Woman of Valor

Established to honor artists whose artistic excellence and legacy have inspired hope around the world.

"Live with a dancing spirit. The stars in the heavens are dancing through space.  The Earth never ceases to spin. All life is dancing: the trees with the wind, the waves on the sea, the birds, the fish, all are performing their own dance of life. Every living thing is dancing, and you must keep dancing too, for the rest of your life!" -Daisaku Ikeda

 WOMAN OF VALOR

The 2017 Victory Dance Project recipient, the illustrious Ms Chita Rivera embodies everything about being a ‘Woman of Valor.’

Ms. Rivera is a beloved icon, legend, teacher and role model. She has an exceptional 10 Tony nominations, won two Tony’s and countless awards and accolades throughout her illustrious career including The Presidential Medal of Freedom presented by President Barack Obama,  and the coveted Kennedy Center Honor.  

She has created iconic roles in such landmark musicals as WEST SIDE STORY,  BYE BYE BIRDIE, THE RINK, CHICAGO, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN and THE VISIT. She has her own Great Performances PBS Special and last year she headlined at Carnegie Hall.  AND in September she hits the road  in a new concert tour with Tommy Tune. She’s dedicated to causes that concern us all and gives her time and energy so freely.

 WOMAN OF VALOR

Mickela Mallozzi is the two-time Emmy® Award-winning host and producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series airing on public television stations nationwide. Originally the assistant to one of the world’s most famous metal rock bands (Slipknot), Mickela quit her job to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went.

From re-discovering her family’s heritage in Southern Italy to dancing tango on the main stage in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time.  She has been featured in The New York Times, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, Yahoo! Travel, USA TODAY Travel, American Express, and AFAR Media, and she has performed on various television shows including Sesame Street and The Doctor Oz Show.  Mickela now offers Bare Feet® Dance Tours, dance-focused itineraries based on the TV series, for travelers to join her in various destinations around the globe.  She is also the Director of the Women’s Travel Fest, an annual conference whose mission is to inspire, empower, educate, and connect women through travel.

 WOMAN OF VALOR

Renee Robinson began her dance training in classical ballet at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet. She also attended the School of American Ballet, the Dance Theater of Harlem and The Ailey School. Robinson was a member of the Alvin Ailey II before becoming a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1981.

She has worked with many renowned choreographers, such as Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, Donald McKayle, Judith Jamison, Ulysses Dove, Jerome Robbins, Bill T. Jones, Garth Fagan, Katherine Dunham, Hans van Manen and Carmen de Lavallade. Robinson has also performed at the televised Kennedy Center Awards. Other televised appearances include performing at President Clinton’s first inauguration, American Express advertisements, the Bill Cosby Special on Alvin Ailey and on the PBS special “A Hymm for Alvin Ailey”. In 2003, she performed at the White House State Dinner in honor of the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki In their 2006 season, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrated Robinson's twenty-fifth year with the company; her tenure is the longest of any female dancer in the company's history.