Please Wait a Moment

Foundations of Dance Pedagogy for All Dance Environments

Professor: Dr. Doug Risner

Tuition: $520 member / $595 non-member

12 Weeks; 3 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

May 22 - August 12, 2023

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This course provides a survey of educational foundations in dance pedagogy with particular emphasis on social and cultural aspects of pedagogical theory in multiple settings (P-12, private studio, postsecondary education, and dance in community). Study includes the historical context of education and dance education, education theory, the art and science of teaching, the sociology of school organization and culture, and the ethical dimensions of teaching. Applied learning experiences include social immersion projects and reflexive commentaries. Consider taking this course if you are interested in 1) expanding the development of a personal pedagogy and philosophy of teaching appropriate for your dance education setting, and 2) developing theoretical and applied understandings of critical pedagogical concerns in dance education including teaching and learning theory, social and cultural issues in education, diversity, inclusion, and equity, and reflective practice. This course is appropriate for any dance educator, whether new to the field or a seasoned veteran, who is interested in answering the question: “What does it mean to be responsible for someone else’s learning?”

No Books Required for this Course

Questions about this course? Send an email to

Past Student Testimonials

"I learned so much about social and political issues within the education system and how to apply these ideas to my pedagogy. I loved all of the readings and films that were assigned, they were very inspiring and informative. I also appreciated the professor's feedback; he was very insightful and helpful with improving my writing and articulation."

"This course gave me a new perspective on dance pedagogy, and granted me proper tools to reshape my teaching to be more collaborative and caring."

"We tackled some of the major issues in education. It reinforced many of the lessons I just finished in my teacher training program. I liked looking at the same issues through a dance lens."

"This course benefited me in numerous ways of understanding myself further as a person as well as how I hope to apply those principles to my teaching. I liked the depth of the topics covered in this course and openness in response questions."

"I felt engaged and excited about the materials. The variety of learning materials (articles, books, documentaries) and the extensive subject matter made learning particularly attainable."

"I liked the material presented in the course. I enjoyed that the professor gave relevant material instead of teaching from a textbook that is sometimes relevant and sometimes not. This course made me critique myself as a teacher and gave me examples of how I can grow in my teaching."

"Validated directions and beliefs already undertaken and held. Gave language to what I thought but had been unable to articulate. Provided recent research to support directions in course. Gave me new insights and topics to explore."

"It's a little too soon to evaluate the effects of this study on my teaching, but I think it is bound to be a strong positive factor going forward. I liked the unrelenting prompting to get beneath our own pre-conceptions and concealed bias."

Professor Bio

Dr. Doug Risner is Professor of Dance, Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Wayne State University where he teaches courses in dance history, pedagogy, research design and methodology, dance professions, artistic praxis, and principles of teaching artistry. His research focuses on social issues and gender in dance, curriculum design and pedagogy, dance in higher education, and online learning. He is widely published throughout the U.S. and internationally in Research in Dance Education, International Journal of Education & the Arts, Journal of Dance Education, Arts Education Policy Review, Teaching Artist Journal, and Dance: Current Selected Research. His books include Stigma & Perseverance in the Lives of Boys Who Dance (2009), Hybrid Lives of Teaching Artists in Dance and Theatre Arts: A Critical Reader (2014), Gender, Sexuality and Identity: Critical Issues in Dance Education (2015), Dance and Gender: An Evidenced-Based Approach (2017), Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education: Case Studies on Humanizing Dance Pedagogy (2020). His forthcoming book, Masculinity, Intersectionality and Identity: Why Boys (Don’t) Dance (2021). His service and teaching have been honored with awards from his alma mater, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and Faculty Mentoring Award from Wayne State University, and NDEO Visionary Award and NDEO Outstanding Dance Education Researcher Award. Risner is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus (2004-2012) of Journal of Dance Education, and Associate Editor, Research in Dance Education. Risner is a senior program consultant for NDEO’s Online Professional Development Institute. Doug teaches OPDI-102: Dance History 1800 to Present, OPDI-105: Introduction to Dance Education Research, OPDI-113: Foundations of Dance Pedagogy, and OPDI-121: Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education.

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