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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.

By Donna H. Krasnow and M. Virginia Wilmerding ~~ Dance training is at the heart of the art form of dance. All dancers can recall the teachers who had tremendous influence on their growth as young dancers and artists. The science known as motor behavior – an umbrella term for motor development, motor control, and motor learning – is having a stronger voice in helping teachers and dancers develop...
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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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By Ashley Goos, Adjunct Professor of Dance, Xavier University and Miami University ~~ I have so many students who say they can’t. Can’t turn out, can’t leap, can’t articulate their spine, can’t count, can’t dance. I have students that haven’t even tried these things but already “know” they can’t. So in my class, I employ a radical approach: everyone can. Students only get this idea about “can’t” from being told so. They are being told they don’t have the right body...
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By Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT ~~ Dance has always been a natural form of expression and for many people a “therapy”. That being said many institutions, behavioral health facilities, and even dance companies and studios are recognizing the inherent healing power that can come from dance. As dance continues to gain popularity in the media more and more people are embracing dance as a way to meet physical and emotional needs. It is not uncommon to see the word “therapy”...
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By Lindsey McGovern, Owner and Director of Enchanted Dance Academy ~~ What even defines a “healthy body image” in this day and age? It’s nearly impossible to avoid feelings of insecurity--especially as a teenager--as we’re subjected to constant comparison through various growing forms of social media. While the modeling and fashion industries are certainly making strides to value all body types, insecurity in growing dancers is still all too prevalent--in part due to the mirrors surrounding ...
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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 Maggie McCaig, Student at the University of South Carolina and NDEO Intern Summer 2019 ~~ Junior year of college: a time when most emerging adults are starting to feel the pressure of having an internship or a summer job that will benefit their future careers. That was exactly what was going through my mind during my junior year at the University of South Carolina. I am a lifelong dancer, and am currently studying dance education under Dr. Stephanie Milling, who helped me discover NDEO’s int...
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By Emily Meisner, Director, NDEI Collaborative for Teaching & Learning ~~ I was twenty-three when I had my first job teaching dance to children in a New York City school. I naively figured that given my rigorous dance training and time in a professional company I was equipped to lead engaging classes for children. I spent many hours at night focused on the ‘what’ of teaching - What steps would I teach? What music would I use? What choreography would we create? I felt prepared once I had a very...
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By Glenna Batson ~~ Dance has been a primary mover in shaping my life. Some of my earliest memories are of dancing at my mother’s school, the Modern School of Dance Education. Between the years 1935 and 1950, she danced with Ruth St. Denis and Hanya Holm, dancers whose legacies I carry with me to this day. In the 1960s, when I was considering a dance career, the field was strictly defined and proscribed: You could be a dance artist, teacher, or choreographer. Lacking the talent and psychologica...
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NDEO Staff | 18 Sep, 2019 | All Sectors | 0 Comments |
By Doug Risner, Wayner State University ~~ Teachers sometimes use an “Explode the Moment” strategy to teach descriptive, expressive writing that emphasizes sensory images and details, which can paint a new picture in people’s minds. The Good Morning America moment for dance education provides each of us with opportunities for confronting not only harassment and bullying of male dance students, but also the disrespect, gender stereotypes...
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By Susan McGreevy-Nichols, NDEO Executive Director ~~ For over 20 years, the National Dance Education Organization has envisioned a nation that affords every citizen equal access and opportunity to quality dance arts education regardless of gender, age, race or culture, socio-economic status, ability or interest. We were disappointed to hear disparaging and offensive comments made about boys who study ballet on a national news outlet last week. Research and anecdotal evidence indicates that danc...
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By Maggie McCaig, NDEO Intern 2019 ~~ As the summer intern for the National Dance Education Organization, I was thrilled to be able to travel to New York City to work and attend the Emerging Pathways within Somatic Movement and Dance Education special topics conference, hosted by NDEO and the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). I went into the experience with many expectations, and a lot of uncertainty. As my of my internship, I had the opportunity to creat...
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By Connie Bergstein Dow, MFA ~~ One of my favorite ways to get children up and moving is to read a story, and then use ideas from the story as movement prompts. I have been using Read and Dance activities in my children’s dance classes for years, using a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction children’s books, as well as poems...
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By Susan McGreevy-Nichols, NDEO Executive Director ~~ For many dance studio owners, membership in a professional association like the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) can seem like a luxury. Profit margins can be slim, and the cost of doing business can be high. Especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, is vital that any investments made directly impact the growth and success of your studio. How can a membership organization...
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By Susan Pope, MA ~~ I was asked by my church to dance for Father's Day in 2016. In preparation for this dance, I listened to different songs and prayed that God would give me just the right message. I settled on the song “There is a King in You” by Donald Lawrence. As I started working on choreography, I realized how important this message was, not just to the men who would be in the congregation, but to my dad as well. Daddy used to get depressed because...
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