, the Board has decreased conference rates from last year for this online conference. Registration details are available here.

Please know that as an all-volunteer organization, the CORPS leadership is doing our best on behalf of the membership to fulfill our mission and objectives as we envision what’s possible going forward. A huge THANK YOU to the Board for their support, and to everyone who has generously offered their time and expertise to keep CORPS de Ballet International a vital, robust organization. I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!



Jessica Zeller, President
CORPS de Ballet International

JUNE 2021

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I’m thrilled to announce details about CORPS de Ballet International’s 23rd annual conference, Suspended in Grand Renversé: Embracing the “Big Upset” and Ballet’s Relationship to Liberatory Practices.

CORPS is honored to host Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, the co-Founders and co-Artistic Directors of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, will both teach contemporary ballet classes and will also be joined by founding member of Complexions, Christina Johnson, in a discussion about NIQUE, the official training methodology of Complexions Contemporary Ballet that combines the values of classical and modern Western traditions. I’m also thrilled to announce that dance writer and curator, Theresa Ruth Howard, will join us to discuss her notable archival project, MoBBallet: Curating the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet. And finally, artist and educator, Scott Putman, will provide restorative body care by sharing his somatic methodology, the Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS), a structural reeducation practice that beautifully translates to ballet training.

This year, CORPS posthumously recognizes Mr. Louis Johnson as our 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. Mr. Johnson’s legacy reflects his innumerable influences and resounding impact within ballet and the arts. At the LAA event, we will also recognize a CORPS member for their Outstanding Service to the organization and Jarrett Crowthers, the Basil Thompson Memorial Scholarship awardee who hails from the Department of Theatre and Dance at Ball State University.

And finally, I’m very much looking forward to the adjudicated member presentations, all of which exemplify the theme of this conference and underscore the Memberships’ urgency and dedication to reckoning with ballet’s necessary evolution. To learn more, please peruse the “Events and Presentations” tab on the CORPS website.

I hope you will join the CORPS community this July for our virtual conference. I look forward to learning in community with you!


Warmest regards,

Courtney Harris
President, CORPS de Ballet International, Inc.


Dear CORPS Friends, Colleagues, and Visitors,

I hope this extraordinary time is allowing you to reflect on the important work you do each and every day, as well as recenter your intentions and commitments for the coming year.

I thank you for your patience in announcing many details about the upcoming CORPS conference, Suspended in Grand Renversé: Embracing the “Big Upset” and Ballet’s Relationship to Liberatory Practices scheduled July 6-9, 2021.

As shared at the most recent conference this past July, the event I had been planning was derailed due to the global pandemic. It became necessary to reconceptualize the 2021 conference theme and once again, move the event to a virtual platform in order to ensure the health and safety of our members, guests, families and communities. Many more details will be shared in the coming months, but I feel certain shifting course and re-writing the conference allows us to be present, thoughtful, and responsive to this time.

I continue to have immense faith in what dance, the moving body, has to teach us. Our practices as dancers, artists, educators, and scholars cultivates a process of unlearning, learning, and relearning in a beautiful cycle of unearthing, regeneration, and shapeshifting that allows us to encounter ourselves and our experiences of the world anew. The thoughtful work you do matters and reverberates outward. I will always assert that the world is a better place because of dancers and CORPS de Ballet International is a critical voice that contributes to this larger conversation.

As we move into 2021, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the CORPS community and thank you for the honor to co-lead our organization in ways that allows us, as an organization, to press up against our growing edge together.


Warmest regards,

Courtney Harris
President, CORPS de Ballet International, Inc.
Chair, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Dance and Choreography