Lisa R Chow, ADC President, 602-740-9616 PO Box 64852-4852, Phoenix AZ.

Board of Directors

The Arizona Dance Coalition Board of Directors

ADC Board of Directors page – password protected.


Executive Committee

Board Members


L 1 Cropped

Lisa R Chow

Lisa R. Chow, President     

Co-founder of the Arizona Dance Coalition | Vice President April 2006, President March 2007
Artistic Director of Desert Dance Theatre (Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe)

Lisa is Desert Dance Theatre’s (DDT) artistic director, company manager, choreographer, performer and educator. DDT has been on the roster of the Arizona Commission on the Arts since 1981 and has toured throughout Arizona, Mexico, California, Nevada, Texas, New York and the northwestern states. She has choreographed children’s programs in collaboration with String Sounds (String Quartet) for almost 15 years. Chow is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Crossroads Performance Group along with Step Raptis, performing interdisciplinary music and dance projects since 1989. She is also the managing director and performer with Step’s Junk Funk, interdisciplinary percussion and movement group that utilizes everyday objects as instruments. She was 1st Vice President of the Arizona Dance Arts Alliance (2002-05), coordinated and produced the AZ Contemporary Dance Festival and Arizona Dance Festivals for many years, and was a major force in the formation of the Arizona Dance Coalition.

Dr. Susan Bendix

Dr. Susan Bendix, Director (Tempe) | Director since September 2017
Dance Artist, Educator, Movement Specialist

Dr. Susan Bendix is a professional modern dancer, choreographer, improvisational movement artist and dance scholar who has performed nationally and internationally. Currently Susan’s focus is concentrated work in Arts in Healthcare, Dance for Parkinson’s and Dance for Dementia. Working with a broad range of populations: from inner city youth, incarcerated youth, to university students, public health and the corporate sector, Susan is interested in the human, cultural, social and political experiences that live in the body and are expressed in motion. She conducts professional development training in creativity for staff and faculty at Maricopa Community College District where she also teaches dance humanities and improvisation. She has also developed and presently teaches Moving into Mindfulness — a movement-based curriculum for teaching mindfulness to children and adolescents.

Susan has published articles and presented numerous papers nationally and internationally on social and pedagogical topics related to dance, aesthetics and community. She was the recipient of a 2015 Arizona Commission on the Arts Project Grant to design a movement-based program for people experiencing grief and loss. In 2011 she was honored with the Outstanding Narrative Dissertation Award conferred by the American Educational Research Association for her groundbreaking work in dance education. Susan is on the editorial board of Arts, Education and Policy Review Journal and was on the artists roster with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and Director of Dance at Herrera School for the Fine Arts to name a partial list. Additionally she has an MFA and BA in dance and choreography and is currently becoming certified in Somatic Experiencing (Peter Levine). Susan is an ardent practitioner of yoga and Zen meditation. For more information about her work visit:



Gina Darlington

Gina Darlington | Director since April 2006
Executive Director of Canyon Movement Company (Flagstaff)

Gina is the executive director of Canyon Movement Company and Canyon Dance Academy. Gina has traveled to Ireland, Italy, and the Southwest where she and the company performed for and taught hundreds of people. She has performed in dance companies in Utah, Missouri, Nebraska, and Arizona. She has been an Artist-in Residence for Arizona where she conducted numerous residencies. Gina was on faculty at Coconino Community College for twenty-three years and
has been a guest teacher at the American College Dance Festival. She has choreographed for NAU Theater including “Rivals” and “The Grapes of Wrath.” She
received her dance degree from Brigham Young University. Gina serves on the board of the Arizona Dance Coalition. She served on the Arizona Department of
Education (DOE) Committee to re-write the Arts Standards in 2005-06, and the Arizona DOE National Content Review Committee for Arts Assessments. Gina keeps busy with family including her twelve beautiful grand-kids.


Mary Heller

Mary Heller, Director (Prescott) | Director June 2017

Mary is a veteran dance educator and scholar who has taught in studios, schools and Higher Ed for more than 33 years. She was full-time lecturer in dance at the University of Idaho from 2006-2011. Originally from Chicago, Mary earned an M.F.A. in Dance Technology (Sharing Ground), Pedagogy, Performance and Choreography from Florida State University. She teaches level I – professional level Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Tap, Improvisation, Contact Improvisation, Choreography, Dance Theory, Dance History, Dance Pedagogy, Dance Production, and Creative Movement Methodology, including training veteran k-12 Teachers, and Physical Education, Early Childhood Education, and Dance Education Pre-Service Teachers in this  methodology. In somatics her specialty is her own Heller Barre Practice®, (a Floor Barre informed by Kinesiology, and other somatic modalities).

Mary is an adjunct Professor of Dance in the Performing Arts Department at Yavapai College, since Aug. 2018. As a Wellness Advisor for 33 years she meets one-on-one as well as offering a retreat, She was a principle dancer in four Chicago companies, and selected by audition to perform in works by Jawole Willow Jo Zollar, Randy Duncan, Sherry Zunker, Jim Clouser, Bill T. Jones, and others. See her C.V. at Mary Heller Dance Arts HERE.


Lori Howard

Lori Howard

Lori Howard, (Tucson) (since January 2011)

Lori comes to us with an extensive background of event planning and a love of dance. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Phoenix in E-Business/Project Management. Lori served as ADC Secretary through December 2020.

Besides dancing every chance she gets, Lori works as a Marketing Manager, sits on two marketing committees, co-owns a pet treat business and is a jewelry designer.









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