On December 9th
, I had the honor of attending the Dance Magazine Awards
, a star-studded event dedicated to the advancement of professional dance. This is the first year that NDEO has made an appearance, and I found this ceremony very important to our mission as an organization.
It is imperative that we continue to build our relationship with the professional dance world. Every single awardee has a dance teacher to thank, and it is because of superior dance education, that we continue to fuel and produce these superstars. Not only that, but in dance education, professional dance creates a model for our students to aspire to. It sets a standard and inspires the dreams of the next generation. Few of our students will become professional dancers, but many of them will become supporters of the arts and the next audience base for our world’s dance companies. It is only right to pay homage to our art and acknowledge the careers of our professionals. Since 1954, Dance Magazine
has been doing just that. Each year, dancers, choreographers, composers, and contributors to the field are recognized. This year the awards went to Martha Clarke, Mats Ek, Philip Glass, Yuan Yuan Tan, and Patricia Wilde.
In listening to their acceptance speeches, I was immediately taken by Patricia Wilde. As she shared these wonderful stories about her career, her down-to-earth and approachable nature drew me in, as if we were sitting down one-on-one, and she were sharing her life story with me. Mats Ek couldn’t make it to the ceremony, however he sent a video in his place. I was immediately captivated by his quirky choreography and most intrigued by his sense of play.
In another video masterpiece, Yuan Yuan Tan performed an excerpt from Fire Island and drew us into a breathtaking scene set to the backdrop of an ocean. Martha Clarke showcased her new choreography currently being performed in NYC. I have been a huge fan of her work back to her early days with Pilobolus. The award section was about an hour, followed by a reception. This gave me an opportunity to network with other professionals and show our support for professional dance.
Studies show that 50% of professional dancers go into teaching after their performance careers. Our statistics at NDEO back this up, as we have many professional dancers who have taken our online courses, and are learning ways to integrate pedagogical theories into their practices. NDEO will be providing a Certificate in Dance Education to aid dancers in this transition. It is my hope that we can continue to bridge the worlds of dance education and professional dance. Thank you Dance Magazine for this wonderful opportunity!
Please check out the courses we have to offer through our Online Professional Development Institute. Also, check out some full-size pictures courtesy of Dance Magazine below!