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Behind the Curtain Blog

Archive by author: NDEO StaffReturn
By Connie Bergstein Dow, MFA ~~ One of my favorite ways to get children up and moving is to read a story, and then use ideas from the story as movement prompts. I have been using Read and Dance activities in my children’s dance classes for years, using a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction children’s books, as well as poems...
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By Susan Pope, MA ~~ I was asked by my church to dance for Father's Day in 2016. In preparation for this dance, I listened to different songs and prayed that God would give me just the right message. I settled on the song “There is a King in You” by Donald Lawrence. As I started working on choreography, I realized how important this message was, not just to the men who would be in the congregation, but to my dad as well. Daddy used to get depressed because...
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By Maria Daniel, Creator of the Hip Hop Dance Experience Class and Founder of iDance Ministry ~~ Hip Hop dance has become one of the most well-known and recognized dance forms in the world.ii The clearest sign of the impact of the Hip Hop culture is its influence in shaping global issues and its impact on youth culture. Hip Hop is now an integral part of contemporary American society and thus warrants serious...
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By David Alexander, BS, MEd ~~ Like an anthropologist I like to study learning, and the learning behaviors of students and teachers in each situation. My studies seem to reveal components and a pattern to what it is individuals seem to do as they embark on a voyage of learning something new. That pattern might be used to inform pedagogy. First, consider the components inherent in your own process of learning something new, then apply it to
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By Stephanie Milling, NDEO Advisory Director of Advocacy ~~ Sometimes when people desire to advocate, they are overwhelmed by what they need to know in order to act. I have good news for you: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! While you need to know the advocacy basics that I discussed in my last blog post, It's the Season for Advocating: We Need Your Voice, you do not need to do independent research to be armed with the facts that will appeal to your advocacy target(s). All of the compe...
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By Bridgit Lujan, Central New Mexico Community College Dance Faculty ~~ Flamenco is a global dance form that offers many important concepts to teachers who are educating students in today’s inclusive dance programs. As a dance style that is often mislabeled and boxed into the category of heritage or narrative dance, flamenco is often overlooked as a traditional dance, rather than an evolving technique offering excellent teaching models for the diverse classroom. With influences from various wor...
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By Laura Helm, Dance Department Head, Baltimore School for the Arts ~~ My one dimensional teenage brain was determined to become a professional dancer in a big world-renowned company, because I was absolutely certain that was not only the ultimate pinnacle of success, but the only measure thereof in the dance world. Baltimore had given me a great foundation, but offered nowhere to stay, no professional company of the caliber I envisioned in which to grow and become something greater. I first fou...
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By Rachel Berman ~~ Legendary modern dancemaker Paul Taylor, one of the seminal artists of the last two centuries, passed away on August 29th, exactly one month after his 88th birthday. What can I add to the list of accolades already bestowed upon my old boss? He was an icon of the dance world, a giant, a ground-breaking pioneer of American modern dance, a naughty boy, a mischievous spy, a brooding introvert, an internationally-decorated choreographer, a genius. He was once deemed the “greatest...
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By Katrena Cohea, Different Drummer Dance ~~ #ballerinafeet, #flexibilitygoals, Under Armour athletic wear campaigns and voting rights. These are just a few of the ways dancers have created buzz in the social media world, drawing attention to not only the wider dance industry and community, but to important missions, ideas and change inspiring movements. The pervasiveness of social media, viral videos and hashtags of the past few years have seemingly done the dance world good. Instagram, YouTub...
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By Rebecca Santone, Student at Bridgewater State University ~~ Other dancers, however, deflect to teaching dance solely as a way to pay the bills or as a fallback plan after their professional aspirations fall short. Others are forced to retire from dancing professionally, whether it be because of age, injury, or settling down with a family, and feel that teaching dance is the next step in their life. Teaching dance is not something that dancers should simply default to. As the professional danc...
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By Lisa D. Long, California State University Fullerton ~~ As physical and energetic creatures, dancers spend endless hours training their minds and musculature into optimally functioning, art-making instruments. But just as one must change a car’s oil, lubricate bicycle chains and snake clogs out of a drain, bodies, as instruments, need the same kind of maintenance. Remembering to take the time to pause, and unblock the knots and energy that are congealing...
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By Lisa Barker ~~ I have been hurled forward to thinking differently about dancing in my environment thanks to the work of Efva Lilja. Lilja is a choreographer, artist, researcher and author. She writes beautifully about her experiences. At one point in time, she was awarded the opportunity from the Swedish Royal Academy of Science to be part of an expedition to the North Pole. She went to explore movement...
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By Deborah Karp, Luna Dance Institute ~~ It’s nine on a Wednesday morning and the East Oakland sun has made its full debut over the hills and surrounding treetops, bathing the Grass Valley Elementary School playground in its warm, golden rays. Two 4th and 5th grade classes make their way to a big room next to the playground, a space with tall ceilings that’s furnished with long, cafeteria folding tables and decorated with posters offering snappy slogans about respect...
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NDEO Staff | 10 Jul, 2018 | 0 Comments |
By Maria Daniel, Founder and Artistic Director of iDance Ministry and mentor for the Youth Dance Ambassadors ~~ t was in this lowest moments that my Dance of Healing story began. On Christmas Eve, I would take a leap of faith and attempt a Liturgical dance performance. Completing the performance would be a miracle, as I could not even perform a walk-through of my dance without severe pain. Since my body was failing me, I practiced the dance...
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By David Alexander, BS, MEd ~~ A wise, close friend shared that adage one day and I believed her. A well defined, persona sense of what it is that informs your teaching personality or style today is critical to being able to shape the continued development of that personal pedagogy, regardless of what you teach. Finding words which represent thoughts, ideas, and experiences...
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