New World School of the Arts announces new dean of dance

By Maria M. Flores….

Mary Lisa Burns is the new dean of dance at New World School of the Arts.

After months of a national search, New World School of the Arts has selected dancer and educator Mary Lisa Burns as its new dean of dance.

The seasoned administrator, who comes to NWSA with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of dance education administration, will head the high school and college dance programs at NWSA.

“It is an honor to be succeeding Dean Lewis, and I look forward to working with everyone at New World School of the Arts to continue to build upon this legacy of excellence in training and nurturing talented young dancers and choreographers,” Burns said.

“I envision a program which, based on our outstanding curriculum of dance training, continues to create exciting experiences for our students and which expands opportunities for them professionally in the 21st Century.”

Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson, provost of New World School of the Arts said, “Mary Lisa Burns brings experience from both the professional and educational worlds of dance . Together with the outstanding NWSA faculty and our talented students the team will help lead the dance division to continued success both during our 25th anniversary and beyond.”

Burns, a dance educator and administrator, comes to Miami from New York City where she was director of education for the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, overseeing the Cunningham Studio’s accredited Professional Training Program and spearheading its Educational Outreach program. A faculty member of the world-renowned Merce Cunningham Studio since 1988, Burns also was a part-time faculty member of the Dance Department of Barnard College for 15 years and danced professionally in the companies of Kenneth King, Brenda Daniels, Gina Gibney, and others. Burns holds an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a BA from Barnard College/Columbia University.

New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.

For more information about New World School of the Arts, call 305-237-3135 or visit online at To reach dean Mary Lisa Burns or for the Dance Department call 305-237-3582.

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