#DanceEducation: Pedagogue, Practice, & Politics

I exist in the world of Dance Education.  It is a beautiful world full of ideas, dreams, and exploration in bouncing, wriggling bodies (child or adult).

As an administrator, I look broadly at the needs, issues, and development of the field of dance education.  However, I often feel a couple of degrees removed from the “educating.”

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to take part in the DEL Foundations Intensive offered through the 92nd Street Y and hosted in Dancewave’s charming Brooklyn space.  I spent a week with dance teachers in schools and studios, and dance teachers in the making.  We worked together exploring lesson plans for all ages in the K-12 spectrum through DEL’s extremely focused curriculum based on the elements of dance identified in Laban Movement Analysis.

I’m incredibly thankful for the partial scholarship I received to take this course (from 92SY) and for the days out of the office from my employer.  Professional Development is crucial to deepening connections in the field and continuing to evolve creatively as an educator.  The weeklong course allowed me time and space to move, create, and make connections in art and education.  I reveled in the time with peers creating, finding answers, and solving problems about our mutual passion of sharing dance with those around us.

To start, we were asked to chart out our dance journey map.  On a big piece of paper, I identified all the people, places, and things that brought me to where I currently am in the field of dance/dance education.  I created a cluster of bubbles, connected by sporadic dotted lines because that’s how I envision my journey.  I’ve bounced in and around, to and from dance opportunities.  Surprisingly, as chaotic as my path has been, each place taught me very important things and have somehow linked together for me.

That simple exercise caused me to consider my life journey and what I want it to be…

In addition to the incredible hands-on learning experience, I also attended the mayoral candidate forum on arts, culture, and education at Columbia.  The arts and culture bring in an enormous amount of revenue into this city, YET they are ridiculously unsupported in the educational sector in this city.  Check out Jack Hidarity and Sal Albanese, among potential candidates...

The arts and education matter.  My part and your part in the process matter immensely, too.  Enjoy the journey, be grateful for the things that have been, and advocate for the things to come.


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