Please Wait a Moment

2020 National Award Winners

Sandra Minton | Lifetime Achievement Award

Sandra is a white woman with short light hair. She is smiling and wearing a white shirt.Sandra Minton is Co-Coordinator of the Dance Education MA at the University of Northern Colorado, a program she created. Previously, she was Coordinator of the dance program at the University for twenty-six years. Minton has also taught dance in public schools and presented teachers’ workshops on interdisciplinary learning. Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation, 4th edition is published by Human Kinetics. Using Movement to Teach Academics and Thinking with the Dancing Brain are published by Rowman & Littlefield Education. The latter work describes connections between dance and neuroscience discoveries and was co-authored with Rima Faber. Minton’s research is published in juried journals. A quantitative analysis of creative thinking skills among dance students was twice summarized in a national publication. Minton was a Fulbright Scholar to Finland and has MA and PhD degrees from UCLA and Texas Woman's University, respectively. Her dissertation involved mental imagery and its effect on standing and walking alignment in beginning modern dancers. She twice helped write the Colorado Dance Standards, was on the committee which achieved certification for dance in Colorado and was instrumental in creating the Colorado Dance Education Organization (CODEO), an affiliate of NDEO. Minton currently serves on The Dance Archive and CODEO boards.

View Sandra Minton's Keynote Address from the September 10, 2020 Awards Ceremony at the bottom of this page.

Amanda Standard | Outstanding Dance Educator (Private Sector)

Amanda is a Black woman with braided pulled back hair. She is smiling and wearing silver earrings and a colorful patterned top.A graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Amanda serves as Founder, Executive Director, and Artistic Director for both Divine Dance Institute, Inc. (DDI) and SoundXpressed Dance Company (Washington DC). Through each, she’s provided novice, pre-professional, and professional dancers the opportunity to study and perform all over the D.C. Metropolitan area, nationally, and abroad - including performances at Wolftrap, at Publick Playhouse, at the Kennedy Center, and with the International Association of Blacks in Dance. Annually, she produces enlightening dance productions and the “Kaleidoscope” Student Showcase, for DDI. With over 30 years of professional dance experience (both performance and instructional), formal dance training from various schools/studios, and a diploma from the LaGuardia High School of the Arts in New York City, Amanda is artistically astute and socially armed to benefit the dance community. Additionally, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts presented her with an Honorable Mention, for her vast performance ability. In return for all she’s acquired, Amanda teaches Ballet, Modern (Graham), Jazz, West African, Caribbean, tap, Choreography/Improvisational tools, and applying dance technique to composition. After almost 20 years of owning and running DDI, the Maryland Dance Education Association presented Amanda with the “Dance Educator of the Year for Private Studios” award, in 2018, and FAME – “ Educator of the Year” in 2019.

Jennifer Aversa | Outstanding Dance Educator (Private Sector)

Jennifer has shoulder length hair, is smiling, and is wearing a blue top.Jennifer Aversa graduated Summa Cum Laude from Towson University with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Dance Education. Jennifer performed with the Towson University Dance Company, and then danced professionally with Cross Currents Dance Company and Think Dance Company. Jennifer has been teaching dance for the past 27 years in the Baltimore/Washington area and has owned Dance Connections, Inc. in Ellicott City, MD for the past 18 years where she instructs dancers ages 2 to adult. Jennifer directs 65 students involved in a non-competitive, service based dance company who perform for area nursing home residents, local school students, during half-time at professional athletic events, and collaborates with the Columbia Orchestra to perform their annual nutcracker and Young Artist concerts. Jennifer also plans an annual dance company fundraiser concert for local grassroots organizations including Casey Cares and BeMoreCaring, having raised over $30,000. Jennifer holds Grades 1-5 Cecchetti Ballet teacher Certification and is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America. Jennifer is certified in the Progressing Ballet Technique Method and is also a certified Rhythm Works Integrative dance instructor. She also received her 200 Hour yoga certification from YogaWorks and holds a level 1-3 Radiant Child Yoga Certification and 30-hour YogaEd teen yoga certification.

Pam Musil | Outstanding Dance Education Researcher

Pam has short blone hair, is smiling, and wearing a striped shirt.Pam Musil, MA, is Professor Emeritus and former Associate Chair of the Department of Dance at Brigham Young University, where she taught for 27 of 40+ years as a dance educator. Her scholarship includes both choreographies and publications with topics and populations that span grades 7-12, post-secondary dance education and beyond. Interests include human issues related to dance literacy, dance education, dance and gender, and age-specific concerns related to dance. She has authored chapters in Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education: Case Studies in Humanizing Dance Pedagogy (2020), Doug Risner & Karen Schupp, Editors; Dance & Gender: A Collection of New Empirical Research (2017), Wendy Oliver & Doug Risner, Editors (co-authored with Doug Risner); and Arts Education and Literacies (2015), Amy Petersen-Jensen, & Roni Jo Draper, Editors. Her work is also found in the Journal of Dance Education, Research in Dance Education, and Arts Education Policy Review. She considers herself first and foremost, a dance educator whose scholarship has informed and enlivened her work both in the classroom and as a dance administrator. Post-retirement, she continues to serve on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Dance Education and is working on a new book project with co-editors Doug Risner and Karen Schupp.

Stephanie Milling | Outstanding Leadership

Stephanie has dark shoulder length hair, is smiling, and is wearing a black and grey sleeveless top.Stephanie Milling, Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance and Head of Dance Education at the University of South Carolina, has taught in many artistic and educational environments, such as Dallas Black Dance Theatre I and II, New York City public schools, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of North Texas after an extensive performing career. Prior to her appointment at the University of South Carolina, she was the Assistant Dean for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. Stephanie is currently the Advocacy Director of the National Dance Education Organization, past President of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, past Arts Education Council member for Americans for the Arts, and an editorial board member for The Journal of Movement Arts Literacy, Dance Education in Practice, and Arts Education Policy Review. Stephanie’s choreography has appeared at the Joyce Soho, the D.U.M.B.O. Dance Festival, and Piccolo Spoleto and her writing in the Journal of Dance Education, Dance Education in Practice, Arts Education Policy Review, and other national and international publications. Dr. Milling holds a Ph.D. in Dance and M.A. in Women’s Studies from Texas Woman’s University and an M.A in Dance Education from New York University.

Susan Kirchner | Outstanding Leadership

Susan has short dark hair, is smiling, and is wearing a light collared top.Susan Haigler Kirchner is Professor of Dance in the Department of Dance, Towson University. Professor Kirchner has been a proactive administrator and advocate for dance within higher education for the past 21 years. Among extensive leadership contributions to the field, Susan served as Chair of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) Ethics Committee from 2015 to 2017 and has served as Nominations Chairperson and Director of Membership for the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). She holds both MFA and Ed.D. degrees in Dance from the Department of Dance, Temple University. She served 12 years on the Fine Arts Education Advisory Panel for the Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences. She is currently Vice President of the Morgan Council Arts Council, West Virginia. Susan’s leadership activities in addition to her university appointments have included Chairing the South Carolina Chapter of the National Dance Education Organization (SCDEO); serving as a member of the Advisory Committee of the South Carolina Center for Dance Education (SCCDE); and, on the Executive Board/Vice President for the Division of Dance Science and Somatics of the National Dance Association (NDA). She received the 2005 Advocacy Award from the South Carolina Dance Association (SCDA).

Executive Director's Award for Service to NDEO
  • Dance and Disability Task Force: Sandi Stratton-Gonzalez, Sydney Erlikh, Silva Laukkanen, Magda Kaczmarska
  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Committee: Crystal Davis, Tina Curran, Frederick Curry, Nyama McCarthy-Brown, Deborah Damast, Charne Fucron, Daniel Gwirtzman, Julie Kerr-Berry, Nicole Robinson, Cory-Jeanne Murakmi Houck-Cox
  • Outgoing JODE Editor - Wendy Oliver
President's Commendation for Excellence for Service in the Field
  • 2019-2020 NDEO Board of Directors
  • Mentorship Committee

Keynote Address

Awards Panel Discussion

2020 Award Ceremony