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Session Descriptions

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Mojah is a fusion of forms that creates a unique style of modern African dance based on Horton and Dunham techniques, jazz, and West African movements. The early bird movement experience will include deep breathing, isolations, and some aerobic and improvisational movement. All levels welcome!

A wonderful way to start the day, this vinyasa flow practice will encourage body understanding, awareness, and self-exploration. Nancy guides her students through breath, anatomical awareness, and freedom of thought to a place of alignment in body and mind. Presented by: Nancy Romita

Embodied Parent Education (EPE) classes are a component of MPACT (Moving Parents & Children Together), a program of Luna Dance Institute. Parents, of children ages 0-3, in residential treatment centers take EPE classes and parent-child dance classes through MPACT. Luna’s family dance curriculum has been presented at NDEO. This session focuses on EPE classes that were developed to support parents’ understanding of their child’s psycho-social, physical and cognitive development in relationship to the basic neuro-cellular patterns articulated by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. Cohen has presented at Luna over several years. Luna teachers have learned from these presentations, integrating the patterns into EPE classes to support parent’s embodied empathy for their child. Workshop participants will learn about Luna’s ongoing inquiry into EPE, and experience movement and dance activities. Presented by: Nancy Ng and Rossana Alves

To understand the birth of modern dance in the United States of America, we must see the event as being part of the transnational history that has made American culture what it is today. "Descubriendo Latinx: The Hidden Texts in American Modern Dance" employs transnational, interdisciplinary, and Chicana/Latina feminist theories, frameworks, and research methodologies that both disrupt and reimagine our American modern dance histories through an in-between space of embodied research and creative practice. The research promotes an understanding of American modern dance in-between cultures and beyond the shadow of whiteness, challenging the notion of transborder Latinidades that have been absorbed, often unnamed/unacknowledged, into the historical and contemporary accounts of American modern dance histories. Questioning what ‘American’ is, the work engages transnational discourse central to the Latinx experience in the United States and throughout the Americas as critical foundational material underpinning the development of the art form. Presented by: Kiri Avelar

Promoting Anti-Racist Practices within Dance Programs in Higher Education As leaders of an embodied art form, dance educators have the responsibility to root out unbalanced and hierarchically oppressive systems that have historically dominated dancing bodies and dance programs This workshop will provide a vibrant space to reflect and critique each of our journey's through race in relationship to our programs, institutions and communities. Workshop participants will develop strategies they can use for their communities by working through three vital questions - Who Dances, What do we Dance, and How Do We Dance Together? Reflections, movement scores and games will assist everyone in engaging in conversations and sharing best practices. Presented by: Jan Erkert

Tracing Footsteps: Honoring Diverse Voices Through Dance History in NYC remote learning curriculum was created in collaboration with the NYC DOE to provide critical dance learning for NYC public school students during educational instability and arts learning restrictions caused by COVID-19. The K-12 curriculum includes 3 student-facing remote learning curricular modules which was disseminated over the course of the 2020-21 school year: Mod 1: Native American Dance History in NYC – Roots to Branches; Mod 2: History of Tap Dance – Soul Rhythms; Mod 3: Into the Heart of Chinatown: Hidden Voices. It focuses on exploring embodied dance history through the examination of the rich dance contributions of three distinct cultural groups who have been marginalized, ignored and underrepresented in history and inhabited and continue to inhabit different areas of NYC throughout history until today. Presented by: Ann Biddle and Dawn DiPasquale

Through the exploration of the inherent existence of gender norms in community arts programming, this session will provide educators with resources and actionable tools to address these gender norms and develop an inclusive environment for students across the gender spectrum. Presented by: Maggie Walls

How about experiencing a blend of theory and practice, oral, bodily, and written traditions based on historical inquiry of the Brazilian dance/music forms frevo and capoeira? How about discussing the use of cultural symbols as teaching strategies for bringing marginalized, foreign and underprivileged dance forms to the classrooms? In this session, Brazilian dance artist, choreographer, and professor Juliana Azoubel will present her research on blending traditional and contemporary dance practices as dance ethnography and historical inquiry have inspired her to create a teaching approach that includes the use of cultural symbols in the dance classrooms. Presented by: Juliana Azoubel

Presenters share how university faculty, students and community members create a transdisciplinary movement-based after school program to support STEAM literacy and healthy identity development among 7-12-year-old Black girls. Presenters share the process of supporting students in creating a multimedia performance using dance, product design, virtual reality and code. Presented by: Valerie Ifill and Raja Schaar

"Reaching Back to Move Forward: Dance Origins from Africa to Hip Hop" will engage participants in a discussion that highlights the aesthetics, characteristics/elements of West African dance/culture that are connected to and can be observed in contemporary forms of dance including jazz and Hip Hop. Participants will be engaged through observation, listening, discussion and q & a. Presented by: Kikora Franklin

Healing in Motion Dance partners collegiate ballet and physical therapy students to teach weekly ballet barre classes to healthcare patients with neurological conditions that impair movement. Class participants have diagnoses including stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and Traumatic Brain Injury. At the end of every semester, participants share their physical and artistic progress with their families by performing a classical ballet. This session will discuss the nuances of combining arts and medicine to advance the fields of dance education and physical rehabilitation. Presented by: Jessica Baynes

The COVID-19 pandemic exposes stark inequities affecting pregnant people and mothers in their professional and personal lives. In addition to facing the majority of “invisible labor” in both spheres, women who parent during the pandemic also grapple with the overwhelming tasks of simultaneously caring for and educating children while working from home. Inadequate support and unrecognized authority for working mothers in the U.S. have led to disproportionate, adverse, long-term impacts on health, well-being, professional opportunities, and long-term earnings potential for these women. Incorporating data collected since 2020 from over 250 surveyed and interviewed participants, this presentation reveals the realities of parenting during a pandemic and offers ideas and advocacy for organizational and cultural shifts to support mothers, children, families, and the dance field. Presented by: Ali Duffy

In this session we will expound on how ethnographic research and narrative inquiry can inform culturally responsive curriculum development through an analysis of the work of Black female dance educators Shirley Hall Bass and Lavinia Williams. We will share excerpts from our interviews and creative works developed by our Bahamian professional learning community. We will model how narrative inquiry can be used to develop equitable and accessible dance curricula. We will share how using an interdisciplinary approach to dance education through social-emotional learning, culture, history, and health and wellness is in fact community and nation-building. Finally, attendees will participate in a reflection and discussion of their own teaching practice and the possibilities of developing a professional learning community around shared concerns of culture, equity and access in dance education. Presented by: Cristin Carole and Faith Butler

This session will provide the opportunity for participants to consider assessment for early childhood dance and learn about various assessment strategies for children ages three to eight that can be embedded into teaching and learning. The panel will address various perspectives on the goals for assessment, and on the implementation of assessment strategies in different teaching arenas including an online format. The questions of why assessment for early childhood is important and how it supports child development and learning will be discussed. Each panelist will share their approach to assessment, strategies for implementation and how their methodology addresses the unique needs of our youngest students. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts. Presented by: Lynn Monson, Tan Chai Chen, Kathryn Austin, and Carole Saunders

In this session we'll take a look at how social identity affects dance creation. By identifying which groups we positively assign ourselves to & those we show implicit bias towards we can begin to dismantle stereotypes which can pop up as cultural caricatures depicted in dance. We'll discuss how the work of removing implicit bias from ourselves will naturally lead to creating a truly diverse, equitable & inclusive dance community that is in constant dialogue with each other, preventing cultural appropriation & encouraging cultural blending instead. This in turn affects the creative approach and process when creating new work. To demonstrate a combo will be presented two ways: an understudied compilation of movement which does not consider the cultural context of the dance styles & a well thought out hybrid of different dance styles which consulted dancers sovereign to the original style. Presented by: Heidi Hernandez

"The Cypher" is an experimental workshop that combines presentation and light movement to explore how the elements and principles of hip hop can be used in dance spaces to create fun, creative lessons that keep students engaged while maintaining the essence of hip hop culture and technique. Explore the origins of hip hop and ways to incorporate its rich history into every hip hop dance class. This immersive workshop will allow educators to practice activities, such as, 1) learning how to apply the elements of hip hop to the elements of dance and 2) creating space for dance battles rooted in unity and creativity on the dance floor, that can be easily transferred to their own classrooms. We will end our workshop with our own cypher! Learn how to build confidence and team building with peers to ensure that students will leave each dance class wanting more! Presented by: April Cox

After an introduction to Narrative Inquiry as a method of educational research, three students will share emerging narratives and reflect on their experiences engaging storytelling as part of their doctoral studies. In their work they are storying the experiences of Latinx, African-American, and Black teachers and students in order to document and celebrate narratives in dance education that focus on bringing dance to marginalized communities as a form of activism. Presented by: Matthew Henley, Chell Parkins, Susan Pope, and Andrea Markus

This session will discuss ways educators can implement antiracist pedagogy by making thought-provoking, encouraging, and equitable shifts to the dance higher education audition process. As a vehicle to decenter whiteness, educators must move away from Eurocentric language and granting admission to students solely on their ability to perform Euro-western dance forms. Presented by: Enya-Kalia Jordan and Rachel Repinz

This session is a presentation and discussion of best practices in dance education for neurodiverse learners. The topic of inclusive dance pedagogy will be explored in relation to an ongoing research study with a group of neurodivergent young adults co-creating a dance education curriculum. From the voices and experiences of the students themselves, we as dance educators may learn how to best support and empower our neurodiverse learners. Presented by: Leah Antonellis

This session will discuss the disconnect and struggles first year college dance majors experience transitioning from their high school dance programs into their college dance program. The session will then go on to discuss the benefits of incorporating a more comprehensive and holistic approach to dance education with the goal of providing a stronger dance education and easing student’s transition to college dance . The session will conclude with a discussion of what is and is not working for current teachers and helping each other find ideas, conversations, and lessons to have with students that align with the goal of creating a more comprehensive dance education curriculum. This session will facilitate a discussion amongst attendees aimed at identifying small ways to implement elements of a comprehensive dance curriculum to make big changes in students' technique and artistry. Presented by: Bailey Peicott

AStorytelling with Indian flavor! Whether it is classical or filmi dance, abhinaya, the art of communication, is a finely tuned technique of Indian dance. We're always telling a story with our bodies, and Indian dance asks us to make this an explicit part of our creativity, likening it to a scrumptious meal that we cook up and serve to our guests. Come explore a small part of this technique--single hand gestures (hastas) and facial exercises that evoke emotions--while thinking about collaborative models of teaching non-Western/unfamiliar techniques in our classrooms. We will fill our creative pantry with collective knowledge as workshop participants and with resources offered by the presenters to build successful collaborations, facilitate activities that honor traditions and expand students’ practices, and practice hastas with their literal meanings and practical uses. Presented by: Sumana Mandala and Mary Fitzgerald

This session will encourage dance educators to examine technologies beyond screen based Zoom and YouTube as alternatives to in-person instruction and explore the process of designing audio based dance/movement lessons. Presenter Teresa Simpson (MS, BFA) will discuss her experience designing Listen.Think.Leap! A Creative Movement Podcast. Attendees will workshop drafting an audio script from a creative movement lesson plan and look at the technical considerations involved with producing a podcast. Discussion of the benefits and limitations of audio only dance/movement instruction will encourage attendees to consider other means of adapting their teaching to better utilize available technology. Presented by: Teresa Simpson

Like a Dandelion, by Huy Vown Lee, relates a family’s journey of immigration and finding hope and home in a new place to the qualities and actions of a dandelion. Just as dandelions are a part of the author’s cultural identity, our students also have objects, symbols, and stories that are important parts of their identity. Like a Dandelion serves as a guide for students to share their cultural assets, connect with their peers, and celebrate their identity through dance making. In this session, attendees will experience a warm-up and exploration centered on images, words, and themes of this book. Attendees will then be encouraged to share their own cultural assets, discover commonalities and differences, and use these discussions as inspiration for dance making. The session concludes with a deeper discussion of the importance of culturally responsive teaching and asset-based instruction. Presented by: Daria Fitzgerald and Danielle Staropoli