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Candidates were asked to answer the following question: Please describe your (1) vision, goals, and strategies while serving in this position; (2) service to the field; (3) leadership skills and experience; (4) collaboration skills in a diverse environment; and (5) response to the appropriate inquiry below: A. If nomination is for Treasurer, describe your experience with development, fiduciary responsibilities, financial reporting, record keeping, and policy making. B. If nomination is for the Policy Board, describe your experience in initiating and following through with new ideas. C. If nomination is for Advisory Director of E-Communications, Graduate or Undergraduate Student Representative, describe your experience with project management and oversight of a committee.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: In my 17 years in higher-education, I have served on many committees, developed new curriculum with a focus on collaboration and community engaged service learning, developed a graduate degree program, and served in numerous leadership and administrative positions. My vision in all these roles was to find ways to inspire and train young artists, help dancers see themselves as multifaceted creative-thinkers and collaborative problem-solvers, and build connections with diverse communities across our region. I have a collaborative leadership style that engages the ideas and opinions of the group to make decisions and develop strategy and it is important to me to know and understand how other dance artists, educators, and scholars are navigating, building, and supporting our field today. The opportunity to serve NDEO would allow frequent contact with dance artists across many sectors in the country, broadening my own perspectives and practices and allowing me the opportunity to give back to a larger community by sharing my time and talents.
While on the Alabama Dance Council board, I helped plan and implement the annual Alabama Dance Festival in Birmingham, AL. I chaired the audition committee, coordinated teachers for the audition classes, communicated with colleges and summer dance intensives represented at the audition, oversaw students assisting with registration and coordination at the festival, collected the organizations' results for the council's records, and implemented surveys to continually improve the process. I chaired the faculty selection committee, reviewing teacher applications from across the nation to select instructors and classes for the festival. I assisted the Executive Director with scheduling for the 3-day weekend of classes, technical rehearsals, performances, and workshops for the festival. I chaired the concert selection committee, reviewing applications for dances for the New Works and Alabama Showcase concerts. I also developed the rubric for scoring the dances, oversaw committee meetings for selection of works, got feedback for applicants, and generated the show order for three concerts at the festival. I have led the Dance Program at UA through two Self-Studies for our accreditation process with the National Association of Schools of Dance, with our third in-process. This requires a comprehensive analysis of the Dance programs in relation to the policies of the University and the standards of NASD. I delegate portions of the data gathering and work with other UA departments to then collate the information into the written document for submission, in addition to coordinating all elements of the on-site visit. As Director of the three-week American Ballet Theatre Summer intensive program, I supervised young dancers, student counselors, faculty, and staff (about 200 people). I coordinated the daily operations of the intensive including scheduling, room and board, facilities, and transportation which allowed me to partner with community and UA entities for a successful experience. As Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, I had the privilege of working with many sectors of the university and community in my job duties. I served as chief financial officer for the Department, monitoring endowment and fund accounts, and preparing University budget requests. I developed and worked with a Department Advisory Committee to set priorities and goals for Department financial allocations, prepared an annual operating budget, assigned budgets to each Area, and prepared year-end financial reports. I oversaw all elements of academic programming such as curriculum, course scheduling, degree requirements, catalog updates, and faculty teaching assignments. I planned and implemented annual program assessment as well as prepared annual reports for the College. During my time as Chair, I was able to reorganize our Department governance into a more collaborative structure, create Department bylaws, improve Department communication, work with outside consultants for anti-racism training and creating new mission, vision, and values statements, develop a rubric for greater transparency in annual faculty productivity reviews, lead the Department through its first University Academic Program Review, and navigate all the unique facilities, operations, and personnel challenges that accompanied COVID-19.
All these opportunities have enabled me to fine tune my skills in record keeping, policy-making, finances, collaboration, and strategic planning, which are skills I can share as Secretary of the Executive Committee of NDEO. I would cherish the opportunity to work alongside others committed to the betterment of our dance communities and practices.
BIO: Sarah M. Barry, MFA, CLMA, is a Professor of Dance and serves as Associate Chair of Dance and Director of the MFA Dance Program at the University of Alabama. She served as Department Chair from 2019-2022. She teaches contemporary technique, choreography, pedagogy, and Laban/Bartenieff Studies. She is the Artistic Director of Yonder Contemporary Dance Company, which has performed across the southeast region and internationally at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Sarah was honored to be a Leadership Board Faculty Fellow, as well as a recipient of UA's prestigious Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award and the Druid City Arts Award for Dance Educator of the Year. Sarah's choreography has been shown across the U.S. and internationally, including performances in Italy, Switzerland, and Scotland. She was awarded an NEA American Masterpieces grant and the Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant. Sarah's screendances have been selected for the Kalamata International Dance Festival, the Festival Miden in Greece, the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, the Utah Dance Film Festival, and Motion Captured in Texas. She also has publications in the Journal of Dance Education and the Journal of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: My goal for serving on the board of directors for NDEO is to continue the growth and support of the organization as well as for dance education around the country. At a time when education and educators feel under attack from many fronts, I believe serving in this role could not only teach me much about how to advocate for my own program and students, but also allow me to connect with others to make our collective voice stronger. I have served in leadership positions in my state organization and helped to connect dance, health, and physical education teachers during my time. I also served my tenure as president to our state organization during COVID-19 and had to work with my committee to create the first-ever virtual conference for our state in less than six months’ time. My goal when serving at the state level was to create a clearer, more efficient system for our organization and work to bridge the multiple areas of education included in SCAHPERD. I learned how to navigate difficult conversations, how to listen to opposing viewpoints, how to balance time spent serving the organization with career and family duties, and how to work within a non-profit organization’s structure. During my time we were battling with the state legislature which pitted physical educators against band teachers, and we worked to advocate for our movement-based programs in the state. This was also the time when we lost national funding due to the American Heart Association’s suspension of work with SHAPE, our national affiliate, and we had to create a funding source for our organization quickly. We also faced adversity with health issues of board members during my tenure in which I had to take on additional responsibilities in order to ensure the running of our organization could continue without pause. I worked closely with the executive director and came to understand the deep love and commitment it takes for someone to lead these non-profit organizations as it can be a thankless, tiring job for little pay most of the time. Because of this time in my leadership role and the modeling I saw from those I served with, I believe I am now better able to step into a position at NDEO and serve dance educators throughout the nation. I fiercely believe in the power of dance and dance education, but also know that many others may not. I understand the power of a collective voice and want to work to find ways to support dance educators so they can focus on teaching a love of dance to their students, rather than fighting with the nay-sayers outside of their classroom. In this role on the NDEO board, I want to continue the work others have started to make NDEO even more accessible to dance educators around the country, specifically in the Southeast region. I would love to work to connect dance educators across state lines so we can have a more unified regional voice and work together to support and uplift not just each other but the profession in general.
BIO: Emily Enloe (EdD, MEd, BA) graduated from the University of South Carolina-Columbia with her BA in Dance Education in May 2010. During her time as an undergraduate she was awarded a Magellan Scholar award for research in dance and videoconferencing as well as the Richard Durlach Excellence in Dance Education scholarship. She has taught middle and high school dance in Columbia, SC and Charleston, SC for the last 12 years. In addition, Enloe was the Graduate Mentor for the Dancers Connect program housed through USC-Columbia’s Dance Education program from 2010-2014. The Dancers Connect program was an undergraduate practicum experience for dance education undergraduates that provided free dance classes to middle and high school students in the Columbia community. Working with this program earned Enloe the 2012 NDEO Elsa Posey Graduate Student Scholarship. Enloe is also the Past President for both SCAHERD and SCDA, the SC state associations for dance educators. She earned her MEd in August 2013 from USC-Columbia in Early Childhood Education and graduated with her EdD in Leadership from Charleston Southern University in May 2022. Her research interests include whole-child development particularly of adolescents, pedagogy and curriculum, somatics-based dance approaches, and culturally responsive pedagogy.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Greetings, NDEO community! I’m excited to be considered as a member of the board, bringing my passion for learning from - and amplifying - diverse voices and advocating for the design of more equitable learning opportunities and outcomes for everyone interested in dance.
From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a dance teacher. I started teaching dance at a YMCA at age nineteen, fell in love with curriculum design in college, and taught multiple ages, styles, competitive teams and recreational students through a dance studio. I learned classroom management as trial-by-fire and also how to make a dance classroom multidimensional and engaging. However, my sights were always set on K-12 dance education. After graduate school I began my first K-12 position as the sole dance teacher at the institution. I was constantly seeking ways to keep the dance program relevant and important to the school. I attribute my success to excellent communication skills, an awareness of the school’s missions and values, and building meaningful dance experiences for students that the school was proud to champion.
After a decade in K-12, and nearly two decades as a dance educator, I have volunteered my time with two state affiliate boards, been published online by NDEO and Global Online Academy, presented innovative curriculum design at two NDEO national conferences and mentored through NDEO’s Mentorship Program. I am constantly seeking new opportunities to contribute to the field and create meaningful impact.
My vision to connect the field is to have more direct engagement with the state affiliates in my region. In order to truly have a pulse on the region, I would build relationships with the dance professionals in those state organizations. Meaningful relationships are the path forward to bringing more voices to the table. In states in the southeast region that do not yet have a formal state affiliate organization, I would prioritize supporting local NDEO educators from each state and foster leadership opportunities where local educators feel empowered by NDEO.
I am a person who blends candor, care, and empathy in dealing with others, and whose style is rooted in honesty, transparency, collaboration, and respect. Within my school I am currently the Performing Arts facilitator for Theater, Dance and Music. In my role I am responsible for overseeing department policies, guidelines and practices as well as curriculum alignment, building community and mentoring new faculty. As Director of Communications on my state affiliate board, I oversee the visibility of our organization and the accessibility of the resources we provide, including advocacy and professional development.
My experience working in diverse teams has been the most productive when there is a mutual feeling of support, trust and belonging among the team. This is the type of environment I intend to cultivate at NDEO through authentic relationships, timely communication, and modeling accountability, follow-through and growth.
I have a strong familiarity with processes and structures that promote operational accountability, including budget, resource procurement, policy development, and overseeing long-term initiatives such as strategic plans. Over time I have added significant growth to the programs I directed, which meant I have thoughtfully utilized my budget while also being diplomatic when advocating for more resources. My history of follow-through with new ideas is also substantial. This includes envisioning and establishing new performance events, building new courses to better serve the student population, and aligning K-12 scope and sequence. In 2018 I established a dance festival to connect area schools, broadening the school’s network with other dance professionals. I researched, wrote a proposal and successfully advocated for a significant investment in our dance studio space, including a new dance floor. The summer of 2020, I developed COVID safety guidelines and protocols for the theater and dance departments which were later adopted by school administrators so classes and rehearsals could resume.
I do these things because they feel like the right thing to do. I have done a lot of this work under the radar and without prompting because I knew it would strengthen programs I believe in and have an impact on students’ experience in dance education. I look forward to bringing my experience along with this same drive to the NDEO Board of Directors.
BIO: A graduate of William Smith College (BA, Dance) and Temple University (EdM, Dance), Cara is passionate about teaching dance in K-12 schools. Cara strives for the dance classroom to be a home for anyone curious about dance and willing to put in the effort. Dance can be a polarizing art form in terms of those who identify or see themselves as "dancers". Cara works diligently to foster an environment of inclusion and belonging, one that brings out the best in each dance student, regardless of where they are on their dance journey. Cara also believes the arts are a vehicle for self-discovery as well as a window into diverse perspectives and experiences. She works to build a performing arts program that values individuality and community. Previously, she was the Dance Director at The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA for eight years. Currently, she teaches dance at The Galloway School in Atlanta, GA and serves on the board for DEGAS, the Georgia state affiliate for NDEO. Cara has been integral in shaping the direction of the Galloway Fine Arts department as their Performing Arts Facilitator and loves being part of a school where the arts are deeply valued.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I would very much value the opportunity to expand our offerings to teachers of the performing arts. I feel akin to all teachers of dance and I would very much value the chance to offer educational opportunities to them. I have published my vision and conclusions in both JODE and DEiP. I am very proud to serve as a reviewer for both publications. I have served as President of the Rotary Club of Binghamton as as President of the Board of Trustees of the Broome County Public Library. Being a leader does not mean that your vision gets advanced, but rather, you are asked to take responsibility for what your board envisions and asks of you. I have had successful interactions and responsibilities with with a variety of individuals of many races, sexualities, ethnicities, and religions. We need to be responsive to the needs of our membership.
BIO: I began studying dance in 1991. Since then, I have opened my own studio and published in both Dance Education in Practice and Journal of Dance Education. I work in the private sector but I also teach in higher education as a professor of English. I really value the opportunity to share my experience and education with dance students and teachers across the globe.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Within the unprecedented complexity of our historical moment--a still present global health crisis, a social uprising due to systemic racism and inequity, an uncertain economic situation, and a bleak environmental future-- finding the courage and resilience to address these challenges is not just an admirable but an existential goal for our society. To assert a bold and innovative agenda that truly positions dance at the center of a process that can challenge current notions of access, and potentially disrupt existing centers of powers, is a unique opportunity. As an artist, an educator and an activist, but also as a first generation, queer, immigrant woman, who has worked and served in a variety of positions--inside and outside academia--in Italy, the UK, Ireland, Mexico, and the US, I am interested in this position specifically because I believe in the immense power of the moving body to be at the forefront of this necessary paradigm shift. More specifically, I’m interested in supporting NDEO’s priorities of connecting the field, build knowledge and cultivate leadership through innovative programming, which is truly accessible to all. NDEO has done a great job at diversifying its options to engage a broader constituency, but I think more can be done in reaching future generations of dance educators, including-but not limited to- podcasts, mini-seminars, and other technology-embracing realities.
2-3) Since July 2021, I am serving as the Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts at the University of Northern Colorado, an emerging HIS (Hispanic serving institution), and a comprehensive public university, which prides itself for putting students first. From 2017 to 2021 I was the Endowed Chair for the Department of Theatre and Dance at UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso), a large HSI public institution on the southern border between the United States and Mexico. At UTEP, I served a highly talented student population that is over 80% Latinx, under the institutional mission of access and excellence. Through these two positions, I have been on the front line of the changing demographics of higher education, which has allowed me the opportunity to focus on arts education in the context of the contemporary and 21st Century student demographic. Previously, I served for three years as the Chair of the Arts Department (which included four divisions: dance, theatre, music, visual arts) at Universidad de las Américas Puebla, a private Mexican University fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). I have also attached a leadership statement if you want to read more about my leadership’s philosophy.
In terms of my policy-making and advocacy experience, I have been serving for 2 years on the Colorado Humanities board, which helps with the visioning and programming of many cultural initiatives in Colorado, through NEH founding. The core mission and vision of Colorado Humanities is to advocate for the necessity of the humanities as a fundamental right, as well as a tool for the appreciation of diverse cultural backgrounds and meaningful community engagement. I have also served on the World Dance Alliance for the Americas’ board as a President from 2018-2021. These were difficult years, especially during Covid, when I help shifting our in-person conference model to a fully online one. 4) My core belief about EDI’s work is centered around the idea that any decision we make in a leadership position should be a decision that fosters more equity, fair representation, and justice. EDI should be a catalyst for profound and necessary change that impacts all aspects of an academic reality, from teaching to scholarship, financial decisions, service and hires. In my almost 10 years in leadership roles, I have upheld principles of diversity, inclusion, equity, social justice and belonging in the hiring I have done (almost all my hires at the three institutions I have worked at have been diversity hires), the curricular changes and innovations I have spearheaded (like the first BA in LatinX Music), the programmatic decisions I made regarding performing and visual arts programming (including the very first UTEP LatinX theatre and dance season for the 2019-2020 academic year).
BIO: Artist, academic leader, and educator, Cristina Goletti is the Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts at the University of Northern Colorado. Previous appointments include: Associate Professor and Chair of the Theatre and Dance Department at the University of Texas at El Paso, and full-time professor and Chair of the Arts Department at Universidad De Las Americas Puebla, Mexico. She served as President for the World Dance Alliance Americas until 2021 and co-directed Legitimate Bodies Dance Company and I.F. O.N.L.Y. Dance Festival (Ireland), Performatica Forum (Mexico), and was a finalist in the 4x4 Tijuana choreographic contest. Cristina has presented her creative and scholarly work at several conferences and universities in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America. Cristina's awards include “DanceWEB European Scholarship”, two Bursary Awards, the Project Award and several travel awards from The Irish Arts Council and the European Cultural Foundation. She holds an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Postgraduate Diploma from the London Contemporary Dance School.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: My vision is to strengthen the connection NDEO has with state affiliates and to create interconnectivity between state affiliates in the same region. Because I would be new to this position, my first year goal would be to learn as much as I can about the inner workings of NDEO so that I can better prepare strategies for how to make my vision happen. I also want to be the voice for K-12 Dance educators in NDEO. I have noticed that higher ed educators have taken up a large bulk of the administration. Originally, I didn’t think I could even apply for this role because of my position.
I have been active with AzDEO since the first day I joined the organization by attending events, volunteering for committees, and doing whatever necessary to help. I have sat on the AzDEO board as Secretary, President Elect, and currently as sitting President. I have attended the Arizona Arts Congress to advocate for Arts Funding twice as a representative of AzDEO. I have worked with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) on numerous projects including the revision of the Dance State Standards in 2015, creation of Student-Learning Objectives and a Baseline/Summative Assessment, and most recently lesson plan creation with the embodiment of Social-Emotional Competencies within the National and State Dance Anchor Standards.
I’ve shared my experiences in and out of the classroom whether it be through advocating within my district or teaching new dance educators. I’ve spoken at the Arizona State Association for Superintendents Conference, ADE’s Title IV-A Summit and Arts/PE Summer Conference several times, and at numerous AzDEO events and most recently, the NDEO conference in October 2022. I also make it a point to invite local legislators and other community members to my dance concerts because I want them to see why the Arts is vital to the community.
I also pride myself on being resourceful and partnering with any and every one! My high school is a Title I population so these students have limited resources. I constantly strive for cross-curricular collaboration. I feel Dance is the easiest way to teach other subject matters, so why not collaborate? I celebrate my program’s diversity and find ways for students to showcase their culture at every opportunity. My Master’s in Counseling and Therapy has given me the tools to be patient and understand my students on a deeper and more cognitive level so that mental health always comes first in my class. Lastly, I’m not afraid to contact businesses and see how they can help. I have found performance opportunities and grants to apply for just by doing this. I recently took a grad course on grant writing so I can be better prepared for writing future ones for my program and to help AzDEO in the future.
AzDEO is currently in a huge transition after one of our pioneers retired. I have been involved with renovating our brand, website, and updating our technological practices and basic procedures. This has been the most ambitious thing our organization has done and I have shown that my drive for keeping our organization the ‘go to spot’ in Arizona is an initiative that not many could have taken on. My ability to bring a new perspective and big ideas should not stay with AzDEO. I believe I can bring these vital skills to the Board of Directors too.
BIO: Tiffany White is currently the Dance Director at Chandler High School and the President of the Arizona Dance Education Organization (AzDEO) and has been teaching Dance in the private and public setting for almost 12 years. She was the past Secretary of AzDEO and sits on the Professional Development and Recognition Committees. She has a BFA in Dance & Choreography and a BS in Creative Advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University, a MEd in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona, & a MEd in Counseling from Prescott College. Tiffany has served on various state committees to revise the State Dance standards, create Baseline/Summative Assessments, pilot the National Dance Standards, and sat on the ADE's SEL x Arts committee to help create lesson plans and other resources that encourage educators to connect the Social Emotional framework to State Arts Standards. She has spoken at multiple events around the state of AZ such as the ASA State Conference, Title IV-A Conference, AZ Arts Congress, and AzDEO professional development events, and has spoken at the National Dance Education Conference. Tiffany was the 2019 recipient of the ‘Kathy Lindholm Lane’ AZ Dance Educator of the Year.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT:My vision for the role of Advisor of Dance and Disabilities is to move the needle forward on participation in NDEO from the disabled dance community. This would look like a much larger representation of disabled people in NDEO committees and spaces, as well as disabled members in positions of leadership. We have much work to do to make this possible, especially with regards to access. One of my goals is to make all NDEO events hybrid. Currently there is an “in-person” conference each year with no resources allocated to access, and various much smaller “virtual” events. And in effect this means that the disabled community as a larger whole is relegated to the small events. We have so much to learn and to offer from being present at the large NDEO events. While I am speaking specifically about disability access, a similar need exists for financial access to NDEO. To meet these goals, I’d like to discuss and develop ways to engage folks who do not have disability and/or financial access to NDEO (as an example, NDEO is most influenced by academia because often academics have more financial resources than other educators in our field - their institutions might cover expenses for further educational opportunities).
I am a strong and empathetic leader. I have been in many leadership positions throughout my life – as can be seen on my CV – but the most pleasurable ones have been ones that engage collaboration (of ideas and strategies). I feel the value of justice must underlie leadership. Generally speaking I’m not a fan of hierarchies and believe that we accomplish so much more together than as individuals. And the more diverse voices at a table, the more we have a shot at dismantling oppressions and discovering belonging with one another in community!
In terms of project management and committee oversight, my experience draws from my work running a dance company off and on for 3 decades, being the director of a writing collective for over a decade, serving on the Disability+ working group of Creating New Futures, serving on the Leadership Committee of Dance Artists National Collective, and various other roles. I feel that as dance artists, the majority of what we do is actually project management!
BIO: April Biggs is a queer, multiply-disabled dance artist, and disability access and artistry consultant who works on the stolen lands of both the Kiikaapoi (Milwaukee, WI) and the Lenape (NYC) peoples. Her praxis follows a Disability Justice framework, which centers the most marginalized and celebrates the nuanced experiences of disabled people/culture. April was the inaugural recipient of the 2022 Spring Peeper Creative Residency (VA), and was a 2020 Dance/NYC Disability.Dance.Artistry.Dance and Social Justice Fellow. She has been making, collaborating and teaching dance for 3 decades, and has shared her work at Movement Research, DTW, Dixon Place, the Merce Cunningham Studios, and the ALT Theatre, among others. She has performed the work of many amazing choreographers, most notably, Bebe Miller, Doug Varone, Ronald K. Brown, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Third Rail Projects.
April holds an MFA in Choreography from OSU, an MFA in Poetry from The New School, and a BFA in Dance from FSU. Through a lens of “access-imagining”, she teaches in both community and academic settings, most recently at UW-Milwaukee, UW-Madison, University at Buffalo, and OSU. She is a disability consultant to Rutgers University’s Integrated Dance Minor, a member of Creating New Futures’ (CNF) Disability+ Working Group, and an Envisioning Coordinator for Dance Artists’ National Collective (DANC). April has presented at various national conferences and serves on the Artistic Advisory Board of The Field Center (VT), and on the NDEO Dance & Disability Advisory Council.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Disability describes a culture and experience that is vast. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to accessibility and inclusion. In this position, I envision my role as that of a conduit, a facilitator between the NDEO board and our community of dancers and change-makers. I will work to uplift NDEO's vision of "a nation that affords every citizen equal access and opportunity to quality dance arts education regardless of gender, age, race or culture, socio-economic status, ability or interest," through creative approaches to access at all levels of our programming. I believe that accessibility is best implemented when it lives at the roots of a practice. I envision NDEO virtual and in-person events that offer a wide variety of accessibility-based initiatives, accommodations, and presentations by Disabled dance makers. Some of these initiatives might include ASL and/or BASL interpreters at all events, accessibility-based Zoom practices, and outreach to involve more Disabled dancers and educators in our conferences and special topics presentations. I hope to shift NDEO towards a more access-based model, making it a leader in Disabled dance education research.
I have worked on several committees and subcommittees in my current position at Hunter College including the Dance Dept. Anti-Racism Committee, the White Anti-Racist Caucus, and the Curriculum Committee. In these roles, I led several administrative initiatives, worked collaboratively with colleagues and students, and maintained organized note-keeping and procedural documents. I am confident in my abilities to work both independently and with a team.
Overall, I do not believe that accessibility lives in a silo. In my role, I hope to establish an intersectional access-based process for NDEO to continue to grow its community for years to come.
BIO: Rachel DeForrest Repinz, MFA is a dancer, choreographer, scholar, and teaching artist based in Philadelphia and NYC. She received a BA and MFA in Dance from SUNY Buffalo State and Temple University, respectively. Rachel is currently a second-year doctoral student in Dance at Texas Woman’s University with a focus on the Disability Aesthetic and its applications in Contemporary dance. Rachel founded and artistically directs RACHEL:dancers, a multi-medium, multi-modal, dance performance company, as well as a collaborative performance art project, Bashi Arts, with Enya-Kalia Jordan. Rachel has presented her work internationally, at venues including the Off-Broadway Kraine Theater, Movement Research, UWI Barbados, the 2018, 2019, and 2022 NDEO conferences, DaCi’s 2020 special series and 2023 National Gathering, the Institute of Dance Artistry, Mark Degarmo’s NYC Salon Series, Philadelphia Youth Dance Festival, and more. She has had the honor of working with esteemed choreographers including Sidra Bell, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Wayne St. David, Dr. S. Ama Wray, Meriàn Soto, Awilda Sterling-Duprey, and as a principal dancer for Enya Kalia Creations, among others. She has been commissioned to create works for the UN’s World Water Day, the Utah All-State Dance Ensemble, Pennsylvania State University, the Buffalo State Dance Theater Company, and more.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Vision:
To strengthen NDEO’s student-centered offerings such that student members are supported toward their education-related professional interests and invested in building the future of NDEO.
- Create a pipeline from NHSDA and NDEO membership institutions into new individual NDEO members.
- Continue building student-centered offerings toward cultivating resources and community among student attendees at National Conferences.
- Facilitate student-centered programming virtually throughout the year within organizational capacity.
- Connect student membership with resources and professional contacts to support their various career transitions into professional teaching, graduate school, academia, and other education-related professional pursuits.
- Two-term Graduate Student Representative, NDEO Advisory Council
- Pro bono consulting/advocacy work toward greater accessibility and DEIJ in the dance field
- One of only a few people in the country engaged in training/mentorship on Audio Description for dance
- Panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts
Leadership Experience (selected highlights):
- Campus Climate Director, Associated Graduate Students, University of California, Irvine (2021-present)
- Program Founder and Lead, Inclusive Drag Night, UCI (2021-present)
- Co-Lead Facilitator, Queer Graduate Caucus, UCI (2018-present)
- Advocacy Lead, Verano Residents Council, Graduate & Family Housing, UCI (2021-present)
- Research Lead, Dance Data Project (2021)
Collaboration is at the core of my pursuits and is responsible for the best works for which I have been responsible. In pursuing collaborations, I believe that each of my collaborators has unique skills and expertise that allow them to best shepherd their responsibilities. As a facilitator, I believe that my role is to provide the support my collaborators need to best pursue their work, whatever that support may look like. Sometimes, that requires my intervention in business correspondence or a stronger presence in guiding a meeting; other times, that requires me to simply check in with my collaborators, sign off on paperwork, and get out of their way so they can do their work. Each collaboration is different, but I believe that treating collaborators as valuable and knowledgeable is key.
Selected example: Inclusive Drag Night at UC Irvine (began in 2022)
Role: Founder and Event Lead, 2021-present
Inaugural event highlights:
- Supported with $20,000 grant from the University of California Office of the President
- Reached 500 people through in-person and livestream attendance, the largest attended event in the history of the Associated Graduate Students
- Pioneered and modeled campus event accessibility with the use of Live Captions, ASL interpretation, Audio Description, and sensory recalibration/quiet rooms
- Supported one professional, disabled POC drag performer and four student drag debuts, three of whom are POC
2023 event is still in progress and is presented in collaboration with the undergraduate student body at a larger campus venue more than double the capacity of the inaugural year.
BIO: San Francisco native BRADFORD CHIN (he/they) is a dance artist & methodologist, DEIJ & accessibility consultant, and audio describer for dance. Based in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Florida, he was a recipient of the 2021-2022 California Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Described by LA Dance Chronicle as “conceptually fun,” his collaborative works have been presented at festivals, museums, galleries, and schools. Formerly with AXIS Dance Company, he has performed works by choreographers including Arthur Pita, Jennifer Archibald, and Robert Dekkers, and has danced with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Contempo Ballet, Laurel Jenkins, and others. Specializing in disability in dance and critically inclusive pedagogy, Chin has taught contemporary modern, ballet, and improvisation and/as composition techniques across the United States and internationally. His work has received over $35,000 in support by entities including the California Arts Council, The Actors Fund, and Arts Council for Long Beach, among others. He earned a BFA in Dance from California State University, Long Beach, a Social Justice & Diversity Certificate from City College of San Francisco, and an MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine (June 2023). Chin currently serves on the Advisory Council for the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: See Me, Hear Me, Value Me, Push Me
See Me: When you SEE ME, see me for who I am, where I am, and see my color too
HEAR ME: Hear the things I say for when you listen you learn and when I listen I can grow to
VALUE ME: Value my experience, my existence, my feelings, and my presence in the room and within the conversations even if I'm not present!
When you have done these 3 things, then and only then can you PUSH ME!
PUSH ME: Challenge me to do better, give me feedback, give me tools to do better, and or change my perception, and push me forward not back or down.
BIO: J.C. De’ Marko V. Burnett-Gordon, from Nashville, TN, received his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Theater & Communications, and a minor in Dance, and a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Dance Education from the University of Memphis.
JC holds a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction for Secondary Schools with an emphasis in Curriculum Design/ Planning from Tennessee State University, a Master of Arts in Dance Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Master of Arts for Arts in Medicine from the University of Florida.
JC has worked for Metro Nashville Public School in Davidson County as the 1st and only Black Male Dance Educator for ten years and has served in leadership roles, including the National Dance Week Foundation Ambassador for the State of Tennessee, chartered and sponsored the National Honor Society for Dance Arts for various high schools and a Member of Delta Phi Delta Dance Fraternity Inc.
JC is also the CEO & CFO of the Dare 2 D.R.E.A.M. Foundation 501c3 Nonprofit Organization where Mission Statement is to plant a seed for individuals to grow within the arts through Creative & Professional Development, Artistic Expression, Education, Scholarship, and Mentorships.
JC will return to Tennessee State University as an Adjunct Professor this fall.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I envision becoming a part of a community that is passionate about dance education and supports movers and learners of a variety of backgrounds. My goal is to develop my communication, advocacy, and organization. I have the skillset to be successful in the role of graduate representative because I have developed professional competencies through my leadership roles. As a Dance Educator at Hopewell High School I started a new dance program with four course levels, advocated for a dance floor, and built a costume closet. I have also grown in my current role as Recruitment Coordinator where I schedule student visits to the Dance Division at Texas Woman’s University, organize and facilitate College Dance Day for prospective students, participate in college fairs, and teach master classes and recruitment sessions for local high schools.
BIO: Makayla Church Rosenberger is a native to rural Appalachia and grew up studying primarily ballet and jazz. Her blue ridge roots ignited her passion for nature, community, and accessibility to the arts. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and concentration in Education from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Makayla is currently a MFA in Dance Candidate at Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX. She is trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary dance and has experience teaching students of all ages in public school, private studio, and community center settings. As an artist, Makayla is interested in interdisciplinary and collaborative work that emphasizes process over product, while decentering herself in the role of choreographer. Her choreography explores topics of artistic expression, mental health, feminine experience, and music visualization. Currently she is curious about the intersections between visual art and dance as they relate to embodiment and movement generation. She currently serves as a Graduate Assistant for both the Division of Dance, working in recruitment, and Fitness and Recreation, working in marketing. Recently, she is excited about dance making, writing, painting, nature, and finding creative ways to combine these passions.