Photo credit: Susan Epstein


Upstate Mini Conference

NYSDEA is hosting a one-day Upstate Mini Conference in Rochester, NY. The mini conference will take place at Nazareth College on Saturday, April 14th from 9:30am-6:00pm. You can look forward to a three-hour workshop with Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, a series of immersive classes that will be announced mid-March, lunch, and a student showcase concluding the event. CTLE credits are available for purchase.

  • 9:00am Registration
  • 9:30-12:30 Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Health Workshop -
  • 12:30-1:30 Lunch
  • 1:35-2:35 Navigating Rhythm
  • 2:45-3:45 Embodying the Navarasaas: Connecting Through Empathy & Movement
  • 3:55-4:55 Black Ballet Choreographers Symposium & Commission
  • 5:00-6:00 Student Showcase
Cost of Attendance:
  • $90: Non-Members
  • $70: NYSDEA/NDEO members
  • $40: Students
We hope to see you there!
If you are interested leading a session at this event please email your proposal to no later than Friday, March 9th. Be sure to include your name, a brief personal bio, and a session description including your preferred session duration (1 or 1.5 hours). Applicants will be notified by March 15th if they have been selected.
Mini Conference 2018
CTLE for Mini Conference 2018

Presenters Biographies & Class descriptions
Click on presenter name for full description.

  • Alison Deleget, MS, ATC
  • Ms. Deleget is a certified athletic trainer and PMA-certified Pilates instructor who brings over 15 years of clinical experience to the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. A former ballet dancer, Ms. Deleget graduated with a BS in Ballet and MS in Athletic Training from Indiana University. Ms. Deleget specializes in manual therapy and is a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner®. At the Harkness Center Ms. Deleget provides onsite athletic training services to professional dance companies, schools, and Broadway shows.

    Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Health Workshop
    This 3-hour intensive workshop for dance educators on evidenced-based dance injury prevention and dancer wellness. The intensive will begin with a participatory warm-up and explanation of principles behind a healthy warm-up.

    Other topics that will be covered through lecture and movement will include:
    • Dance injury etiology
    • The biopsychosocial model in relation to dance injury and dance educator self-care
    Recognition, management, and prevention of dance injuries, including:
    • Fatigue management, cross training, and periodization
    • Functional movement tasks to help understand, and educate their students about, pelvic neutral, weight shift, and limb dissociation.
  • Cheryl Johnson
  • Has performed Off Broadway, at International Dance Festivals, in Music Videos, on TV specials, in nightclubs, and in touring dance companies. In Seattle, she was the dance consultant to the Jimi Hendrix Museum: Experience Music Project and an ambassador of rhythm tap dance hosting festivals, master classes, educational programs, and creating choreography for musical theatre and the concert stage. In NYC, she was a member of Gail Conrad’s Tap Dance Theatre, Jerry Ames Tap Dance Company, and performed as a pioneer dancer for the original creation of MTV. In Rochester, she has enjoyed gigs with the likes of the Vision of Sound Concert Series, Bill Evans Dance Company, NYS Dance Force Duets Concerts, and the NYC New Mix Performance Festival. Johnson is a dance educator at the University of Rochester, SUNY at Brockport, Nazareth College, and Hochstein School of Music & Dance.

    Navigating Rhythm
    The purpose of this session is to illuminate the subject of rhythm-in-motion in order to learn techniques to help others express themselves better rhythmically. We will utilize feet to walk patterns, hands to play patterns, voice to vocalize patterns, and explore navigating rhythmic territory with our body as a whole.

  • Nitya Seshadri Vedantam, MFA in progress, MFA, BA
  • A graduate student of dance studies at SUNY Buffalo, is a performer-teacher-choreographer of the Indian Classical dance Bharatanatyam. She holds a diploma in Bharatanatyam from Kalakshetra and a MFA Dance from Hyderabad Central University. She is an empaneled artiste of the Broadcasting Ministry of India. She has conducted several performances, master classes and workshops across the globe, including University at Buffalo, Purdue University, Hyderabad Central University and MGI Mauritius. Her dance collaborations span across varied genres of dance including Sattriya, Chau, Kathak and Modern dance. Nitya’s research explores the mind-body connection through dance and the symbiotic links between Bharatanatyam and Modern dance. Nitya is also a certified Hatha Yoga instructor.

    EMBODYING THE NAVARASAAS: Connecting Through Empathy & Movement
    The presentation focuses on the sharing of basic human impulses that arise across dance forms in order to spark conversations about and uncover commonalities underlying Bharatanatyam and Modern dance. I am interested in showcasing the symbiosis between two varied art forms from an underlying place of somatic awareness, all the while providing common threads of connectivity to ourselves and the to the world we live in.
  • Sean McLeod
  • is an Executive Producer, Award Winning Businessman, and American Choreographer whose work spans more than 30 years and three continents including New York City, across the US, and internationally to the West Indies, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. Sean is founder of Reaching for Higher Ground Consulting – a Communication, Performance, and Development Company and is Executive Producer of the Harriet Tubman Freedom Music Festival, the New York Dance Festival, and the Global Dance Initiative. He has worked with Senators and Congressmen for positive racial impact and is a Conference Designer, Fortune 500 Executive Life Coach, Mediation Expert, and Motivational Speaker that uses the arts to teach Personality and Emotional Development for Corporations and Executives. He teaches Life Skills to Teens, Parental communication skills to adults, and does Family Development intervention for public schools and universities. Sean is President of the New York Institute of Dance & Education and the winner of countless awards including the coveted Jefferson Award for Public Service to America founded by the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the New York State Liberty Award (the NY Senate's highest honor), and the NAACP Trailblazers Medal of Honor. Sean was recently inducted into the Auburn Music Hall of Fame and has personally awarded over 400 thousand dollars to established and emerging artists.

    Black Ballet Choreographers Symposium and Commission Conference: Panel Discussion
    A Commission And Booking Discussion, Being Seen in Todays Ballet Industry This very useful and critical conversation helps everyone and the industry leaders understand the challenges of being a Black Ballet Choreographer and addresses the very big door of opportunity that remains closed to black people. Our mission: To create the mechanism for Black ballet choreographers to gain invitation to, and sustainability within, national level and premiere ballet companies.
    “Classical Ballet at its highest level is a silver impermeable sphere. It is not that Black choreographers cannot get in the door; it is that there is no door for us to get in.” - Sean McLeod

    "New" New York State Standards Professional Development

    Educators & Dancers over 18 years of age.
    February 24th, 2018
    1pm- 4pm
    NYU, Steinhardt School of Education
    35 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012
    This workshop is free
    CTLE Credits are available for a small fee
    $10 Posters will be available for sale

    CTLE for NY State Standards Training

    Please RSVP to

    NYSDEA 2018 Winter Conference

    February 3-4, 2018
    CUNY Hunter College
    Dance Department
    930 Lexington Avenue
    6th Floor
    Thomas Hunter Hall
    New York, NY 10021
    Conference 2018 postcard front Conference 2018 postcard back

    Saturday February 3, 2018
    8:00 – 9:00 - Registration
    9:00 – 10:00 – BodyMind Dancing – Martha Eddy
    10:10 – 11:25 – Gibney Community Action - Amy Miller
    11:35 – 12:50 – Dance for Parkinson’s Disease - David Leventhal
    12:55 – 3:00 – Lunch/Visit Service Organizations/Annual Meeting
    3:00 – 4:00 - Hula – John-Mario Sevilla
    4:10 – 5:25 – Teaching students with Disabilities or Diverse Learners - Dr. Diane Duggan
    5:30 – 6:30 - Student Performance
    6:30 – 7:30 - Reception

    Sunday February 4, 2018
    9:00 – 10:15 – Warm Up and Choreography - Deborah Damast and Tom Patrick
    10:25 – 11:40 – Standards Explained – Kerriane Cody and Dr. Susan Koff
    11:50 – 1:15 - Movement Choir in honor of Jody Arnhold – Frederick Curry

    Please note that New York State CTLE Credits are available.

    Presenters Biographies
    Click on presenter name for full description.

  • Kerrianne Cody
    (BFA, MA) teaches dance at PS 165, The Edith K. Bergtraum School, where she integrates creative dance and technique for performance. She began working for the NYCDOE six years ago after receiving her K-12 teaching certification and Masters Degree in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt.  Her professional responsibilities include being a board member for NYSDEA, Dance Content Advisor for CAP, NYSED Professional Development Liaison, Standards Alignment Committee member, and Arts Mondays Facilitator.  Kerrianne serves as a New York State Standards Writer being part of the 2017 Dance Revision Team. Kerrianne is also honored to be a past recipient of the K-12 Dance Educator Award from NYSDEA which she received in 2014.
  • Frederick Curry
    (Ed.M) is Interim Graduate Director, Dance Education Program in the Department of Dance, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, where his focus is on dance pedagogy and somatics. He has taught at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, the Dance Education Laboratory at the 92nd Street Y and NYU Steinhardt in New York City. As a Laban/Bartenieff specialist, he has led workshops and presented at conferences internationally including in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, South Korea, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and throughout the U.S. Frederick serves as Assistant Editor for the National Dance Education Organization’s (NDEO) Dance Education in Practice journal, and served previously on the NDEO Board of Directors.
  • Deborah Damast
    (MA Dance Education, NYU, BFA Dance, SUNY Purchase,) At NYU Steinhardt, Deborah serves as Clinical Assistant Professor and Artistic Advisor in the Dance Education Program, Artistic Director of Concerts and Kaleidoscope Company, and directs an annual study abroad program to Uganda. She also teaches at LREI, The Yard, and the Dance Education Laboratory, and has taught at WVU, Peridance, New York City Ballet, 92Y, Steffi Nossen, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor, and others. Deborah's choreography has been shown in numerous venues for the past 29 years in NYC, Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has presented at NDEO, CUNY, ACDFA conferences and conducts professional development for the NYCDOE. She was a contributing writer to the 2015 revised Blueprint for Dance and has co-written curriculum for education departments of NYCB and Paul Taylor. Deborah was a 2008 recipient of the NYU Faculty Star Award, the NDEO 2010 Outstanding Educator Award, and the NYU Steinhardt 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award. She serves on the boards of PCDC and of NYSDEA, where she is culminating her role as Past-President. She and her husband Tom presented at NDEO in NYC and she is thrilled to present with him again at NYSDEA!
  • Diane Duggan
    (Ph.D., BC-DMT) licensed psychologist, board certified dance/movement therapist, and dance educator has worked with youngsters with disabilities since 1973. She ran a dance program for adolescents with emotional and learning disabilities in the South Bronx for 21 years, and her students performed in Lincoln Center, Central Park, South Street Seaport, St. Mark’s Church, NYU’s Frederick Lowe Theater, and the Apollo Theater.
      Diane has taught in the NYU Dance Education M.A. program since 1994 and in the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) and Dance Therapy programs since 2006.  She has taught graduate level courses on dance and disability since 1973 at Hunter College, Adelphi University, Hofstra University, and C.W. Post/LIU.  She is an Arnhold mentor for new dance educators in NYC schools.  Diane has a Ph.D. in School/Child Psychology from NYU and an M.S. in Dance Therapy from Hunter College.
    Diane is co-author of Dance Education for Diverse Learners (2009) and “Dance and Students with Disabilities” in the 2015 edition of the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance. She is on the editorial board of Dance Education in Practice and the Dance/NYC Task Force on Dance and Disability. Diane received a NYSDEA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016
  • Martha Eddy
    (CMA, RSMT, EdD) began dancing at the 92Y at age 8. She began teaching dance at the New School of Social Research at age 15 and was a long time instructor of the Art and Craft of Teaching Dance. Since then she has taught at NYU Steinhardt, Antioch, Connecticut Hope and Hampshire Colleges, and Teachers College/Columbia and Princeton University. She is currently on the faculty of three low residency dance departments - Montclair State University, St Mary's College in the Bay area and UNC-Greensboro. She's teaches “BodyMind Dancing” and Dynamic Embodiment SMT worldwide and certifies professionals in this work. The underlying course work - Laban Movement Analysis, Body-Mind Centering, Perceptual-Motor Development, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and Embodied Anatomy and Physiology are all linked these degree programs.
    Martha is an advocate for the new fields of Somatic Movement Education & Therapy & Somatic Movement Dance Education, author of Mindful Movement the Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action and lecturer on eco-somatics, neuro-motor & socio-emotionaldevelopment, & peace education/violence prevention. She founded Center for Kinesthetic Education to provide professional development and pre-K-12 using self-regulating movement and “healthy dancing” within NYC public and independent schools. She originally volunteered to create Moving For Life DanceExercise for Cancer Recovery in 1999. Moving For Life, Inc is now a non-profit providing free dance classes for older adults and people of all ages affected by cancer and has been featured on NPR, NY1, CNN, Fox News, the NBC Today Show and CBS News. She received the NDEO award for Outstanding Leadership in Dance Education in 2017 in San Antonio Texas.
  • Susan R. Koff
    (Ed.D, MA, BFA) is a Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Dance Education Program at NYU/Steinhardt.  Past positions: Kinesiology and Curriculum and Instruction faculties at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge; Dance and Dance Education Program in the at Teachers College, Columbia University; positions at the University of Denver, Pennsylvania State University and at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Israel.

    All of Dr. Koff’s academic and service activities are in the area of Dance Education, in the US and internationally.  She currently is Chair-Elect of the Board for Dance and the Child International (daCI).  As a Fulbright scholar, Dr. Koff assisted with the development of Dance Education Curriculum at the National School for Contemporary Dance, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Dr. Koff has made numerous presentations at the state, district and national level of NDA/AAHPERD (National Dance Association, and served on the Board for two years, then was a founding board member of the National Dance Education Organization. She was a Content Area Coordinator for the Research in Dance Education Project (funded through the US Department of Education).  Within NY State she recently chaired the Dance Standards development team and in the past was the dance specialist for the ASSETS Project in New York State, culminating in assessments for the State Arts Standards. She led in-service professional development projects for the implementation of Arts Standards in New York and New Jersey. She serves as a consultant for the New Orleans Ballet Association to evaluate the integrated school-based curriculum.
  • David Leventhal
    (BA) is a founding instructor, lead trainer and Program Director for the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD® program, which serves as a model for classes in more than 250 communities in 24 countries. He leads classes for people with Parkinson's disease around the world and trains other teachers in the Dance for PD® approach. He has co-produced three volumes of a successful At Home DVD series for the program and has been instrumental in designing innovative projects involving live streaming and Moving Through Glass, a dance-based Google Glass App for people with Parkinson's. He is a lead partner, with scientists from Columbia and Washington University in St. Louis, on an innovative research project investigating the effects of choreography on walking speed in people with Parkinson’s.

    He received the 2016 World Parkinson Congress Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Parkinson’s Community and the 2013 Alan Bonander Humanitarian Award from the Parkinson's Unity Walk. He is a founding member of the Lincoln Center Global Exchange and a Thought Leader for the 2018 Edinburgh International Culture Summit. Mr. Leventhal serves on the Board of Directors for the Davis Phinney Foundation, and as an Advisory Board member for the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Arts & Humanities Program and the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation. He has written chapters about the Dance for PD program for two recently published books: Moving Ideas: Multimodal Learning in Communities and Schools (Peter Lang), and Creating Dance: A Traveler's Guide (Hampton Press)

    Leventhal designed and teaches a pioneering dance-based elective course that is part of the required Narrative Medicine curriculum at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

    As a performing artist, he danced with the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1997-2011. He received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award ("Bessie") for his work with the Mark Morris Dance Group. He attended Brown University where he received a B.A. magna cum laude with honors in English Literature. He was an inaugural trainee in the 12-month Emerging Leaders Boot Camp for Arts Administrators at the New York Foundation for the Arts and was selected to participate in the American Express Leadership Academy.
  • Amy Miller
    (BFA) is a NYC-based dancer, choreographer, educator and advocate.  A former principal dancer with the Ohio Ballet, she was also a founding member and artistic associate of Cleveland-based GroundWorks DanceTheater.  Now the Senior Director and a performing member of Gibney Dance Company, Miller also focuses on Gibney’s Community Action initiatives through facilitating movement workshops with survivors of trauma, conducting both local and international trainings for artists interested in engaging in social action, developing healthy relationship workshops for young people and raising awareness about the role of the arts in violence prevention. Miller has conducted Gibney Dance Global Community Action Residencies at Mimar Sinan University and Koc University (Istanbul), University of Cape Town (South Africa), DOCH: School of Dance and Circus (Stockholm), MUDA Africa (Tanzania) and most recently in Gisenyi, Rwanda. In the spring of 2015, Miller was honored to receive an Arts & Artists in Progress “Pay it Forward” Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange.  Miller holds a BFA in Dance and is a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for her choreography.
  • Tom Patrick
    was a valued member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1989 to 1999, originating roles in many of Mr. Taylor’s new creations of that period as well as performing featured roles in many dances such as Last Look, Company B, Syzygy, Cloven Kingdom, Speaking in Tongues, and Danbury Mix.  Representing the PTDC, he has performed as a guest artist at numerous galas and festivals in the New York area and abroad.  Mr. Patrick has been featured in Paul Taylor’s work in the Emmy-winning film “Speaking in Tongues” and the Oscar-nominated feature documentary “Dancemaker,” as well as other Taylor dance programs shot for Public Television.  From 1999 to 2004, he performed with the Metropolitan Opera. His recent performance opportunities have been in Punchdrunk’s “Sleep No More” in NYC, and in choreographic projects with his amazing wife, NYU Steinhardt professor Deborah Damast.

    After retiring from full-time performing, Tom returned to the Taylor family to direct Taylor 2 from 2004 to 2008, acted as Director of Touring for the PTDC until 2010, and now serves as Taylor’s Archival Supervisor.
  • John-Mario Sevilla
    (MA, Teachers College, Columbia University; MFA, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee) Director of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, hails from Paukūkalo, Maui. He also teaches at New York University Steinhardt. He was the Director of 92Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) and the Education Department at New York City Ballet. John-Mario has danced in the companies of Pilobolus (dance captain), Rebecca Stenn, From the Horse’s Mouth, Daman Harun, Erin Dudley, Lisa Giobbi, Nikolais and Louis, Shapiro and Smith, Janis Brenner, Anna Sokolow and Bill Cratty. John-Mario also performed with juggler Michael Moschen, film animator Laura Margulies, drag artist Sherry Vine, poet John Unterecker and Navajo sandpainter-healer Walking Thunder. John-Mario’s choreography has appeared in New York City at LaMaMa, NYU Steinhardt, Movement Research at Judson Church, 92Y’s Tisch, Harkness and Tribeca departments, Dance Theatre Workshop, Columbia University, ABC No Rio, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, The Asia Society, Bronx Academy of Art and Dance, as well as at universities throughout the country. John-Mario is dance student of Betty Jones, Kumu Hula Hōkūlani Holt and June Kaililani Tanoue.

  • Service Organizations:
    Cross-honoring all NDEO state affiliates at the Member price.

    Get the member discount by joining NYSDEA/NDEO.
    Join NDEO and become a NYSDEA member now!

    NYSDEA One Day Intensive for Dance Educators

    With Harkness Center for Dance Injuries and Functional Awareness

    Thank you to everyone who attended! The conference was a huge success. Please stay tuned for more information about our upcoming conference in February 2018. One day intensive 1 One day intensive 2 One day intensive 3 One day intensive 4