Hill was born in East Palestine, Ohio on December 1.
- Graduation from the Alfred School
She attended the Battle Creek Alfred School of Physical Education in Battle Creek, Michigan, graduating in 1920. She took over the position of dance instructor, teaching ballet and Swedish gymnastics for the next three years.
- Joins Kansas State Teachers College
In 1923, she was hired as dance instructor at Kansas State Teachers College. Hill taught there for three years, moving to New York City in 1926.
- Moves to New York City
After arriving in New York, she studied with various dance teachers; one of note was Martha Graham who would have a lasting impact on Hill.
- Joins University of Oregon
In 1927, she was hired as Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Oregon where Bessie Schonberg was one of Hill's student.
- Moves back to New York City
By 1929, Hill had saved up enough money to move back to New York. She joined the Martha Graham Dance Company, completed a BS degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, and began teaching high school students at the Lincoln School of Teachers College, Columbia University.
- Joins New York University
She was hired to teach at New York University in the Physical Education Department of the School of Education in 1930, soon becoming Director of Dance (a position which she held until 1951). Hill reluctantly left the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1931 because of an increasing teaching schedule.
- Joins Bennington College
In 1932, Hill was hired by the brand new Bennington College in Bennington, VT, as Chairman of the Dance Department. She held the positions at NYU and Bennington College simultaneously until 1951.
- Creates the Summer Dance Festival
In the summer of 1934, Hill initiated a summer dance festival on the Bennington College campus, named the "Bennington School of the Dance", which ran until 1942, with a brief interlude at Mills College in 1939. Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham, Charles Weidman, and Hanya Holm were key faculty members.
- Receives her Masters of Arts
Hill received her Masters of Arts degree from New York University
- Forms Connecticut College
In 1948 she formed a School of the Dance at Connecticut College calling it the "Connecticut College School of the Dance". The new summer festival employed many of the same teachers/choreographers from the Bennington festival. Hill was a co-director of the festival until 1952. The festival was later renamed the American Dance Festival and is currently housed at Duke University in North Carolina.
- Joins Julliard School
In 1951, William Schuman, president of The Juilliard School, hired Hill to be the first Director of Dance. Schuman and Hill had the bold new concept of creating a training ground for dancers that would be equally split between ballet and modern dance.
- Gets Married
Hill married Dr. Thurston “Lefty” Davies in 1952. Davies died in 1961.
- Creates Juilliard Dance Theatre
Organizes the Juilliard Dance Theatre with Doris Humphrey Hill remained the Director of Dance at Juilliard until 1985, training generations of dancers to the highest level of technique and artistry. Her students included Paul Taylor, Muriel Topaz, Pina Bausch, Daniel Lewis, Lar Lubovitch, Dennis Nahat, Linda Kent, Bruce Marks, Mercedes Ellington, H.T. Chen, Martha Clarke, Susan Marshall, Jenny Coogan, Robert Garland, Mark Haim, Henning Rübsam and Stanley Love.
- Juilliard Moves
Juilliard Moves to Lincoln Center
Hill retires as Julliard Dance Division Director. Hill was named Artistic Director Emeritus in 1985, but continued to teach at Juilliard for several years.
At 94 years of age she died at her home in Brooklyn Heights on November 19, 1995.