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OPDI-M23

Creating an Ethics and Pedagogy of Teaching with(out) Touch

Female dancer performing on a stage in a bright pink long sleeve shirt and black shorts touches one hand to her opposite shoulder

May 20 to June 30, 2024

Professor: Nicole Perry

Tuition: $310 member / $385 non-member

6 Weeks; 1.5 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

Register Here

Dance teachers in every setting have long used touch as a teaching method. It is employed for correction or support, to provide a goal, impart kinesthetic feedback, or other reasons. With disclosures of sexual misconduct at top artistic institutions, the rise of the #MeToo movement, startling statistics regarding young people who have experienced trauma, and ongoing concerns around coronavirus, we now have an excellent opportunity to address the pedagogy of touch. Different approaches, such as imagistic language, prop work, or other types of touch may provide for safer learning environments, empower students, and/or provide new depth to the creativity and teaching practices already employed. This course combines knowledge of best practices of physical contact in dance and theatre performance with Laban/Bartenieff Touch-for-Repatterning practices. It examines consent and power dynamics in the studio, creating an ethics of touch for movement classes, and low-touch/no-touch teaching options. Those enrolled in the course will be encouraged to strategically offer opportunities for students to practice consent and exercise agency when touch is employed. The course encourages personal reflection and choice-making for effective teaching. The material is applicable to dance teachers in any environment.

Questions about this Course?  Email opdi@ndeo.org

Past Student Testimonials

"As a young dance educator, I feel that I am very in tune with ideas of consent and tactile correction from a student standpoint. Although I had the prior knowledge, I was lacking the verbiage and confidence to bring conversations about touch and consent into the classroom with students and with other faculty and administration."

"This course gave me that exact information to make informed decisions about touch in the classroom, advocate for student boundaries and autonomy, and increase transparency in my teaching practices and intentions."

"Nicole was an incredible instructor, providing almost immediate feedback to every assignment and asking continuing questions that promoted organic group discussion beyond the course requirements, something I have never experienced before in an online learning environment."

"I think this course had immense benefits to me as a teacher. I really appreciated the chance to reflect on and rethink my current teaching methods and develop some new skills I can actually use in the classroom."

"This course was beneficial on so many levels - both for providing me new information about the ethics of touch in the classroom and providing some reassurance for things I was already doing in my classes."

"It was really eye-opening to learn about different techniques and teaching methods. I loved the professor and how clear she was, along with engaging the students."

"I appreciated the time we were given to reflect on our own practices and examine how we could do things differently. I also appreciated the group discussions, learning from others taking this course. I appreciated the clarity of each module, especially the module videos presented by the instructor."

"It gave me clarification on a subject that had been on my mind for some time."

"This was a wonderful course! I have new perspective on how I teach and how to approach a class. I suggest all dance teachers, no matter what setting or level, take this course."

Professor Bio

headshot of Nicole Perry

Nicole Perry is a Silver Palm award-winning intimacy director, as well as an intimacy coordinator and dance choreographer in South Florida. Career highlights include 2 Broward County Artist Investment Grants for KINesphere (site-inspired dance-theatre works), intimacy coordination for God Forbid on Hulu, and a Carbonell nomination for the intimacy direction of To Fall in Love at Theatre Lab. 

She teaches workshops Consent and Power in Creative Practice for Momentum Stage, the Laban Institute of Movement Studies, and the National Dance Education Organization. Her writings on these topics can be found in DanceGeist and the peer-reviewed Journal of Movement Arts Literacy.

Nicole holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, with concentrations in Performance Creation and Decolonial Arts Praxis from Goddard College. She is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst. Nicole apprenticed with Intimacy Directors International, and is certified in both Intimacy Direction and Intimacy Coordination with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (IDC). 

Nicole is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Florida Atlantic University. She is a founding member of Intimacy Direction in Dance and Florida Intimacy Professionals. Memberships: Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Dance Studies Association, National Dance Education Organization, Association of Theatre Movement Educators 

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