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Behind the Curtain

Honoring the Synergy in Our Dance Communities
By Susan McGreevy-Nichols
Posted on 10/6/2017 3:46 PM

Longtime NDEO member Kelly Berick was recently featured in an article in Dance Teacher Magazine, which profiled the unique relationship between her high school program and local private studios. Kelly has directed the Akron School for the Arts at Firestone Community Learning Center within Akron Public Schools for over 20 years. During that time, she discovered ways to navigate the rivalries that can often develop between local dance studios and K-12 dance programs, and developed a unique curriculum designed to prepare students for success as college dance majors. You can read more about Kelly, her program, and the relationships she’s built in her dance community here.

As an organization that serves dance teachers working in every branch of the field, NDEO has been committed to the idea of “Honoring the Synergy” since it’s  inception. Our dance communities, from those in our local neighborhoods to the national field, are made stronger when K-12 schools, dance studios, college and university programs, community groups, and performing arts organizations work together. When we can look past our differences and work collaboratively, we are best able to provide opportunities for student growth, professional development, and community engagement. NDEO remains committed to bringing our diverse membership together in new and exciting ways, including in-person conferences, online networking and support, and opportunities to lead and serve the field. Our State Affiliates can provide resources to connect you with other dance educators in your local area.

In a world that feels increasingly divided, dance remains a unifying act and a force for good. We congratulate Kelly for her efforts to bring together her local community, and invite all of our members to do the same. How are you Honoring the Synergy in your dance community? Share with us in the comments or send an email to with your story!
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