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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.

Archive by category: Teaching PhilosophyReturn
By Jan Erkert, who was Head and Professor in the Department of Dance at University of Illinois from 2006-2022. ~~This 3-part blog series explores how dance artists can utilize embodied knowledge and choreographic process to interrogate systemic racism in dance programs. Dance departments and their curricula entered academia in the mid-20th century primarily reflecting the values of the dominant white culture in the United States. Ballet and modern often became the pillars of these curricula and ...
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By Anabella Lenzu, choreographer, teacher, professor, and writer ~~ For me, self-discipline is the key to working on the flexibility and strength of one’s mind, body, and spirit. Without self-discipline, the life of an artist is impossible. Self-discipline is a respect for what you love. It is your ability to continue choosing to work on your art despite being tired one day, sick another, or any other number of challenges that may arise.No one is going to scream at you and tell you what to do ...
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By Abigail Agresta-Stratton and Lynn Monson, NDEO Mentorship Committee Chairs ~~ In 2017, NDEO established a PreK-12 Mentorship Program, in response to member interest as expressed on our Online Forums and in yearly K-12 SIG meetings at the Annual Conference. The program is coordinated by a member committee in collaboration with NDEO staff. Dance educators working in PreK-12 schools with less than 5 years of experience can apply to be a mentee, receiving support from a dedicated mentor for two y...
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By Shannon Dooling, NDEO Special Projects Coordinator ~~ It is safe to say that 2020 was a true test of the commitment, creativity, and courage of the field of dance education. Together, we have navigated our way through the “Ultimate Structured Improvisation” that was......
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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 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 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 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 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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