Please Wait a Moment

Developing Strategic Leadership in Dance and Life

Solo female dancer leaping in air with arms over head, she is wearing a light purple costume.

Professor: Dr. Jane Bonbright

Tuition: $550 member / $625 non-member

12 Weeks; 3 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

Jan. 29 - April 21, 2024

Register Here

This course looks at leadership as a complex process that has multiple dimensions. We begin with questioning: What is the role of ethics, integrity, and character in the leadership process? Is leadership more dependent on innate traits, skills and characteristics, or is it more learned behavior and strategy? This course focuses on the latter – learned behavior that requires one formulate and execute strategy. In narrowing our focus to lead with strategic thinking, we examine four ways effective leaders gain insight, drive change, and get results. In this journey, we draw on aspects of cognitive psychology, systems thinking, and game theory to inform strategy – a truly fascinating concept. When we integrate formulating strategy with executing strategy and apply intent to those functions, leadership types emerge – visionary, directive, incubating, and collaborate. We examine these in detail looking at core and applied competencies associated with strategic leadership. Case studies allow us to deconstruct and reconstruct concepts learned; ultimately understanding how formulating and implementing strategic thinking is critical to effective and successful leadership. In each module, students apply course content to personal and professional situations through doing many self-reflective inventories to provide base-line information about their own innate or acquired abilities; and building a Learning Opportunity case study applying lesson learned. Indeed the course provides the dance educator and administrator with important and practical ways to develop critical skills sets, develop actionable approaches to solving problems, and capitalize on innate strengths.

Book required: Olson, Aaron K. & Simerson, B. Keith. (2015). Leading with Strategic Thinking: For Ways Effective Leaders Gain Insight, Drive Change, and Get Results. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Questions about this Course?  Email

Past Student Testimonials

"This course was beyond my expectations, I received so much support and guidance. I did not expect to achieve so much towards my professional development. I have been on a hunt since my transition out of a performing career into my next career, I had a vague idea of what I wanted but now have a very clear idea of what I need to work towards, and all the steps broken down into small achievable tasks in order to reach my next career, potentially I feel this is my life’s purpose and so am thrilled to have it figured out and know how to get it done!— I could not have done this without all the support I received from this course, so I am eternally grateful for this!"

"It helped me feel prepared for an opportunity that presented itself during the actual course. I liked that Jane made herself available for any questions or concerns we had. I also thought it was great seeing and responding to others and their opportunities. Helped to connect and find out what others are doing in the field of dance."

"This course gave me time to think about the skills I have developed as a teacher and how to apply them more broadly. It gave me the opportunity to get honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses and what I really need to do to be the type of leader that I want to be. It was a supportive and empowering course environment with the opportunity to apply lessons to real, personal examples."

"It made me see that much of what I do is in alignment with best practices as a leader, so that was reassuring. It also helped me see where I can improve, and the many resources that are out there to help me figure out how to navigate the pitfalls of leadership. I really liked the pace and depth of the assignments, and I LOVED the readings, particularly those related to virtues and ethics. I've always believed that you need to lead by example, and it was so refreshing to know that is a proven fact!"

"The course exceeded my expectations in many ways. It benefitted me as a teacher in helping to validate some of the values I had already established in my classroom, and to help me devise strategies to increase respect for my position and the work I do within my school. It also applied to other roles I play within the community, which was a surprise but ultimately very valuable for me. I enjoyed the opportunity for self-reflection, and the incredibly insightful feedback of the instructor. She was genuinely invested in our success."

"I feel more prepared to take on leadership roles within my organization, as well as create opportunities for my students. I appreciate the feedback from Dr. Bonbright regarding my leadership opportunity. I feel more confident in my skills not only as a dance educator, but as a leader in the field."

Professor Bio

Jane Bonbright earned her doctorate in education at Temple University. Dr. Bonbright dedicated fifty-five years to the field of dance specializing in performance, education, research, administration, and dance/arts advocacy at national and state levels. She began her career as a professional ballet dancer and toured the United States and Europe with major ballet companies. She is founding director of the Maryland Youth Ballet (MD), home school of artists Susan Jaffe, Julie Kent, Cheryl Yaeger, Roger Plaut, Joanne Danto, and hundreds of other professional ballet dancers .She taught for thirty-five years in professional-oriented training academies, K-12, and colleges and universities before focusing on national issues involving policy, legislation, and funding for arts and education. Dr. Bonbright served as President and Executive Director for the National Dance Association before joining NDEO as Founding Executive Director in 1998 where she worked to establish NDEO as the national service organization for dance arts in US education. Dr. Bonbright served as Project Director for Research in Dance Education (2001-2005) and Professional Teaching Standards for Dance in the Arts (2005) and many national task force commissions. As Founding Executive Director of NDEO, Dr. Bonbright worked with over 100 federal/state government agencies and arts/education associations to ensure dance arts is included in the national agenda in U.S. education. She is the recipient of CORD’s Outstanding Leadership in Dance Education Award (2005), CODA’s Alma Hawkins Award of Excellence in Dance in Education (2007), and NDEO’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2009). Jane teaches OPDI-M5: Writing Successful Dance Funding Proposals, OPDI-117: Developing Strategic Leadership in Dance and Life, and OPDI-M20: Building an Online Dance Course: Process and Product.

How Courses Work