A Letter from NYSDEA President, Deborah Damast:

Dear NYSDEA community, 

I write this one day after my return from the amazing NDEO conference in Washington D.C. I was so impressed by the turnout from New York State, both teachers and students, we had the largest amount of attendees of all of the states! Second year in a row that NYSDEA has had the largest attendance at National Conference, that is wonderful that so many from our state are participating in this valuable Professional Development.

Our NYSDEA reception and awards ceremony was very well attended, and our rooftop party room was a beautiful setting for our evening celebration. I was so happy to see so many of you there, and to personally greet you, we are an extraordinary group!

I would like to thank our sponsors of the event, who helped to make this possible. You might not be aware, but the cost of the NYSDEA reception at NDEO is generally pretty high, due to the charges that the hotel dictates. We would not be able to host this wonderful event without generous contributions from our institutional members and from kind individuals. We also received so much organizational support from our NDEO Conference Director and from our Past President extraordinaire, Pat Cohen. A giant thanks to you both!

The hosts of the NYSDEA event include:
Hunter College
NYU Steinhardt
Hofstra University
College at Brockport, SUNY
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Nardin After School Dance Program
Gibney Dance

I would also like to extend my congratulations to the 2016 NYSDEA awards and scholarships recipients, we are honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate these wonderful educators, and in turn celebrate all of our constituents. What an amazing Emcee for the evening and Director of Awards, Karen Camp, thank you Karen!

Congratulations to:

Allison Bohman - Presidential Citation for Excellence in Service to NYSDEA (Presented by Deborah Damast)

Susan Russo - Outstanding Educator, Private Sector (Presented by Abigail Agresta-Stratton)

Andrea Markus - Outstanding Educator, Teaching Artist (Presented by Patricia Cohen)

Megan Minturn -Outstanding Educator, PreK-12 (Presented by Catherine Gallant)

Anita Feldman - Outstanding Educator, Higher Education (Presented by Andrew Jannetti)

Dr. Susan Koff - Outstanding Researcher (Presented by Carla Flores)

Anne Wilcox - Outstanding Leadership (Presented by Jeanne Fornarola)

Shirlene Blake - Diana Domorocki-Kisto Scholarship Award (Presented by Jen Katz Burk)

Dr. Diane Duggan - Lifetime Achievement Award (Presented by Deborah Damast)

We were able to award 4 student scholarships to outstanding graduate students in Dance Education. These students received significant stipends to support their attendance of this year's NDEO conference. 

The student awardees were presented to 

Daria Fitzgerald

Chie Kurokawa

Jacqueline Ledesma

Emma Blue Russo

We also were so pleased to celebrate 2 of our NYSDEA members who were awarded prestigious NDEO awards this year! We are so proud of these two amazing women!

Kathleen Isaac - Outstanding Leadership Award

Raegan Wood - Outstanding Educator, Private Sector

I would also like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to our NYSDEA Board of Directors, who give many many hours of volunteer time and energy to ensure the longevity and forward motion of NYSDEA. We have an incredible board, and if you see them please give them a THANK YOU!  

Deborah Damast: President 
Andrew Jannetti: President-Elect
Mary S. Burns: Treasurer
Jeanne Fornarola: Secretary

Abigail Agresta-Stratton: NYSED Liaison
Margaret Bary: Director of Communications
Karen Camp: Director of Scholarships and Awards
Kerrianne Cody: NYSED Liaison
Susan Epstein: Director of Conferences
KristiAnne Francis: Director of Fundraising
Elisabeth Gosselin: Assistant Conference Director and Director of Workshops 
Cynthia Hanna: National Honor Society Director
Deborah Lipa-Ciotta: Assistant Director of Advocacy
Kevin McEwen: Student Representative
Daniel Reichert: Advocacy Director 
Allison Bohman: Administrative Assistant

We want to invite you to our 2017 Winter Conference to be held at NYU Steinhardt in NYC the weekend of February 4 and 5  and also our first mini-conference at Harrison High School in Westchester on October 15. Please join us for these incredible Professional Development Events. 

I am writing this with much gratitude to all of you for making my job of President so rich and rewarding. Have a great semester and see you at NYSDEA events!


Deborah Damast
NYSDEA President

(Photo: Andrew Janetti, Karen Camp, Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Diane Duggan, and NYSDEA President Deborah Damast.  
Photographer: Kevin McEwen)


NYSDEA Winter Conference Line Up!

Celebrating Students as Teachers & Teachers as Students

February 4-5 NYU Steinhardt, NYC – open to NYSDEA members only

Look for classes, schedule, registration fees and special event announcements on our event page!

Click here to join NDEO/NYSDEA and register today!


Thank you for joining us for our 2nd Annual

New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA)

fundraising event

“All Things Isadora”

August 19th from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

at The Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack, Long Island


Photo Credit: Jeff Schultz (http://www.jeff-schultz.com/)

It was a wonderful evening that included a

Cocktail party followed by a performance of Isadora Duncan’s work

danced by Beth Jucovy and her company Dance Visions to classical music

in the magical gardens of the Madoo Conservancy

Reminiscent of the bygone era when Isadora Duncan

danced barefoot on the great lawns of the Newport mansions

Location: Madoo Conservancy

618 Sagg Main Street, Sagaponack

Suggested Donation: $150.00

If you were unable to attend the event but would still like to donate, just visit our event page to PayPal.

For further information call 917-375-0396 or 917-667-1623

or email anjannetti@gmail.com

NYSDEA would like to give special thanks for the generous support of

Madoo Conservancy, Dr. Dennis Gross skincare and Beth Jucovy and Dancers

Letter From President Elect Letter From President Elect (79 KB)

Sponsor Letter Sponsor Letter (841 KB)


NYSDEA Winter Conference 2016 Reflections
"The Changing Face of American Dance"
NYU in New York City
February 6-7, 2016


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 to Baylee Simpson, Miss Buffalo!

Baylee Simpson is a magna cum laude graduate from The College at Brockport. In four short years, she obtained a BFA in Dance as well as a BS in Exercise Science. In addition, Baylee has been working as Miss Buffalo throughout New York State and was the first runner up in the Miss New York pageant this Spring. Her greatest achievement in this role has been establishing an educational outreach program within the Department of Dance at The College at Brockport through herPlatform The Create Initiative: Empowering our Youth to Succeed through the Arts. This outreach program uses dance students at the college to bring live performance to the local Brockport and Rochester school districts. Since live performance opportunities can be rare for some school districts, the outreach program utilizes this time to allow the students to engage in live art and to also build critical thinking skills. The Miss America Organization already supports a STEM education but Baylee can foresee herself being of great influence to lead this organization to support a STEAM education. After being crowned Miss Buffalo 2016, Baylee’s dream of leading our nation’s youth towards success has continued to expand. She hopes to further work on her platform and leave a lasting mark on the city of Buffalo.

NYSDEA wants to know who deserves a thumbs up, so please send in your accolades to Allison Bohman, a.bohman@nysdea.org.

Include the following: Email subject: THUMBS UP Dance Recognition. Name of person or Institution. Job Position/Title and/or brief biography. A picture of the individual (Please limit your answer to three sentences or fewer).

The next Thumbs Up will be given next month - let us know who it should be!


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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