Visions for the Future of Dance Education, Part 1
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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 experiences for all:
The National Dance Education Organization envisions 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.
Or, as we like to sum it up: NDEO believes in #DanceEducationForAll.
For nearly 25 years, we have worked to bring this vision to fruition through our programs, services, and advocacy. However, we recognize that this vision is only made possible with the partnership of our members, who are working synergistically across all sectors of the field. NDEO members believe in the value of our vision for the future of dance education, and work alongside us to make it possible.
At the same time, we recognize that each of our members have their own perspectives and experiences, which shape their personal hopes and aspirations for the future of the field. We honor these unique perspectives and value the diversity of vision within our membership. With that in mind, NDEO recently asked our members to describe their unique vision for the future of dance education. In this first edition of our new blog series, “Visions for the Future of Dance Education,” we are offering just sample of the responses we received:
- “I believe that dance is for everyone. At any age, at any point in a person’s life, they can benefit from movement. I strive to create an environment where interested students from all genders, races, cultures, abilities, and socio-economic statuses can enjoy dance. For me, dance is about creating a stronger, safer environment for these young people to explore their world and find new ways to express their ideas. My vision for the future of dance education would include dance in all public schools, considered as an equal component of the arts alongside music, theater, and visual art.” - Donna Lynch, Incoming President of Mid-Atlantic Dance Masters, and Dance Educator at The Studio in Enola, PA
- “It is my hope that the future of dance education includes a return to the roots of intention, storytelling and teaching our students to transcend our conventional understanding of what dance should look like. Some stories we tell aren't pretty. Art isn't always pretty. When we are completely authentic is when we capture the hearts of others. If each teacher devoted one dance each year to a cultural dance where students immersed themselves in that culture, learning the traditions and stories of life from their perspective, we would begin to break down the barriers of racism and inequality. We have the opportunity to be the change makers. Cultural understanding is the way forward. The arts, and dance in particular, is the way to bring people together in celebration of what we all bring to this world.” - Ricka Kelsch, Creator and Executive Director at Dance and Dialogue in California
- “My vision for the future of dance education is that it continues to expand in many directions; through the diverse styles that we present to our students, by welcoming and including a variety of students who want to learn and who we can teach. By developing equity within the field to all genres of dance and the importance of the contribution each can make in the education of our students. Sharing the importance of a solid dance education and its benefits to any student at all levels of education as well as the benefits this art form can make in the nurturing of a well-rounded and responsible citizen of our society.” - Yoav Kadaar, Director of Dance at West Virginia University
If you believe in #DanceEducationForAll and want to work with NDEO to bring to fruition this vision for the future of dance education, we invite you to join us! Become a member of NDEO today and unite with thousands of other dance educators striving to make the dance world more accessible, inclusive, and equitable for all! Learn more about NDEO membership and sign up here: https://www.ndeo.org/Membership
Are you a current member of NDEO? Share your vision for the future of dance education with us here: https://fs16.formsite.com/ndeoforms/2022membertestimony/index.html
NDEO’s Guest Blog Series features posts written by our members about their experiences in the fields of dance and dance education. Guest posts reflect the experiences, opinions, and viewpoints of the author and are printed here with their permission. NDEO does not endorse any business, product, or service mentioned in guest blog posts. If you are interested in learning more about the guest blogger program or submitting an article for consideration, please click here.