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Behind the Curtain Blog

NDEO's "Behind the Curtain" Blog features articles written by NDEO members about dance and dance education topics as well as periodic updates on NDEO programs and services. This is a FREE resource available to ALL.

by Pascal Rekoert, Assistant Professor and Dance Education Program Director at Central Connecticut State University ~~ After two adventurous years that feel like a century due to COVID-19 pitfalls and pratfalls, I am learning to prioritize self-care. As a perfectionist and chronic overachiever who has had difficulty separating work from family life while working remotely, the importance of to-do's, have-to-do's, and overdue-do's ...
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by Jennifer Meckley, Assistant Professor of Dance at Ball State University ~~ As a gender non-conforming pansexual dance teacher in higher education, I have been conversing with colleagues and students about the challenges LGBTQIA and genderqueer students experience in academia and ways we can create safer and more inclusive spaces for these students. I will offer tips on how I have been proactively creating these spaces and will provide some insight on how everyone can contribute to creating he...
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by Nancy H. Moses, Professor Emerita, Bridgewater State University ~~ What do MADEO, MMEA, MAEA and METG have in Common? This fruit salad of initials is a group of Massachusetts Professional Arts Education Organizations; they are all concerned with Advocacy; and they are all a part of a collective impact coalition called Arts for All in Massachusetts gathered together with other organizations by a group called Arts|Learning. Arts for All was created partly in response to the realization that STE...
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By Jan Erkert, Head and Professor (2006-2022) Department of Dance at University of Illinois ~~ This 3-part blog series explores how dance artists can utilize embodied knowledge and choreographic process to interrogate systemic racism in dance programs. Dance departments and their curricula entered academia in the mid-20th century primarily reflecting the values of the dominant white culture in the United States. Ballet and modern often became the pillars of these curricula...
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By Jan Erkert, Head and Professor (2006-2022) Department of Dance at University of Illinois ~~ This 3-part blog series explores how dance artists can utilize embodied knowledge and choreographic process to interrogate systemic racism in dance programs. Dance departments and their curricula entered academia in the mid-20th century primarily reflecting the values of the dominant white culture in the United States. Ballet and modern often became the pillars of these curricula and other dance forms ...
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By Jan Erkert, who was Head and Professor in the Department of Dance at University of Illinois from 2006-2022. ~~This 3-part blog series explores how dance artists can utilize embodied knowledge and choreographic process to interrogate systemic racism in dance programs. Dance departments and their curricula entered academia in the mid-20th century primarily reflecting the values of the dominant white culture in the United States. Ballet and modern often became the pillars of these curricula and ...
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By Dr. Doug Risner, Professor of Dance, Wayne State University; Ruth Arena, Instructor of Dance, LeMoyne College; Meghan McLyman, Professor of Dance, Salem State University ~~ Sitting on the receiving end of a cancer diagnosis is a place no one wants to be. However, the stark reality is that 40% of adults will hear these shocking words, “You have cancer.” Advances in modern medicine and cancer research have certainly increased survival rates, but the diagnosis and treatments remain challenging...
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By Ashlea Sovetts, choreographer, teacher, administrator, advocate ~~ Throughout this summer I had the opportunity to partake in the Rensing Center’s two-week residency program alongside my collaborator Alexandria Nunweiler in Borseda, Italy. In 2020, we applied to the residency in hopes to develop and refine our creative process used for our premiere work 10 Recalling-20, where we interviewed ten individuals ranging in age from 4-85 about their life experiences and how they coped during an unp...
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By Shannon Dooling-Cain, NDEO Director of Special Projects ~~ As we wrap up another school year, we find ourselves reflecting on the tenacity and dedication of our members and their students. This year posed many unique challenges for the dance education community, even as the world slowly began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. In celebration of another year of persistence and innovation, we asked our members to share some of their accomplishments from the past year. Here is just a sample ...
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By Shannon Dooling-Cain, NDEO Director of Special Projects ~~ This summer, we find ourselves reflecting on the tenacity and dedication of our members and their students. This year posed many unique challenges for the dance education community, even as the world slowly began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. In celebration of another year of persistence and innovation, we asked our members to share some of their accomplishments from the past year. Here is just a sample of the responses we re...
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By Shannon Dooling-Cain, NDEO Director of Special Projects ~~ This summer, we find ourselves reflecting on the tenacity and dedication of our members and their students. This year posed many unique challenges for the dance education community, even as the world slowly began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. In celebration of another year of persistence and innovation, we asked our members to share some of their accomplishments from the past year. Here is just a sample of the responses we re...
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By Jennifer Seigle, Residential Dance Faculty and Program Director for Dance at Mesa Community College ~~ What if we thought about business education in dance not only as an important competency, but also as a step toward a more diverse and equitable field? I wonder, does our reticence to discuss the financial aspects of a life in dance make our field less inclusive? Could we make it more inclusive by talking about how we get paid?...
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By Shannon Dooling-Cain & Shelby Bensinger, NDEO Staff ~ In this blog series, we are celebrating our member’s diverse, creative, and inspiring visions for the future of dance education. We recognize that our members come from a wide range of backgrounds, dance experiences, and work environments that influence their perspectives on the dance field today and their aspirations for the future...
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By Shannon Dooling-Cain, NDEO Special Projects Coordinator ~~ At NDEO, we are keenly aware of the need for a strong and clear vision for the future of dance education. Such a vision helps to direct our current and future efforts in the field, ensuring that the work we do now will have a positive and lasting impact over time. Our organizational vision statement reflects our desire to foster a future that is inclusive and equitable, with an emphasis on accessible, high quality dance education...
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By Anabella Lenzu, choreographer, teacher, professor, and writer ~~ For me, self-discipline is the key to working on the flexibility and strength of one’s mind, body, and spirit. Without self-discipline, the life of an artist is impossible. Self-discipline is a respect for what you love. It is your ability to continue choosing to work on your art despite being tired one day, sick another, or any other number of challenges that may arise.No one is going to scream at you and tell you what to do ...
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