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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: Covid-19Return
by Nancy H. Moses, Professor Emerita, Bridgewater State University ~~ What do MADEO, MMEA, MAEA and METG have in Common? This fruit salad of initials is a group of Massachusetts Professional Arts Education Organizations; they are all concerned with Advocacy; and they are all a part of a collective impact coalition called Arts for All in Massachusetts gathered together with other organizations by a group called Arts|Learning. Arts for All was created partly in response to the realization that STE...
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By Priscilla Hopkins-Smith, Director of Marketing and Communications for Arts Ed NJ ~~ We realized that this was the ultimate advocacy moment. There was no better time to share the need for arts education and the power of creativity. Since the onset of the pandemic and throughout the past two years, the landscape of arts education has changed dramatically. At schools throughout the state of New Jersey, students were forced to communicate and create from home, or through major restrictions durin...
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By Jennifer O’Neill, Program Director/Faculty at Ace Dance Academy, Master Teaching Artist at Center for Community Arts ~~ Perfection. I used to believe that my need for perfection, in all aspects of life but namely in dance, was a badge I should and could wear with pride. I likened being a perfectionist with validity, ....
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By MaryAnne Fernandez Herding, Chair of Dance, Xavier College Prep and Director/Founder, Movement Source Dance Company  - The onset of Covid-19 in our world limited a lot of the things I was used to doing. Being an active dance teacher, running a non-profit dance company, and being very social with a full calendar, in mid-March of 2020 my life shifted quite a bit, as did many of our lives. I found myself delving into things I had put on a back burner. I had time to think about, “What can I do t...
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NDEO Staff | 02 Jun, 2021 | Pedagogy, Covid-19 | 0 Comments |
By Dr. Meredith Sims, Associate Professor of Dance, Coker University - Just like most, I am ready to “get back to normal.” Although, I’m not sure what this means anymore. What was normal? Will it ever be that again? Should it be? The disparity among our students was highlighted by the pandemic - unreliable wifi, unsafe living situations, lack of support, mental health concerns - all impacted student learning. Educators have been exhaustingly navigating the changing landscape with ingenuity, e...
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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 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 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 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 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 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 Shannon Dooling-Cain, NDEO Special Projects Coordinator ~~ With schools and studios closing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, NDEO members have been generously sharing ideas for alternative teaching strategies on our Online Forums. These are truly uncharted and challenging times for all dance educators - and our students. With that in mind, we will be compiling some ideas and resources for alternative teaching that have been posted. We are sharing these ideas...
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