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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.


Member Updates: Summer 2022 Edition, Part 3

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.

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 of the responses we received. Check out our previous posts in this series (Part 1 & Part 2) for more updates on the amazing work that NDEO members have been doing in their schools and communities:

“Over the past two years, the dance department at Oakland University has been working with NDEO and OPDI to create a fully online K-12 Dance Education certificate that is available nationally to students who either have or are pursuing a bachelor's degree in Dance. I am very excited that this program will be available, with in-state tuition for everyone, in September 2022! We at OU are so grateful for the leadership of NDEO for collaborating with us and making it possible to offer OPDI courses for college credit. We are greatly looking forward to working with students and colleagues from all over the US as we all work to strengthen K-12 Dance Education!” - Elizabeth Kattner, Associate Professor of Dance at Oakland University

“One of the most thrilling achievements of the last twelve months–that I can hardly believe happened–was to have published a research article in the Journal of Dance Education’s Special Issue on 4E Cognition. It is so exciting that people in our community, the dance education community, are taking such an active role in applying these exciting, cutting-edge theories to education. Not only was this the first academic article that I undertook, but it involved educating myself in an entirely new field–4E (embodied, embedded, extended, and enactive) cognition. I owe it to JODE, to NDEO, and to my new friends in these communities for the inspiration and encouragement that they have offered.” - Jesse Katen, Owner, Jesse Katen School of Dance

“I recently revised my dance history curriculum for the high school juniors at Culver Academies in such a way that allows the class to look at the development of different dance styles and disciplines through the lens of race, culture, gender, and politics. I am excited about this shift in the curriculum because it allows the students to draw connections across dance styles while honoring choreographic and stylistic lineages. I've added a final unit in the curriculum in which popular contemporary culture is analyzed as it relates to social dances on TikTok and other social media platforms. This part of the unit leads into discussions of cultural appreciation vs. cultural appropriation and best practices when paying homage to a cultural practice, tradition, or belief through movement and performance.” - Ingrid Dehler-Seter, Co-Director of Dancevision and Dance Instructor at Culver Academies

“I was awarded an Arts Educator Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. This award allowed me to attend the American Dance Festival's Dance Professional's workshops. Fellowships are awarded to individuals working in arts education, dance, design, media/photography, music, literature, theatre, visual arts, and crafts. These grants recognize artistic excellence as well as professional commitment and maturity, contributing to the further development of the artist.” -Kerri-Noelle Humphrey, Director of Programming, Alabama Dance Council

“I work as a Dance Educator at the Curley K-8 Boston Public School. Through a partnership with Tony Williams Dance Center I coordinated for over 100 students and their family members to attend the legendary Urban Nutcracker for free. This event was a celebration of community, artistry and tradition!” - Ava Untermyer, Dance Teacher at Boston Public Schools

NDEO Members - We want to hear from you! Share your updates and accomplishments:

Not an NDEO Member yet? Join our diverse and vibrant community of dance educators who are making a difference in the lives of dance students around the world! Learn more about NDEO membership here:

Photo Credit: Gomathi Manoj

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