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OPDI-M27: Functional Awareness: Mindfulness Practices in Embodied Anatomy for the Dance Educator

June 10, 2024 - July 21, 2024

Start/End Date

06/10/2024 - 07/21/2024


8:00 AM

Early Bird Discount Deadline


Registration Deadline



OPDI-M27: Functional Awareness: Mindfulness Practices in Embodied Anatomy for the Dance Educator Event Image

OPDI-M27: Functional Awareness: Mindfulness Practices in Embodied Anatomy for the Dance Educator (June 10 to July 21, 2024)

Professors: Nancy and Allegra Romita; Member Tuition $310; Non-Member Tuition $385; 1.5 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs; 6 weeks; Functional Awareness® (FA) is a practical approach to dance pedagogy using anatomical imagery and reflective practices to enhance movement potential, facilitate ease in action, and improve dynamic alignment. This 6-week course curriculum is an opportunity to reinvigorate your teaching practices and renew personal movement practices for self-care. This course will utilize engaging lectures, readings, and active movement explorations that present current research on motor learning skills for core strength, improving standing leg balance, and other dance skills.

Course learning outcomes include:

  • Utilizing Functional Awareness® (FA) verbal, tactile, & visual cues to enhance efficacy in action
  • Employing FA rubrics to assess student learning
  • Acquiring a language for providing feedback to students that encourage student agency.

This mini-course will be conducted in weekly sessions. The sessions include asynchronous webinars and optional opportunities to meet synchronously with the instructors and your cohort to share insights and questions. Each week, you will learn strategies to improve movement skills while employing tools for dancer wellness and injury prevention. The course content is appropriate for all movement populations and is applicable to all dance styles. The modules integrate practical applications in functional anatomy and somatic mindfulness practices to support inclusive learning and diverse perspectives in dance.

Book Required: 2nd edition of the Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action for Dancers. Order it here.

How do OPDI Online Courses for dance teachers work?

Our “online” courses are guided by a professor and include a co-hort of students (other dance teachers) with whom you will collaborate. They also include graded assignments, feedback, final grades, and Professional Development Credits (PDCs). Our OPDI online courses require on average between 6 to 8 hours of work each week, but it all depends on your learning style. It could be less or could be more. You can also register as an Audit student and do as much or as little work as you want and will not receive a grade.

We utilize the Sakai online learning platform to deliver the course materials and instruction. Our courses are asynchronous, so there are no required meeting dates or times but we do have a Course Start and Course End date; however, our courses offer at least 2 optional live Q&A-Feedback zoom sessions during the course to enhance opportunities for connection with other students and the professor. Every week of the course there are assignments that you will need to complete with due dates listed in the course outline / syllabus.

Assignments can be done at any time during the week prior to the due date and may include reading, watching videos, posting answers to prompts on a discussion board, writing an essay, reading and responding to other students' posts on the discussion board, taking a cell phone video of yourself completing a particular movement, taking a quiz, or completing a final project. The professor provides written feedback and grades and you get to connect with other students (who are actually dance teachers) via our discussion board and the optional live Q&A feedback sessions.

Registration Fees

NDEO Member Price
Non-Member Price
Hotel/Meal Package



Presenters will be added as they are confirmed for the event.
Name Organization Speaking At
Allegra Romita
<p><strong>Allegra Romita</strong>&nbsp;(MA, CMA, EdM, RYT) is co-creator of Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action&reg; and co-author of <em>Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action for Dancers</em> and <em>Functional Awareness and Yoga: an Anatomical Guide to the Body in Reflective Practice</em>. Allegra serves as the Program Administrator and Faculty for NYU Steinhardt Dance Education program. Since 2011, Allegra has been performing regionally and nationally with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances and is the Artistic Visioning Partner with the collective. Allegra graduated from the University of Michigan with honors with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Movement Science. She received her MA in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt and EdM in Motor Learning &amp; Control from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her passion for somatic investigation led her to certification (CMA) in Laban Movement Analysis through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. Allegra teaches at Brooklyn Yoga Project and Heatwise Yoga in Brooklyn, NY, and co-teaches in the teacher training programs at both studios.&nbsp;</p>
New York University 
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  • Nancy Wanich Romita
    <p>Nancy Romita (MFA, RSME, M.AmSAT RYT) is Senior Lecturer at Towson University (<a href=""></a>), co-founder of Functional Awareness&reg; (<a href=""></a>) is certified in dance rehabilitation training (WDPT/NYC) &amp; current director of the Alexander Technique MidAtlantic Teacher Training Course. Romita is former Artistic Director of NanDance NYC (1981-1985) &amp; The Moving Company 1993-2003), choreographed over 50 works at such venues as DTW/New York Live Arts, the 92ndStY, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Kennedy Center,&nbsp; Her research has been presented at IADMS, NDEO, CORPS de Ballet International, Alexander Technique International Congress. She is co-author of several books published by Oxford University Press. The second edition of Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action for Dancers recently released June 2023.<strong> </strong></p>
    Towson University 
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  • Sponsors

    Continuing Education