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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: College & University Dance EducationReturn
by Pascal Rekoert, Assistant Professor and Dance Education Program Director at Central Connecticut State University ~~ This blog offers insight into personal growth related to the pandemic, self-care, and SEL for teachers and their students. Insight into these topics as a Connecticut teacher and valuable resources are offered.
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by Jennifer Meckley, Assistant Professor of Dance at Ball State University ~~ As a gender non-conforming pansexual dance teacher in higher education, I have been conversing with colleagues and students about the challenges LGBTQIA and genderqueer students experience in academia and ways we can create safer and more inclusive spaces for these students. I will offer tips on how I have been proactively creating these spaces and will provide some insight on how everyone can contribute to creating he...
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By Jan Erkert, Head and Professor (2006-2022) Department of Dance at University of Illinois ~~ 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...
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By Jan Erkert, Head and Professor (2006-2022) Department of Dance at University of Illinois ~~ 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 other dance forms ...
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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 Jennifer Seigle, Residential Dance Faculty and Program Director for Dance at Mesa Community College ~~ What if we thought about business education in dance not only as an important competency, but also as a step toward a more diverse and equitable field? I wonder, does our reticence to discuss the financial aspects of a life in dance make our field less inclusive? Could we make it more inclusive by talking about how we get paid?...
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By Dr. Christi Camper Moore, Assistant Professor of Dance at Ohio University ~~ However, amid ongoing burnout and stressors related to the pandemic, feelings of being stifled have presented a more urgent and unique challenge to students’ creativity. In dance major programs that also require students to take dance improvisation and/or composition courses, in tandem with technique courses, this can heighten disconnects between practice and process as students are asked to produce or explore creat...
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By Nikki Allred Boyd, Dance Teacher and Musical Theatre Director, Pine Crest School ~~ But what about the academic side of things? What can dance do for the mind and how does that translate academically.....
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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 Kathleen Kingsley Baez, Executive Artistic Director, MoveWest Center for Movement Exploration. Those of us who teach dance are able to observe evidence of student personal growth that may not be as obvious in other areas of study. How one moves through space offers unique insights into personality, intent, sense of self, and evidence of how one accepts challenges. With that in mind, I would like to tell you about two Syrian students I have had the privilege to teach, Farah al Haddad and Abdul...
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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 Shannon Doling-Cain, NDEO Special Projects Coordinator~~Why should you start a chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts™ (NHSDA) this fall? With all of the challenges currently facing both dance educators and students, an honor society may not be high on your priority list right now. However, the NHSDA program offers benefits...
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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 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 Julie L. Pentz, Associate Professor of Dance. With contributions by Hannah Yeoman, senior undergraduate student in Dance and Wildlife Conservation with an emphasis in Biodiversity and Conservation ~~ Why is dance in your life, and how do you want to make a difference? How can your dance community benefit from your passion? How can you turn your dance passion and community involvement into meaningful research? Undergraduate students often search for ways to combine their love of dance with th...
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