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Urban Bush Women Founder Receives and Alumna Presents Dance Magazine Awards

Published October 21, 2015
Written by Devyn Fussman

Urban Bush Women founder and Artistic Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar has been named as one of five honorees to receive a 2015 Dance Magazine Award, which will be presented to her by School of Dance alumna, Millicent Johnnie.


Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Zollar has consistently proven to be among FSU’s most talented and hard working faculty members. In 1984 she founded the dance ensemble Urban Bush Women to explore the use of cultural expression for social change. She was designated a Master of Choreography by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005, invited to the White House in 2009, and featured in the PBS documentary “Free to Dance,” which chronicles African American influence on modern dance. Zollar also won both the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and the Arthur L. Johnson Memorial Award in 2013, and was named the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor for 2011-2012, the highest honor given to an FSU faculty member. She was named Alumna of the Year by FSU and received the Martin Luther King Distinguished Service Award from the university.

Millicent Johnnie

Millicent Johnnie

Johnnie has performed with Urban Bush Women as well, and has done choreography work for shows and films such as West Side StoryRentScary Movie 5, and most recently, the Broadway adaptation of Disney’s blockbuster Frozen. She has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in the country and worked with award winning artists from around the world.

The ceremony to celebrate these amazing dance artists will take place December 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm at The Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York. As The New York Times has put it, “As far as dance celebrities are concerned, the annual Dance Magazine Awards is as close as they come to a star-studded event.” Millicent Johnnie will present the award to Zollar, and members of Urban Bush Women will perform a dance for the honorees.

To purchase tickets, contact Nicole Buggé at 212-979-4872 or