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Behind the Curtain Blog

By Yi An, PhD Student, University of Hawaii at Mānoa ~~ Passing through a series of competitive selections, I began my full-time professional dance training in Beijing at the age of 12. The actual reason I attended the professional dance school was simply because...
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By Connie Bergstein Dow, Dance Educator and Author ~~ Over my long career as a dance educator, I have especially enjoyed teaching creative dance to young children. I love inspiring their enormous and fertile imaginations to explore ideas.....
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By Terrel, Author/Publisher at OnceUponADance.com ~~ As the U.S. slowly opens up again, creative movement teachers will crave activities that keep each little dancer in their own separate space. Here are some ideas....
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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 Daniels, Dance Teacher with the Durham District School Board ~~ Earlier in my career, I used to get this question often from parents. Although I knew the transformative and meaningful impact dance education can have, the masses just didn’t get it. From parents, to colleagues, students that were ....
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NDEO Staff | 07 Jul, 2021 | Advocacy | 0 Comments |
By Anabella Lenzu, Dancer, Choreographer, Writer and Teacher ~~ The period of my greatest creative and technical growth as a dancer came over the course of four years (1995-1999) in my home city of Bahia Blanca, Argentina, where I directed my own school, “L’Atelier” Centro Creativo de Danza. Every morning I would teach...
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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 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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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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Karen Forss Hogan, Director, Galliope Creative Movement. It's cringeworthy how seriously I took my job when I first started teaching early childhood dance twenty-five years ago. I was a try-hard with a catastrophic fear of falling short of my own expectations. You’d think two to five year olds were a population that wouldn’t stress me out, but like everything else, they did. When asked to teach a series of classes in a small rural preschool north of town, as customary, I over-prepared. I h...
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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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It goes without saying that 2020 was a year like no other in education, and we continue to face unique challenges in 2021. Dance teachers working in every sector of the field, from dance studios and community programs to universities and PreK-12 schools, demonstrated their adaptability, imagination, and persistence as they sought new ways to reach their students in the most challenging of times. Dance educators pivoted instruction in new and unforeseen ways, turning to virtual, hybrid, or social...
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By Dawn Davis Loring, Independent Dance Writer. It is an act of unparalleled artistic bravery to allow an audience to make of your work what they will. The audience has a burning desire to “get it” and quite often they will rifle through the attics of their experience (or the basement) to search for the lost piece of the puzzle, the piece they are certain will make sense of the rest. Amongst the jigsaw pieces scattered throughout the new Netflix original film I’m Thinking of Ending Things, I ...
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NDEO Staff | 18 Dec, 2020 | All Sectors | 0 Comments |
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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