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2015 NYSDEA Winter Conference Reflections: Cultural Diversity in the Dance Class

Attendees from all over New York State and New Jersey joined us last weekend for the 2015 NYSDEA Winter Conference, Cultural Literacy in the Dance Class. The conference, held at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, offered master classes in Flamenco with JoDe Romano, Capoeira with Todd "Carcara" Russell, Chinese traditional dance with HT Chen and Dian Dong, and Hip Hop with the Wondertwins, Billy and bobby McClain. These master classes were mixed with a variety of workshops and panels that explored the topic of "culture" in and through dance. These sessions provided an exciting platform for dance educators of all levels to exchange ideas on how to encourage students in a self-exploration of their own heritage, how to incorporate world dance curriculums into the dance class, and how to navigate cultural differences. Thank you to everyone who attended, presented, and contributed to such an amazing learning experience!

More coming soon on the highly anticipated 2016 NYSDEA Winter Conference. 

Vision Document for Dance 2050: The Future of Dance in Higher Education

This completed Vision Document was presented to DANCE 2050 participants at the 2014 National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) National Conference in Chicago, IL. Those attending, along with those contributing electronically, reviewed the document and voted to accept it as a shared vision of those participating in the blind reviewed DANCE 2050 project.

You can find the whole document here: 

Vision Document Dance 2050 Vision Document Dance 2050 (190 KB)


                                                      Thumbs Up!

NYSDEA would like to congratulate Martha Eddy and Kathleen Isaac on being nominated for Thumbs Up for their sustained contributions to dance and education!

Martha Eddy, Ed.D., MA, CMA, RSMT (Founder and Director of Dynamic Embodiment SMTT, MOC Director of Somatic Studies, Co-founder) is an exercise physiologist, registered Movement Therapist (RSMT), also trained in Massage Therapy, who is in private practice in NYC. She was certified in somatic movement work with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and Irmgard Bartenieff, and was on the certification program faculty for both the School for Body-Mind Centering® and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies from 1984-1994. She founded the Somatic Movement Therapy Program (SMTT) in 1992 and renamed it DE-SMTT in 2008. Eddy is particularly known for somatic-movement-based contributions in the fields of dance, dance science, conflict resolution, child development, and vision enhancement. She completed her doctorate in Movement Sciences and Education at Columbia University. She lives in New York City. Dr. Eddy was the invited speaker at the National Dance Education Organization to give the address on the state of Early Childhood Dance Education at the 2009 national conference.

In her position as Founder and Director of the DE-SMTT program she coordinates Moving On Center’s somatic curriculum and works closely with our faculty and mentors around the world. She has been involved with dance and performance since she was eight years old. She also directs our partnership organization in NYC – the Center for Kinesthetic Education (www.WellnessCKE.net) where clients of all ages come for classes and private sessions, and professional teachers and therapists come for training. She is involved in research, arts-based educational program designs, and educational consulting nationally and internationally. She has published numerous articles on these subjects. She created BodyMind Dancing© in 1987 and Moving On Aerobics © (MOA) in 1999. Many DE-SMTT graduates are taking these somatic movement programs out into the field. 

Kathleen Isaac is the Director of the Arnhold Dance Education Programs at CUNY Hunter College, where she instituted the iDanceEd, Mentoring the Muse and Macaulays, Arnhold Mentors and Arnhold Alumni LEAD initiatives, and is the Dance edTPA coordinator for the School of Education She has presented dance education models for the inclusion of digital devises in dance teaching practice through ACERT (Academic Excellence in Research and Technology) and was the recipient of a FITT (Faculty Innovation Teaching with Technology) grant. She is on the Hunter College Arts Across the Curriculum Spotlight on Arts and Politics Committee and is an Associate faculty member of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. She is active in the National Dance Education Organization and is a Board member of the New York State Dance Education Association. For over two decades, she has been a leader in dance professional development, advocacy, Pre-K-12 teaching practice, integration of dance and technology and dance assessment in New York City, New York State, nationally and internationally. She is currently on the editorial board of the Dance Education In Practice journal, and is on the Teachers College, Columbia University Dance Task Force. She authored, provided professional development for and was lead facilitator and trainer for Revelations – An Interdisciplinary Approach for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater from 1999-2010. She wrote Read My Hips® for the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, and authored the Coca Cola Community Outreach Program curriculum of the David Parsons Dance Company. Ms. Isaac continues to learn about and share best practices in student-centered integration of dance and technology through www.iDanceEd.com, www.kidsmakedance.com and www.kidsmakehiphop.com, and www.flamencoole.wordpress.com, student-to-student dance mentoring and interdisciplinary models of learning. Her work with dance students in public schools for over 25 years has been recognized by President Clinton’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities as a paradigm for the nation and featured in the New York Times, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, NBC News, CNN and Bravo. Her choreography for students has been performed at Hunter College, the Alvin Ailey Studios, Apollo Theater, Lincoln Center, New York City Center Studios and at Mayor Bloomberg’s 2008 State of the City Address at Flushing Meadows Park. She received a BA in Dance at SUNY Brockport, an MA in Dance from New York University, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, began her doctoral studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, and has completed post-graduate work at NYU/Steinhardt and Empire State College.


The New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA) is growing and evolving to meet the needs of our dance community in the 21st century. The officers of NYSDEA invite you to join us as we enter a new and exciting era for dance in New York State.

NYSDEA serves dance educators who teach diverse populations in schools of dance, PreK-12 schools, post-secondary institutions and education outreach programs. Click here to see a list of our institutional members.

NYSDEA is a state affiliate of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). When you become a member of NDEO, you automatically become a member of NYSDEA. Checks are made payable to NDEO and a portion is returned to NYSDEA.

We look forward to forging new creative paths in dance and dance education. We thank you in advance for your consideration in joining NYSDEA.

Benefits of membership include:
  • Networking for dance educators across the state and nation
  • Membership in the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)
  • The Journal of Dance Education, a national peer review publication
  •  National NDEO Conferences
  • NYSDEA Workshops throughout the state
  • NYSDEA Website: Information sharing, Dance events and calendar, Program announcements
  • National Honor Society for Dance Arts
  • A major voice in developing NYS dance policy and curricular issues

Dance educators are defined as, but not delimited to, those teaching or administering dance programs in K-12, higher education, performing arts organizations, private studios and schools of dance, cultural/community centers, etc. It includes dance specialists, teaching artists and choreographers, artists-in-schools, studio teachers, and generalists teaching dance or movement education.

To become a member of NYSDEA, go to the NDEO website at www.ndeo.org/membership.

You can register online and pay by credit card or print an invoice and mail in a check to the NDEO home office. This process automatically registers you as a member of our organization. If you do not have internet access and wish to join our organization, please call 301-585-2880 and your registration can be taken over the phone.

The New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA) is growing and evolving to meet the needs of our dance community in the 21st century. The officers of NYSDEA invite you to join us as we enter a new and exciting era for dance in New York State. NYSDEA serves dance educators who teach diverse populations in schools of dance, PreK-12 schools, post-secondary institutions and education outreach programs.

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