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Behind the Curtain Blog

Archive by author: NDEO StaffReturn
By Kate Gupton, Dance Teacher at North Graham Elementary~~We are entering a new age in education. Second graders can navigate Zoom calls, high schoolers are working full-time jobs while in school, and the demands...
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By Gillian Ebersole, Education and Community Engagement Intern at Colorado Ballet~~When the pandemic hit, Movement Exchange pivoted from their in-person work to meaningful virtual counterparts. This transition happened swiftly because Movement Exchange focuses on centering dance around sharing cultural and embodied knowledge...
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By Hannah McCarthy, Dance Educator, Freelance Choreographer, Researcher~~The cancellation of American Ballet Theatre’s and New York City Ballet’s Fall Seasons may not have been the first of the year, but they were some of the first to be highly publicized and seal the fate of ballet for the rest of 2020. It’s as if the performing arts community knew this would happen all along...
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By Katie Diehl, Assistant Professor of Dance, Idaho State University~~In this blog post, I share three specific somatic concepts and practices that have been informing my ballet pedagogy. Additionally, you will find select movement experiences that can be integrated into your classes. Some of the language I utilize is derived directly from Bill Evans pedagogy...
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By Megan Taylor Morrison, Editor of Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad~~In 2018, I began the journey of helping artists from around the world document their stories about the epic experiences they’d had dancing abroad. Now, two and a half years later, these educational, first-person narratives are part of my forthcoming anthology...
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By Mary Bawden, Founder & Executive Director of DA:NCE (Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited) ~~ It’s special to watch a young child put on their first pair of dance shoes at their first dance class and watch them anticipate their first performance. You, friends, already know that the research demonstrates that dance is a wonderful activity for children: improved academic performance, brain development, creativity, risk taking...
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By Jesse Katen, Owner of The Jesse Katen School of Dance ~~ For the past decade, I’ve had the joy of traveling as a professional dance competition judge, focusing mainly on special awards. I love nothing more than drawing attention to what young dancers do well and using that opportunity on the stage to teach...
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By Anabella Lenzu ~~ Nothing gives me more fulfillment than to discover different processes of creation, becoming, and transformation. My curious mind and heart always lead me to a fresh beginning, where creativity helps me to transcend ideas and rules, creating meaningful methods. In each new adventure, I'm either creating a scene, a show...
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By Vanessa Finnegan, BFA, MAT ~~ In the summer of 2018, I attended Panpapanpalya, the most recent Dance and the Child International Conference (DaCi), in Adelaide, Australia. As a student and teacher of dance, and a choreographer looking to learn and expand her artistic practice, I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to be there. People had come from all around the world to...
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By Amy Compton, BFA, MEd, Director of the Santa Fe High School Dance Program ~~ I decided to build an online curriculum that not only presented a history of Jazz dance, but also opened up a path to experiential exploration, agency, creative expression, and even social connection during a time of “social distancing.” I wanted to continue the critical thinking work we had established earlier in the year. I considered the social currency of learning social/vernacular dances...
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By Joy Guarino, SUNY Buffalo State College ~~ Dance at Buffalo State delivers a liberal arts education and embraces a civic and community engagement philosophy in all aspects of the program. In addition to rigorous studio training that enhances the physical experience of the art form, the diverse curriculum is designed to deepen students’ understanding of the cultural, historical, and aesthetic value of dance...
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By Jenn Eisenberg, Teaching Artist, National Dance Institute ~~ I am writing from the epicenter of the pandemic. In New York City, to date, there have been nearly 200,000 cases of COVID-19. As I began writing this post back in March, the streets were hauntingly quiet, with the sounds of sirens profoundly noticeable. Each day, the situation...
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By Kaustavi Sarkar, Professor, Department of Dance, University of North Carolina at Charlotte ~~ Daily dance practice or Sadhana is crucial in the life of an Indian classical dance practitioner. Movement of the physical body becomes second nature ingrained within muscle memory within this daily bodily regimen. The emotional nuance that remains central to engaging with the corporeal also needs substantial attention to detail on a daily basis. Training in movement requires practicing both Nritta.....
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By Heather Acomb, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, Nazareth College ~~ The Bill Evans Method, affectionately referred to as “BETI Pedagogy” because of its birth inside of the Bill Evans Teachers Intensive (BETI) over the course of many years, is infused with elements of Creative Systems Theory, Transformational Learning Theory, and the framework of Laban/Barteneiff Movement Analysis. What makes this value system so unique is its ability to help us cultivate community...
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By Weiselande 'Tanui' Cesar, Executive Founding Director and Choreographer of TLL, Inc ~~ It is universally known that dance is a form of communication, and it is often considered to be the language of our soul. From a cultural context, dance and music are essentially the fabric of cultures. In many cultures, folk dances emerged from the day to day activities of the common people, and Haitian Folk dances are no different. Haitians are a group African descent people...
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