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Behind the Curtain Blog

by Jessy Kronenberg & Lindsay Lindberg ~~ California has the largest number of K-12 students in the nation, with more than 6 million students and 300,000 teachers. The enormity of the state’s population, myriad rural and urban communities, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse population make California a unique state in which to pursue dance education as a career. In a field on the brink of exciting advancements in terms of equity, earnings, and advocacy, dance education in California...
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By Becca Santone, Teacher at Little Red School House ~~ As we settle in and start making dance class agreements- things we’ll do to keep ourselves safe over the next two weeks- one child’s fears really stuck with me. A first-grade boy was adamant that he did not want to dance. He’d taken dance outside of school, had a bad experience, and was clearly terrified to be in the class...
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By Priscilla Hopkins-Smith, Director of Marketing and Communications for Arts Ed NJ ~~ We realized that this was the ultimate advocacy moment. There was no better time to share the need for arts education and the power of creativity. Since the onset of the pandemic and throughout the past two years, the landscape of arts education has changed dramatically. At schools throughout the state of New Jersey, students were forced to communicate and create from home, or through major restrictions durin...
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By Michael Montoya, Independent Dance Consultant ~~ In this guest blog post, Michael Montoya offers a brief discussion of the often-rigid gender and sexual identity expectations of the world of dance and the negative affects they have on LGBTQIA+ dancers.
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By Dr. Christi Camper Moore, Assistant Professor of Dance at Ohio University ~~ However, amid ongoing burnout and stressors related to the pandemic, feelings of being stifled have presented a more urgent and unique challenge to students’ creativity. In dance major programs that also require students to take dance improvisation and/or composition courses, in tandem with technique courses, this can heighten disconnects between practice and process as students are asked to produce or explore creat...
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By Abigail Agresta-Stratton and Lynn Monson, NDEO Mentorship Committee Chairs ~~ In 2017, NDEO established a PreK-12 Mentorship Program, in response to member interest as expressed on our Online Forums and in yearly K-12 SIG meetings at the Annual Conference. The program is coordinated by a member committee in collaboration with NDEO staff. Dance educators working in PreK-12 schools with less than 5 years of experience can apply to be a mentee, receiving support from a dedicated mentor for two y...
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By Jennifer O’Neill, Program Director/Faculty at Ace Dance Academy, Master Teaching Artist at Center for Community Arts ~~ Perfection. I used to believe that my need for perfection, in all aspects of life but namely in dance, was a badge I should and could wear with pride. I likened being a perfectionist with validity, ....
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By Daniel Levi-Sanchez, a Dancer/Educator living with Myasthenia Gravis ~~ When I taught dance to the 5th graders at The Paul Robeson School in Brooklyn, my objective was less about teaching them how to dance and more about teaching them how to solve problems as a group. I did this .......
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By Ann Rodiger, Founder and Director of Balance Arts Center~~ As a former loosey-goosey bendy dancer, who has since had two hip replacements, I want to spread the word about how to be alert to and work with dancers with hypermobility. While teaching ...
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By Kendall Baab, MSc., Personal Dance Trainer and Dance Scientist, BodyKinect: The Synergy of Science and Dance ~~ Do you ever have a dancer that you just can't figure out how to teach? They can't increase their turnout, they can't lift their leg higher, and they can’t stay on a high relevé. No matter how ....
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By Tamara Irving, Educator, Atlanta Public Schools; Consultant, TMI Design & Consulting ~~ Have you ever reflected on these questions when thinking about your students? Are there many students in my class who actually don’t love to ‘dance’? How many dancers would rather ....
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By Yi An, PhD Student, University of Hawaii at Mānoa ~~ Passing through a series of competitive selections, I began my full-time professional dance training in Beijing at the age of 12. The actual reason I attended the professional dance school was simply because...
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By Connie Bergstein Dow, Dance Educator and Author ~~ Over my long career as a dance educator, I have especially enjoyed teaching creative dance to young children. I love inspiring their enormous and fertile imaginations to explore ideas.....
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By Terrel, Author/Publisher at OnceUponADance.com ~~ As the U.S. slowly opens up again, creative movement teachers will crave activities that keep each little dancer in their own separate space. Here are some ideas....
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By Nikki Allred Boyd, Dance Teacher and Musical Theatre Director, Pine Crest School ~~ But what about the academic side of things? What can dance do for the mind and how does that translate academically.....
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