Dedicated to the advancement of dance as an art form, specifically through the support and promotion of quality choreography, this festival includes a choreography competition, outreach projects, workshops, residencies and a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation.


Since 1998, the Festival has presented 738 original pieces of choreography and awarded over $740,000 in prize money.


"Palm Desert is playing an important role in upholding the value of dance. Paramount to our experience was the degree of respect the organization placed upon all of the artists in attendance. Not only did staff demonstrate continuous care through their communication, agility, and willingness to accommodate artists’ needs, but the organization as a whole has set a precedent by choosing to compensate everyone presenting their work regardless of award status. This identification of choreography as labor and recognition of winning as subjective caused me to apply to the festival in the first place. Presenting work in a theater at full capacity is always a gift, particularly given how much live performance has been impacted over the past few years. I look forward to submitting my work again in the future and would encourage others to do the same."


-Omar Roman De Jesus/Boca Tuya, 2022 Grand Prize Winner