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2018 NDEO Professional Development Scholarships
By Susan McGreevy-Nichols
Posted on 2/23/2018 2:47 PM

Each year, NDEO is proud to offer scholarships for dance educators with financial need seeking to advance their career and benefit their students through professional development. We recognize the need for continuing education as an invaluable way for dance teachers in every branch of the field to expand their content knowledge, learn new methods for teaching and assessment, and refresh and refine their current teaching practices. Time and funds invested in professional development ultimately has a tremendous impact on students and communities, as educators take what they’ve gleaned from their studies back to their studios, classrooms, and universities.

As worthwhile as the investment in continuing education may be, we recognize that it is not always feasible for many dance educators due to their personal financial situations and lack of funding from their employers. We began offering scholarships for our online courses and conferences in 2015 as a way to give back to the dance education community. The scholarships are one way that NDEO works to provide access to professional development that is of the highest quality, led by nationally recognized leaders in the field, and specifically designed for the dance education professional. In 2018, we are pleased to once again offer the NDEO Professional Development Scholarships and the Thom Cobb Memorial Scholarship. The application is now open through March 1, 2018 for both scholarships. You can learn more about the scholarship criteria and guidelines and apply here.

NDEO Professional Development Scholarships will be offered to three deserving applicants, currently working in the field of dance education, who demonstrate both merit and financial need. Each scholarship will include one year of complimentary NDEO Professional Membership and the recipient’s choice of either:

  • Registration for the 2018 Annual National NDEO Conference in San Diego, CA

  • Twelve weeks of online learning through NDEO’s Online Professional Development Institute (OPDI)

The Professional Development Scholarships are funded in part by contributions to the Thank A Dance Teacher Fund. You can learn more and donate here.

The Thom Cobb Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to one first time conference attendee and a working dance education professional. Preference will be given to current NDEO members. The Thom Cobb Memorial Scholarship recipient will receive:  

  • Registration for the 2018 Annual National NDEO Conference in San Diego, CA and

  • A hotel stay at the conference site throughout the duration of the conference (up to 4 nights)

The Thom Cobb Memorial Scholarship is funded entirely by generous donations to the Thom Cobb Memorial Fund. You can learn more and donate here.

The scholarship can have a big impact for both recipients and their students. For 2017 NDEO Professional Development Scholarship recipient Lauren Humm Fakete of New Jersey, the benefits of attending the National Conference in San Antonio  have been ongoing. She is the Director of Programming for House of the Roses Volunteer Dance Company, a nonprofit dance teaching organization which works with homeless and at-risk children in New York City, and has been have been incorporating the new ideas gleaned at the conference not only into her classes with students, but also into the training sessions she leads for other teaching artists. These teaching artists can then apply what they’ve learned from her into their own classes, impacting even more students and creating a ripple effect in the organization and larger community.  

Photo of Lauren Humm Fakete by Logan Roquemore Photography

Ella Matweyou applied for the NDEO Professional Development Scholarship last year because she was inspired by the theme of the 2017 National Conference, Cultivating Equity and Access: Dance Education for All. The conference theme felt particularly relevant to her work as Program Coordinator & Lead Instructor of Ballet & Contemporary at The Aspire Project in Portland, OR, the goal of which is to make dance accessible to all, regardless of financial circumstances. She particularly enjoyed the workshops focused on injury prevention, somatic practices, creative movement strategies, and dance for children with special needs, as well as lectures on race and gender in the field of dance as they directly impact the communities that she works with. Since the conference, she has incorporated cross-training and somatic exercises with the goal of developing healthier, stronger, more versatile dancers, and has added more creative movement, improvisation, and choreographic exploration exercises to encourage social, intellectual, and emotional development in my students. Additionally, she is exploring how the studio offerings could be made more diverse, specifically by adding Afro-centric and Eastern dance forms in their programming.

We invite dance educators from every branch of the field to apply for the 2018 NDEO Professional Development Scholarships and the Thom Cobb Memorial Scholarship. The application is open to both current NDEO members and non-members. We hope that you will help us spread the word about these scholarship opportunities with your colleagues and friends who might benefit from a transformative professional development experience. If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to one of our scholarship funds and help us share the gift of continuing education with deserving dance educators!

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