For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Barbara Ally
CDA President
Connecticut Dance Alliance announces Jeanne Giroir and Joyce DiLauro as recipients of the 2019 Distinguished Achievement in Dance Award  

HARTFORD, CT – September 24, 2019 – Connecticut Dance Alliance (CDA) is pleased to announce  Jeanne Giroir  and  Joyce DiLauro  as recipients of the 2019  Distinguished Achievement in Dance Award  in recognition of their distinguished careers in dance and commitment to the Connecticut dance community.

Giroir and DiLauro will be honored during CDA’s annual awards ceremony on Sunday, October 6. Recipients of the Jill Henderson Award and the newly-created CDA Jump Start Awards will also be recognized at the ceremony. 

The Distinguished Achievement in Dance Award recognizes those individuals who have made outstanding and long-lasting contributions to the Connecticut dance community. Previous recipients of the CDA Distinguished Achievement in Dance Award include Noble Barker, Pilobolus and Pamela Tatge, Judy Dworin, Martha Myers, and Michael Uthoff.

Jeanne Tears Giroir,  who resides in Hartford, was a recipient of the Ford Foundation scholarship at age 12. She spent summers in New York City on scholarship at the School of American Ballet and Harkness Ballet. At 18, she became a member of the Harkness Ballet and the Harford Ballet, a few years later. During her 18 years as a professional dancer, Giroir has performed principal roles in the  Nutcracker Romeo and Juliet Coppelia , and  Carmina Burana , as well as repertory works by Michael Uthoff, George Balanchine, Peter Martins, Doris Hu, and Antony Tudor. Giroir is currently a core faculty artist instructor at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. She was the chair of the Dance department for the Center for Creative Youth, a summer program for high school students at Wesleyan University. She has taught at the Hartt School Community Division and the Hartford Conservatory, as well as at private studios throughout Connecticut. 

Joyce DiLauro , a resident of Guilford, has been a dance educator for over 40 years. DiLauro is the founder and artistic director of Starship Dance Theater, a nonprofit, community-based performing arts program dedicated to bringing dance to the shoreline community. Her student population is diverse, both in age and ability, ranging from two-year-old through adult, those new to dance and those preparing for a professional career. DiLauro fosters a lifelong love and appreciation of dance. Alumni have gone on to professional careers in dance with New York City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Minnesota Ballet Theater, San Diego Ballet, The Rockettes and Broadway, as well as smaller dance companies. She is a founding board member of the Connecticut Dance Alliance and a member of the Shoreline Arts Alliance. DiLauro began her dance training in her mother’s studio and continued in New York City at The American Ballet Theatre School, The American Ballet Center and Luigi’s Broadway Jazz Center. She later studied Modern, African, belly dancing and yoga. She continues her dance education with workshops and classes in New York City with her mentor, Finis Jhung.

The 2019 Connecticut Dance Alliance awards ceremony, reception and performance showcase will be held Sunday, October 6, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Carol Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities on the campus of the University of Saint Joseph, 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford. Tickets can be purchased at

About Connecticut Dance Alliance (CDA)
Connecticut Dance Alliance, Inc. (CDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of dance in all its forms and serving the needs of the statewide dance community. Since 1999, CDA has created and presented numerous events such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Dance – a day celebrating African-American dance traditions, CDA Distinguished Achievement in Dance Awards, Healthy Dancer Seminars and workshops on Planning a College Career in dance. In 2011, CDA founded and developed a successful summer scholarship annual competition, the  Connecticut Classic , a competition for pre-professional classical ballet students. CDA also administers the Elena Delvecchio Rusnak Dance Education Scholarship. CDA’s current project,  The Dance History Project.  Through grassroots networking, the project endeavors to capture and share, through the art of photography and scholarly writing, a cultural and historical documentation of the rich and vibrant dance heritage in Connecticut. Using the 2,000 images submitted by the dance community, the curated  Connecticut Dance exhibition has toured the state since 2017. In addition to the  Dance History Project , other CDA initiatives include the further development of regional network consortiums to increase communication, partnerships, and opportunities for Connecticut’s dance community; dance education programs; and the new statewide dance resource database.

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