Dance Program Director, Valerie Ifill is a dance educator, researcher and performer focused on the intersections of dance and the community. She is invested in this work through directing several of the community-based-learning initiatives at Drexel University, leading process-based self-reflective workshops, performing with companies based in Philadelphia and New York City, and creating interdisciplinary and/or site-specific performances for non-traditional dance audiences.
Ifill earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Oregon, completed the Independent Study Program at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Dance minor from Kent State University. Ifill is also certified to teach Inside-Out Prison Exchange courses, leading classes for a group of university students and incarcerated citizens.
Ifill’s studio-based work for the college dance student is grounded in sensory-driven improvisational work, builds a strong anatomical foundation for sustainable performance work, and is informed by movement vocabulary from the African Diaspora. Her written research is centered on understanding multiple perspectives through community-based-learning, race and power in education, and making dance and movement accessible to everyone.
Ifill’s research or workshops have been presented at the South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance conference, the American College Dance Association festivals, and National Dance Education Organization conferences.
She continues to perform and choreograph across the country with the TRANSForm Dance Collective, the FRESH dance series, and performs work by Maria Bauman in MBDance. In addition to directing the dance program at Drexel University, Ifill directs a dance program for West Philadelphia (Mantua/Powelton Village) residents at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships and directs the Youth Performance Exchange Touring Ensemble.