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Denise Rollins interview, 2020-05-22

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc021

Scope and Contents

Denise Rollins, current Chair of the Board of Directors at Dance Place, reflects on her life and relationship to the DC African dance community. Rollins speaks about her professional trajectory that began in public policy, which led her to spend a number of years working for the African American Institute and eventually USAID. Rollins recalls the early years of Dance Place and DanceAfrica, DC and how each remains important to her life today as Dance Place celebrates its 40-year anniversary as a dance presenter and school for dance in Ward 5’s Brookland/Edgewood neighborhood.


  • Creation: 2020-05-22


Biographical / Historical

Denise Rollins was born in Detroit in 1952. Rollins is the current Chair of Board of Directors at Dance Place. She is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development. She served for 27 years, 23 years overseas in Jamaica, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa and Bangladesh. In Washington, Rollins served as Acting Assistant Administrator for Asia overseeing USAID economic development programs in 23 countries. Following her retirement in the foreign service in 2014, she became Senior Coordinator for the Africa Ebola Unit at USAID overseeing the Agency's response to the epidemic. Rollins currently volunteers with performing arts organizations such as Dance Place and Washington Performing Arts.


From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001