“I am honored to lead the Montpelier team and board as the site continues to make advancement in telling the full history of the Madisons, the African American experience, and the making of America,” stated Dance. “As a country, this time of year, we reflect on the American Revolution and the foundation of American ideals. Montpelier is an ideal place for all to explore this rich history.”
Dance has also served as an interpreter, resource manager, and ethnographer, supporting other distinguished sites, including the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (Park Ranger) and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site (Site Manager).
Dance received a BA in History from Southern University, an MA in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design, and a graduate certificate in Environmental Policy from The George Washington University. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Howard University in US History with a minor in African Diaspora and Public History. Her research focuses on constructs of race in Colonial America, the evolution of racialized slavery, the legacy of 1619, and opportunities for healing and reconciliation within and across communities.
Montpelier preserves, cares for, and interprets James and Dolley Madison’s restored home and its surrounding landscape; the reconstructed South Yard, home to members of the plantation’s Enslaved Community; the Montpelier Family Cemetery and Montpelier Burial Ground; a 4,300 object museum collection; the Gilmore Cabin, the first freedman’s farm in the United States; the 1910 Train Depot, preserved to represent what it would have looked like during the Jim Crow era; and 150 historic structures built across multiple periods of American history. It is located on 2,700 acres, two-thirds of which are under conservation easement, four miles southwest of Orange, Virginia. The site is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.