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2019 Elections for the NDEO Board of Directors

 
Welcome to online voting for the 2019 NDEO Board Elections!
 
All current NDEO members in good standing are entitled to vote in the election. Voting will be ONLINE ONLY and you must be logged in with your user name and password in order to cast a vote. All votes are anonymous.


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Voting Deadline: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET.
 

2019 Nominees

Click on white arrows next to each name to read their bios and candidate statements. Please read these before voting.
 

President-Elect (approve/reject)

 
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Kelly Lester
Kelly Lester
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: NDEO has contributed significantly to my growth as a dance educator and as a leader in the field. I joined NDEO in 2004 as a graduate student, and attended my first conference in Michigan that year. I left the conference knowing I would always be involved with this organization. I felt connected to many people and witnessed the vastness of the dance field. From here, I chartered a student chapter at SUNY Brockport, and eventually became a student representative for NYSDEA. My journey continued as a committee member for student sessions at NDEO and a moderator for the student forums. I was elected to the Board of Directors from 2011-2016, and received the Presidential Citation for Exemplary Service to the Organization in 2014. Currently, I serve as Treasurer, chair of the Development Committee, and chair of Dance 2050: A ThinkTank for Dance in Higher Education. At the University of Southern Mississippi, I am the Director of the Center for Faculty Development, and Associate Professor of Dance. I am Co-Director of Eastwest Somatics Institute of Yoga, Dance and Movement Studies, a Certified Evans Teacher, and co-founder of Hub Dance Collective, based in Hattiesburg, MS. My vision for NDEO includes fostering experiences like my own in students, new members, and current members. I want the members to feel connected to the network, to seek mentorship or offer mentorship to each other, to advocate for dance, to discover the breadth of the field, and to take advantage of specific services.

BIOGRAPHY: Kelly Ferris Lester, MFA, RSMT, is Director of the Center for Faculty Development, and Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi. She has served on the NDEO Board of Directors since 2011, and currently serves as Treasurer for NDEO and chair of the Dance 2050: A ThinkTank for Dance in Higher Education Planning Committee. Lester is Co-Director of Eastwest Somatics Institute of Yoga, Dance and Movement Studies, a Certified Evans Teacher, and co-founder of Hub Dance Collective, based in Hattiesburg, MS. Lester’s choreography has been performed at many national festivals and ACDA conferences with Gala selections in 2011 and 2016. Her publications include Somatics: A Buzzword Defined in the Journal of Dance Education and Self-Learning in Diverse Environments in Moving Consciously: Somatic Transformations Through Dance, Yoga and Touch.

Treasurer (approve/reject)

 
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Cory-Jeanne Murakami Houck-Cox
Cory-Jeanne Murakami Houck-Cox
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I have an extensive and diverse experience in the world of dance, nonprofit management, communications and advocacy. While pursuing my career as a prima ballerina, I volunteered in the public service sector from local to global arenas. I was paid staff on three presidential campaigns and Director of Communications for a statewide coordinated campaign. I was named an Aspen Institute Scholar Fellow due to my 4000+ hours of advocacy work in arts and education, minority issues, youth at risk and military families in geographically underserved populations in both urban and rural areas. As a current Policy Board Member of NDEO I hope to further the mission and enduring legacy of dance education.  I have participated in the following committees: Priorities & Brochure Task Force Committee, Registry of Dance Educators Committee, and the Development Committee which is tasked with fundraising for Professional Development Scholarships and developing future grants, endowments and legacy funds to help ensure the financial success of NDEO. I have been a board member of a 20,000+ civil liberties nonprofit as well as other smaller nonprofits including NDEO.  All have required that the Board oversee the prepared budgets and fiscal reports supplied by the Staff, CFO and/or CPA.  As a member of the various boards I was required to understand the proposed budgets and assess the possible risks as well as be continuously informed of the multimillion-dollar endowment portfolio of stocks and assets. I have raised funds from: National Endowment for the Arts, Irvine, Coca-Cola and Hitachi Foundations. I maintain a global network of contacts. I have taught in Higher Ed, K-12 and currently teach in Private Sector and am a credentialed Teaching Artist Adjunct in Public Schools. With my deep belief in National Honor Society for Dance Arts, I have promoted new chapters in private studios and conservatories.

BIOGRAPHY: Cory-Jeanne M. Houck-Cox, BA, ABT® Affiliate Certified Teacher Levels Primary-5 ABT NTC, is a choreographer, teacher and retired prima ballerina. National Policy Board Member for National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), her credits as a Teaching Artist/Adjunct Faculty include: USF, LaRoche College, CSULA, LAUSD Adopt-A-School, Armand Hammer United World College. She attended the Sundance Choreographer’s Lab and has had two screenplays in finals of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. In 1997 she performed at the Presidential Inaugural Gala Balls. She co-created and performed in “Winter War” & “Proud Heritage”, recipients of Irvine Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts, which were presented at the Kennedy Center. CJ is an Aspen Institute Scholar Fellow and Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts Teacher of Excellence Awardee. She teaches and choreographs in Private Sector and Public Schools.


Policy Board Director (vote for one)

 
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Andrew Jannetti
Andrew Jannetti
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: First and foremost I believe in NDEO’s mission to provide dance artists, educators, and administrators with the resources and supports they need to continue to advance in the field, as well as promote dance education to the general public as an integral part of the human experience. I am particularly interested in policy making, as I see that NDEO is in a very important growth phase. Since I have been involved with the organization I have seen the growth of its Special Topics Conferences, its online offerings, and its research and writing initiatives. Having served on the board of one of NDEO’s largest state affiliates for the past 6 years I believe I have gained the experience to transition to the National Level and to assist NDEO as an organization that puts itself at the center of Dance Education in this country. I am very familiar with the Arts Standards on the city, state, and national level as I was involved with a number of Crosswalks for all of the above. I was instrumental in restructuring the NYSDEA board and initiating a new branding and fundraising campaign to help increase our membership and our bottom line, which grew by over $30,000 during my tenure. I believe that all of these experiences give me the knowledge and expertise to provide insightful input into policy decisions as the organization moves forward.

BIOGRAPHY: Andrew Jannetti, MA is based in New York City, where he has a distinguished career as a choreographer, dancer, educator, fitness instructor, and producer. He has presented choreography at DTW, St. Marks’s, Gibney, 92 nd Street Y, Alvin Ailey Center, The Duke, DIA, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), Cunningham, DUMBO Dance Festival, CoolNY Festival, ADG Festival, NY International Dance Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival, as well as other venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s been awarded grants for his choreography from NYSCA, NJSCA, MCAF, Meet The Composers, the Field, and the Harkness Center. He was awarded a BAXten award, a PASEtter award, and the Dani Nikas Excellence in Teaching Award for his work with NYC youth. Andrew is a Dance Educator for the NYC Department of Education and the Director of all school breaks programs at BAX. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor at Mason Gross, Rutgers in New Brunswick and St. Francis College in Brooklyn. Past-President of the New York State Dance Education Association, he is an active member of NDEO and was instrumental in founding the Men In Dance special interest group. For more information on him and his work go to: andrewjannettianddancers.org

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Daniel Gwirtzman
Daniel Gwirtzman
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am applying for a Policy Board Member position because I would like to represent and amplify diverse voices on the Board and would work to positively affect the trajectory of the organization. I have the great interest, skills and passion to further serve and support the mission of NDEO, and to help shape the direction of its programming and operation. Since joining the Board in 2016 I have sought to reimagine and reinvigorate the role of the Director of E-Communications, growing the Committee ten-fold and transforming the weekly Job Announcement forums into a consistent, easy-to-use digest. The Policy Board has acknowledged my “vigilance developing and applying more robust strategies for more efficient and effective communications for membership.” Producing the “How To Be A Better Communicator” video, and its accompanying written Guide, used humor to share information to the membership and signals the dedication I have demonstrated beyond the job description. Through initiatives like this, as well as serving on NDEO’s Priorities in Dance Brochure Task Force, I have utilized the same creative outside-the-box thinking employed as the steward of an acclaimed NYC-based nonprofit teaching and performing dance company currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. If elected onto the Policy Board I would continue to support the work of the E-Communications Committee as a liaison to an incoming Director. I would bring a unique voice to the Board, generationally, artistically, pedagogically, and philosophically, along with a range of business and artistic skills developed as a producer, president, educational director, teacher, choreographer, and dancer. I am diligent, organized, detailed, and reliable, and offer a levity, empathy, and zest to interactions with others. I seek to represent a diverse cross-section of the membership and to present this diverse range of voices at the Policy Board table that may have previously not been heard.

BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Gwirtzman--producer, choreographer, educator, filmmaker and dancer—directs the NYC-based Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, celebrating its 20th Anniversary. His diverse repertory for the nonprofit, and other concert and commercial projects, has earned praise for its humor, stylistic diversity, musicality, charisma and accessibility. “Mr. Gwirtzman does know that in dance less can be more. And that’s a good thing for any choreographer to know” writes The New York Times. The New Yorker describes him as a choreographer of “high spirits and skill.” The Company has been described as “A troupe I’d follow anywhere” (The Village Voice), a “troupe of fabulous dancers” (Backstage) that “can’t help but smile” (The New Yorker). The nonprofit, renown for innovative teaching and institutional partnerships, has demonstrated a commitment to education since its inception through inclusionary, multigenerational interactive programming. Daniel’s choreography has been performed at venues throughout the country and abroad, and he has been awarded commissions, residencies and fellowships from institutions around the world. He danced with Garth Fagan Dance, Mark Morris Dance Group, and has been faculty at Ithaca College, SUNY Buffalo State, Kennesaw State University, and The University of the Arts as well as a guest artist at numerous schools, colleges, and universities.


Advisory Board Director of E-Communications (vote for one)

 
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Hannah Seidel
Hannah Seidel
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: The Director of E-Communications is essential to effectively serving a network of inspired – and very busy – dance educators around the country. When I have attended NDEO’s conferences in the past, it has always been thrilling to reconnect with colleagues and to witness the shouts and hugs of others when they find each other in the halls and meeting rooms. As much as we are energized by this in-person connection, the ability to effectively connect to the organization and fellow members from our workplaces and homes during the rest of the year can keep the flow of inspired ideas moving, or help us crowd-source our knowledge when we have questions. After two years serving as an inaugural member of NDEO’s E-Communications Committee, I have an appreciation for the realities and possibilities of the position. With growing attention to social media, a strong pathway for reaching future as well as current members, we can highlight not just the organization’s work, but also the work members do that brings students back to the dance classroom each day for more, also thereby giving NDEO a personal and local face. This position is also responsible for overseeing online forums, maintaining jobs and events listings, and more. During my three years working with the New York State Dance Education Association as the Administrative & Communications Assistant, I became well-versed in the detail-oriented work that makes presentation of such information easily readable and accessible in written and online formats. Communication should be a resource, a helpline, an inspiration – not a burden, and I would be honored to contribute to NDEO, which has provided dance educators and students with tools to strengthen their work and connections with each other for years.

BIOGRAPHY: Hannah is an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University. Previously based in New York City, professional performance credits include Tiffany Mills, Mariah Maloney, the Erica Essner Performance Co-op, David Appel, and Gibney Dance with whom she also offered workshops to survivors of domestic violence and their children. She has served as Lecturer at Purchase College, SUNY, Education Programs Coordinator for Dance New Amsterdam, summer intensive teacher at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts and Interlochen Center for the Arts, and worked for several years for the NY State Dance Education Association. Hannah’s choreography has been commissioned by the Society for New Music in New York, and presented in festivals including Midwest RAD Fest and Regeneration. Her piece Time We Have was a finalist for the Michigan Dance Council’s Maggie Allesee Choreography Award, and she recently presented a new full-length work on water awareness in collaboration with the Annis Water Resources Institute, musicians from GVSU and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and new music composers. BA Pomona College; MFA the College at Brockport, SUNY; certifications: Pilates, Autism Movement Therapy.

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Darryl Pilate
Darryl Pilate
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Education and leadership have always been a part of my formative years. Over the last eleven years, I have been a teacher imparting a passion for dance to my students. In my classroom, every student can and will learn dance. Currently, I am the dance teacher and director of the High Point High School Dance Department where  I teach over 150 students with diverse backgrounds. Over the years, I created four middle and high school programs across Texas and Maryland. As the director, I am responsible for recruiting team members, managing separate accounts for each member, keeping a team account budget, developing fundraisers, ordering costumes and supplies, maintaining communication with several parents, vendors, and school officials. I served on organizational boards and participated and presented at conventions. As an NDEO Board Member, I hope to increase the school/studio memberships through extensive social media outreach and awareness. I am determined to find other ways to get communication and information out to member schools that move away from just emails. There are tons of new technologies available to reach not only our adult population but our students as well. It would be my goal to develop an NDEO app that could be a one-stop shop for accessing NHSDA information, National Standards, convention registration, etc. These are all services and programs I utilize regularly to help maintain my own program. An app would cut down on the various sent out daily/weekly.

BIOGRAPHY: Darryl Pilate is an artist and educator based in Washington, DC. He currently teaches at and directs the dance program at, High Point High School in Beltsville, MD. As a dancemaker, he collaborates with Matthew Cumbie and Dance Exchange, and with Sandra Atkinson/Light Switch Dance Theatre. He holds an MBA from Texas Woman's University and a BS in Dance from Texas State University.


Graduate Student Representative to the Advisory Board (vote for one)

 
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Sumana Mandala
Sumana Mandala
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Research, planning, and persevering are among my strengths, and my experience demonstrates skills in advocating and team-building. I have helped pilot programs such as “Share the World,” which fulfilled a need for students with special needs in the public education system in Sapporo, Japan, who could not travel like other K-12 students in their communities on school trips around and outside Japan. I arranged their travels to come to them in the form of speakers, and the program continued after i left. To make use of dance as a tool to build community, I founded Stage Sanchaar, a musical dance troupe in order to offer performance experiences to our audiences to create awareness around issues such as early childhood education in underserved communities and domestic violence. We also performed free for student groups with financial hardship and developed dance experiences for deaf children. These are just some examples that demonstrate my commitment to and investment in my work and those with whom it brings me in contact. I am also a Bharata-Natyam dancer and educator and have worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to build connections with other teachers of Indian dance around the country. I understand the challenges that minority communities often face in joining the dominant discourse. I would work with the various student groups who are the future of dance education to help realize the efforts of diversification that NDEO advocates, whether it be cultural, racial, related to abilities, gender, or otherwise.

BIOGRAPHY: Sumana Sen Mandala is the director of Dansense-Nrtyabodha, a non-profit organization promoting Indian classical dance arts, and an MFA Candidate in Dance at Arizona State University. Having studied Bharata-Natyam for 12 years in the US, she went to India to explore a broader movement pedagogy called Bharata-Nrityam under Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam. She returned to the US after 3 years and has been teaching Bharata-Nrityam since 2000. Teaching and performance have led to further questions about pedagogical philosophy and socio-cultural meaning of Bharata-Natyam in the South Asian diaspora. Sumana’s MFA research refocuses the lens on Bharata-Natyam education in the US through the support of somatic principles and Bharata-Nrityam, facilitative teaching and process-driven creation.

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Ashley Jones
Ashley Jones
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am a second-year graduate student at California State University Long Beach as well as an active professional dancer, educator and choreographer. I am entering my 19th year in dance education and currently serve on the California Dance Education Association professional development committee. In addition, I am a strong advocate for inclusion in dance and specialize in dance for disabilities; My primary residence for these programs are at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. I am passionate about creating equal access to performing arts education within my community and actively participate in many local and state festivals, outreach programs, and leadership development offerings. I have an extensive track record of creating excitement and interest around the arts as well as building successful curriculum and programs. I have spent over 20 years dancing and teaching at private studios, the past 10 years running a thriving competitive program, and 3 running a public high school dance program. In addition, I have taught at the collegiate level within performing arts institutions, and adjudicated performances across the nation for half a decade. In previous years, I have noticed that the vast majority of representation of the NDEO board has been from the east coast. I am hopeful to bring more awareness of NDEO to the west coast as well as relay critical information and issues discussed within NDEO to my professional and student colleagues. California is a large performing arts state that is lacking in board representation within the NDEO community and I am hopeful to be the person to change that. You should vote for me because I am honest, reliable, and passionate about arts education. As both a current student and a teacher I have a balance of both lenses and I feel I will be an asset to the NDEO board.

BIOGRAPHY: Ashley Jones began her training at Orange County Dance Center where she rose to principal ballerina with Ballet Repertory Theatre eventually becoming a full time instructor and choreographer. Ashley holds an AA in dance from OCC as well as a BA in Business Administration and Political Science from USC. She was named one of Long Beach’s 30 under 30 performing artists and was 1st runner up for Miss Long Beach this year. She is a current graduate student at CSULB and dances professionally for Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, Contempo Ballet, and Kenneth Walker Dance Project. Ashley is the jazz company director at The School of Dance and Music also teaching ballet, contemporary, tap, hip hop, and Latin dance styles to all ages and levels. She also serves as the dance program advisor for Marina High School in Huntington Beach. Ashley is a founding instructor of the Segerstrom Dance School for Children with Disabilities and developed the ground breaking curriculum for this program. In addition, Ashley is a graduate of Leadership Long Beach Institute, Dale Carnegie coaching and ABT Pre-Primary-Level 3 certification. She currently serves on the professional development committee for CDEA and is passionate about inclusion in the arts.


Undergraduate Student Representative to the Advisory Board (vote for one)
 
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Caitlin Shill
Caitlin Shill
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am currently studying to receive my Bachelor's degree of Fine Arts in Dance at Brigham Young University. As a member of several of BYU’s top performing companies, I have performed across the United States and China. Passionate about the anthropological consequences of dance pedagogy in the West, I have conducted international research and presented at the 2017 National Dance Education Organization Conference. I am also the lead presenter for a panel during the upcoming 2019 national conference. I aspire to go to graduate school and eventually receive a doctorate degree, and am passionate about communication and undergraduate research opportunities. As a member of the NDEO board my priority would be to ensure that undergraduates’ voices are heard, and that their opportunities for research increase in their undergraduate careers. After having sustained a serious knee injury, my protracted recovery over the past year has led to thoughtful research and a desire to seek more opportunities for study and change in the world of academic dance. My interests expand from dance pedagogy to dance anthropology, looking at the current education climate, and cultural topography of dance. She has held many leadership roles in the Dance Department at BYU, as well as achieved academic excellence throughout her undergraduate career.

BIOGRAPHY: Caitlin Shill is currently studying to receive her Bachelor's degree of Fine Arts in Dance at Brigham Young University. As a member of several of BYU’s top performing companies, she has performed across the United States and China. Passionate about the anthropological consequences of dance pedagogy in the West, she has conducted international research and presented at the 2017 National Dance Education Organization Conference. She is also the lead presenter for a panel during the upcoming 2019 national conference. She aspires to go to graduate school and eventually receive a doctorate degree, and is passionate about communication and undergraduate research opportunities. After having sustained a serious knee injury, her protracted recovery over the past year has led to thoughtful research and a desire to seek more opportunities for study and change in the world of academic dance. Her interests expand from dance pedagogy to dance anthropology, looking at the current education climate, and cultural topography of dance. She has held many leadership roles in the Dance Department at BYU, as well as achieved academic excellence throughout her undergraduate career.
 
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Justine Bach
Justine Bach
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am applying for the Undergraduate Student Representative position because of the passion I have for dance education. I am frustrated that I had to travel to another state for my degree in dance education, and that when I got to college, there were huge gaps in my knowledge of dance history and pedagogy. It has become clear to me that a network of creators and teachers is necessary for other artists like me to be able to develop professionally; NDEO. All students should have access to dance education, no matter their ability or socioeconomic status, through the use of standards within dance studios and public schools. This past year I have served as an officer for my university’s Student Dance Education Organization which developed my skills in communication, problem solving and proactivity. I have volunteered with numerous outreach programs to bring dance to and serve Arizona Title 1 schools in the Phoenix area, and underprivileged youth and the disabled community in both Arizona and Idaho. I am closely connected to dance artists at my university, and through two years of attendance to the American College Dance Association Festival I have been able to connect with many other undergraduate students in the west region. This will better inform me on the thoughts of my peers in order better advise the board. I also have specific ideas and goals as an advocator of dance arts. Grand Canyon University holds Arizona’s only National Honors Society for Dance Arts, and I hope that I can promote the program to more institutions in Arizona and beyond. Last year, I was a part of the biggest group of students in the nation the take the DELTA test, and through a position I can advocate for its implementation as a certification test for dance teachers.

BIOGRAPHY: Justine Bach is a junior at Grand Canyon University studying for her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major in Dance Education. She is from Meridian, Idaho and has enjoyed all styles of dancing for 15 years. Justine has a background in studio dancing, high school drill team, and dancing in technique classes and performing at GCU. Outside of dance Justine is an avid reader, carver, and white-water rafter. As a future educator Justine hopes to create an inclusive dance environment for both the abled and disabled community, and believes that everyone can benefit from dance.