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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: K-12 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 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 Jessy Kronenberg & Lindsay Lindberg ~~ California has the largest number of K-12 students in the nation, with more than 6 million students and 300,000 teachers. The enormity of the state’s population, myriad rural and urban communities, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse population make California a unique state in which to pursue dance education as a career. In a field on the brink of exciting advancements in terms of equity, earnings, and advocacy, dance education in California...
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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 Daniel Levi-Sanchez, a Dancer/Educator living with Myasthenia Gravis ~~ When I taught dance to the 5th graders at The Paul Robeson School in Brooklyn, my objective was less about teaching them how to dance and more about teaching them how to solve problems as a group. I did this .......
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By Tamara Irving, Educator, Atlanta Public Schools; Consultant, TMI Design & Consulting ~~ Have you ever reflected on these questions when thinking about your students? Are there many students in my class who actually don’t love to ‘dance’? How many dancers would rather ....
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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 Lindsay Herring, Director of Middle and High School Fine Arts/Dance Instructor, Brooks County High School. Like many other dance educators nationwide, I find myself teaching a unit on choreography to intermediate and advanced dancers each year. These dancers are mastering their craft and honing their skills in real ways, yet I find myself wondering: Are they utilizing their emotions and creativity to start the process? Are these students, new to the craft of choreography, actually using their...
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Gina Spears, Dance Educator, Portage Park Elementary. Calling my first years of teaching in Chicago Public Schools a baptism by fire is probably an understatement. I had trouble connecting with the middle school students and found them to be disrespectful. My car was broken into three times. One afternoon, an angry parent was waiting by my car with a baseball bat because I sent his son to the office for spitting at me. The littlest dancers loved my class, though, and I had two after school clubs...
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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 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 Amy Compton, BFA, MEd, Director of the Santa Fe High School Dance Program ~~ I decided to build an online curriculum that not only presented a history of Jazz dance, but also opened up a path to experiential exploration, agency, creative expression, and even social connection during a time of “social distancing.” I wanted to continue the critical thinking work we had established earlier in the year. I considered the social currency of learning social/vernacular dances...
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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 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 Shannon Dooling-Cain, NDEO Special Projects Coordinator ~~ Did you know that the month of March is dedicated to dance in schools? Every March, the National Dance Education Organization celebrates Dance in Your Schools Month. We recognize the benefits of dance education as part of the curriculum, acknowledge the achievements...
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