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Behind the Curtain Blog

Archive by author: NDEO StaffReturn
By Sara Lavan, Executive Director and Co-Artistic Director of Local Motion Project ~~ Local Motion Project (LMP) is a young organization in Alexandria Virginia, whose mission is to bring people together in meaningful experiences through the art of dance and movement. Founded in 2016 as a youth dance program, it has grown to provide programming for youth and adults alike. We at LMP, like all of you, have been navigating our newest dance journey and what it means to serve our community during the ...
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By Allegra Romita and Nancy Romita ~~ As you read this, freeze. Hold the position in which you currently find yourself. Do not adjust anything. Without judgment or shifting, notice the position of both feet. Does one foot have more weight on it than the other? Are both feet on the floor? Is there an even weight distribution? Is one foot or ankle a little more turned or rolled in or out? Are you sitting on one foot? Is a leg crossed and how does...
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By Meg Garofola, M.A.T., CYT-250 ~~ My first and greatest dance teacher has been my breath. Following my body’s curiosities, sensations, feelings, and impulses has been powerful, connective, and healing. Spending hours in the studio moving for movement’s sake, for prowess, for living a more beautiful life has greatly informed my understanding of dance, as a mover, observer, and choreographer. My studies in yoga and somatic dance...
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By Alexandra "Sparkles" Lund ~~ Worried that our studio cohesiveness and energy was going to fall apart if we couldn’t be in the studio together, the staff put our heads together and developed a simple, inexpensive and effective way to help keep the kids on a regular schedule by using a mix of live and pre-recorded classes. The goal is to keep their bodies moving and help provide them a bit of consistency and “normalcy”...
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By Luke Muscat, M.S.Ed Candidate and Teacher, The Hewitt School; Steps Youth Programs; The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center ~~ The constructivist approach to education is rooted in a student driven, inquiry-based approach to learning. Using constructivism has proven to improve student motivation, commitment, satisfaction, and learning retention (Woolfolk, Winne, & Perry, 2012). In a pre-professional ballet program, however, such a contemporary outlook on learning is scarce. Due to its trad...
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By Donna H. Krasnow and M. Virginia Wilmerding ~~ Dance training is at the heart of the art form of dance. All dancers can recall the teachers who had tremendous influence on their growth as young dancers and artists. The science known as motor behavior – an umbrella term for motor development, motor control, and motor learning – is having a stronger voice in helping teachers and dancers develop...
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By Ashley Goos, Adjunct Professor of Dance, Xavier University and Miami University ~~ I have so many students who say they can’t. Can’t turn out, can’t leap, can’t articulate their spine, can’t count, can’t dance. I have students that haven’t even tried these things but already “know” they can’t. So in my class, I employ a radical approach: everyone can. Students only get this idea about “can’t” from being told so. They are being told they don’t have the right body...
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By Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT ~~ Dance has always been a natural form of expression and for many people a “therapy”. That being said many institutions, behavioral health facilities, and even dance companies and studios are recognizing the inherent healing power that can come from dance. As dance continues to gain popularity in the media more and more people are embracing dance as a way to meet physical and emotional needs. It is not uncommon to see the word “therapy”...
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By Lindsey McGovern, Owner and Director of Enchanted Dance Academy ~~ What even defines a “healthy body image” in this day and age? It’s nearly impossible to avoid feelings of insecurity--especially as a teenager--as we’re subjected to constant comparison through various growing forms of social media. While the modeling and fashion industries are certainly making strides to value all body types, insecurity in growing dancers is still all too prevalent--in part due to the mirrors surrounding ...
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By Kaylee Bosse, Gonzaga State University ~~ The bus had arrived, buzzing with the energy of over 20 fourth and fifth graders. The first day of ZagDance class had come. The children emerged from the vehicle like ants darting their way to a sandwich dropped on the floor, forming surprisingly orderly lines as they chattered about a wide range of subjects. As the tiny beings approached, I concealed my anxiousness with a Disney princess smile. A laser-like focus on becoming a professional ballet dan...
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By Maggie McCaig, Student at the University of South Carolina and NDEO Intern Summer 2019 ~~ Junior year of college: a time when most emerging adults are starting to feel the pressure of having an internship or a summer job that will benefit their future careers. That was exactly what was going through my mind during my junior year at the University of South Carolina. I am a lifelong dancer, and am currently studying dance education under Dr. Stephanie Milling, who helped me discover NDEO’s int...
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By Emily Meisner, Director, NDEI Collaborative for Teaching & Learning ~~ I was twenty-three when I had my first job teaching dance to children in a New York City school. I naively figured that given my rigorous dance training and time in a professional company I was equipped to lead engaging classes for children. I spent many hours at night focused on the ‘what’ of teaching - What steps would I teach? What music would I use? What choreography would we create? I felt prepared once I had a very...
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By Glenna Batson ~~ Dance has been a primary mover in shaping my life. Some of my earliest memories are of dancing at my mother’s school, the Modern School of Dance Education. Between the years 1935 and 1950, she danced with Ruth St. Denis and Hanya Holm, dancers whose legacies I carry with me to this day. In the 1960s, when I was considering a dance career, the field was strictly defined and proscribed: You could be a dance artist, teacher, or choreographer. Lacking the talent and psychologica...
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NDEO Staff | 18 Sep, 2019 | All Sectors | 0 Comments |
By Doug Risner, Wayner State University ~~ Teachers sometimes use an “Explode the Moment” strategy to teach descriptive, expressive writing that emphasizes sensory images and details, which can paint a new picture in people’s minds. The Good Morning America moment for dance education provides each of us with opportunities for confronting not only harassment and bullying of male dance students, but also the disrespect, gender stereotypes...
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By Maggie McCaig, NDEO Intern 2019 ~~ As the summer intern for the National Dance Education Organization, I was thrilled to be able to travel to New York City to work and attend the Emerging Pathways within Somatic Movement and Dance Education special topics conference, hosted by NDEO and the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). I went into the experience with many expectations, and a lot of uncertainty. As my of my internship, I had the opportunity to creat...
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