About The Bessies

Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, the NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work by independent dance artists in NYC for over 30 years. Known as “The Bessie” in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schonberg, the awards were established in 1983 by David White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize exceptional work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design.

A Selection Committee comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers choose nominees. All those working in the dance field are invited to join the NY Dance and Performance League—members participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the Selection Committee.



Q: How can I advocate for work to be considered by the Bessies Selection Committee?
A: You can send invitations and press releases to the committee directly, members are listed here.

Q: How do I nominate someone, or myself, to serve on the Bessies Selection Committee?
A: Selection Committee members are nominated by The Bessie League. To join The Bessie League, click here. (League members, please submit your nomination here for potential Selection Committee candidates.)

Q: Who can I contact if I have other questions or comments about The Bessies?
A: Reach out to us anytime at heather@bessies.org We would love to hear from you!

Q: Where can I find an archive of past Bessie Award recipients
A: Click here to see past Bessie Award recipients from 1984 through present


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