NYSDEA Virtual Conference
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Learning Gains Through Dance Education
Early bird pricing through February 9, 2022:
- $40 NYSDEA and NDEO members
- $60 non-members
- $20 students
- $5 flat fee for CTLE hours
By purchasing and attending each session I grant permission and consent to NYSDEA – New York State Dance Education Association for the use of the images(s) and video(s) from the NYSDEA 2022 Winter Conference for presentation under any legal condition, including but not limited to: publicity, copyright purposes, illustration, advertising, and web content. I understand that there shall be no payment and that the use of such image(s) and video(s) may not be revoked. Images will be stored in a secure location and only authorized staff will have access to them. They will be kept as long as they are relevant and after that time destroyed or archived.
- How can Dance Educators promote learning gains?
- How can Dance Educators showcase achievements and redefine success of student goals?
- How can Dance Educators utilize technology to support teaching and learning gains?
- How can Dance Educators maintain motivation while furthering their own professional growth to best serve their students?
- How can Dance Educators incorporate culturally responsive and anti-racist practices in their curriculum to support learning gains?
- How can Dance Educators include multiple modalities, genres, and techniques, to foster learning gains?
Join us virtually on Saturday, February 12, 2022 for informative and interactive sessions with our presenters.
Schedule subject to change.
All times listed in Eastern Standard Time
Click on session name for full description.
10:00am-11:15am Session 1A/1B
Actuating Relationships through Convivencia to Promote Learning Gains in Dance Education
Latinx Dance Educators Alliance (LXDEA)
Five New York-based Latinx dance educators come together to address gaps in the field by presenting the multiple ways their work in dance education intersects and overlaps through identified “best practices” developed over decades of lived experience teaching in various geopolitical spaces. Through the lens of convivencia, a practice that strengthens community with its inherent ability to bridge experiences rooted in the resilience of underrepresented peoples, participants will explore learning gains that center Chicanx/a/o and Latinx/a/o identities and theories in educational scholarship. Buttressing our presentation on a foundation of convivencia allows us to enter the conversation with a culturally responsive focus promoting an understanding of how community, and different parts of communities, play a pivotal role in learning gains. Presenters will share personal perspectives and pedagogical methodologies including the different modalities, genres, and techniques they utilize in their individual practices while honing in on how these practices support anti-racist pedagogies. This session is intended for all educators across sectors and cultural identities.
Transposition of Classical and Modern Dance Techniques for Students using Wheelchairs
Kitty Lunn with Luísa Righeto and William Cantanzaro
The techniques of classical ballet and modern dance techniques such as Horton and Graham can be seamlessly transposed for students using wheelchairs. Catanzaro will play live accompaniment as Lunn demonstrates a seated version and Righeto demonstrates a standing version of components of a ballet barre, ballet adagio, Graham floor work, Graham adagio, Horton Flat Back Series, Laterals, and a balance study. The presentation concludes with a fusion of the three different techniques into one adagio piece - followed by a discussion/Q&A among the presenting artists and conference guests.
Since 2007, Infinity has led tuition-free weekly dance classes, choreography workshops, and private lessons for adult dance students with physical disabilities. Infinity also provides professional development opportunities for dance educators and other dance professionals. Rather than introducing a separate system, Infinity's renowned curriculum enables participants to begin transposing work they are already covering in class. This encourages gradual inclusion of students with physical disabilities into mainstream classes. Infinity’s training programs have been recognized with many grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation, and Harkness Foundation for Dance among others.
11:30am-12:45pm Session 2A/2B
Dance With Us: A Digital Platform
The Dance With Us project was born from considering how technology can help reimagine what dance education looks like, and how this technology can benefit our students and communities. Dance With Us (DWU), an educational digital platform, was launched in the spring of 2021, designed to explain ways to view and speak about dance, and to create it. Utilizing performance and dance films, the resource demystifies contemporary dance through teaching fundamental concepts of the art form. This fluid, highly interactive, movement session will alternate between viewing, doing, and talking. Like walking through the rooms of a house, the platform’s website will be explicated, and we will peruse it to discuss, dance, and explore creativity. The platform’s library houses an archive of dance films and filmed performances, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, pedagogical films illustrating how dances can be made, and a suite of new dance films produced during the pandemic. All are accompanied by a narration to guide the viewer and explain the essential underpinnings of dance. Daniel will lead the workshop, which promises to be accessible, entertaining and educational, as is the platform we will discover. This project is deeply aligned with the nonprofit’s core values, pedagogy, and programming, which have garnered acclaim since its inception. DWU seeks to bridge the divide separating dance from mainstream culture, underscoring the primacy, purpose, and possibility of dance in contemporary life. Combining the instructional with the performative, the platform aims to increase one’s knowledge of dance and dance literacy through the dissemination of tools, to share the joy of dance, and to empower viewers/users, regardless of their exposure to dance, to understand their viewpoint is as valid as that of an “expert.” At this moment when there is so much dance to see online, this platform seeks to serve as a how-to primer.
Finding new pathways: Foxtrot and Language of Dance®
Sarah Billings Wheeler
How can Dance Educators include multiple modalities, genres, and techniques to foster learning gains? Often, exploring social dance is done only through the experience of learning the patterns and executing them with lots of repetition. Can using motif symbols enhance and deepen the learning gains of students? Can different genres of dance be examined using Language of Dance® as a focus?
In this session, participants will explore basic American Style Foxtrot step patterns using the lens of Language of Dance® motif symbols. A small set of relevant motif symbols will be used to guide participants as they learn several basic step patterns in the American Style Foxtrot. After dancers have gained comfort with the movement material in a simulated ‘social’ setting, they will begin to work on applying Language of Dance® to record improvisations, analyze lead/follow roles, and reflect on themes and patterns in the material. In-session notations will be shared and used for discussion and evaluation in small groups. As a final reflection, groups and individuals will consider how motif symbols can enhance learning gains (and support virtual learning) and strategize for applying this method to the exploration of other dance genres. After the session, attendees will be able to confidently bring Foxtrot to their student populations with the support of Language of Dance® motif symbols and use the learning gains from the experience to explore other dance genres.
1:30pm-2:45pm Session 3A/B
Integrating Ukrainian Dance Pedagogy into the Culturally Diverse Classroom
As educators we are tasked with engaging students of varying backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. The various aspects of a student’s cultural identity bring diversity into the classroom. Using cultural diversity as an access point, students are able to engage with dance in an enriching and reflective manner. In this session participants will use the Ukrainian dance “Hopak” as a cultural access case study. Hopak, the national dance of Ukraine, is a stylized folk/character dance strongly based in classical ballet technique (from the Vaganova school). Hopak is characterized by athletic male solos and graceful female technique, truly capturing the spirit of the Ukrainian people. Dancers will explore basic Ukrainian dance movement, learning a small phrase. Then, participants will examine body placement, tempo, and movement characterization. Hopak will also be looked at through another cultural lens. The phrase will be manipulated to reflect this and participants will discuss how the movement changes and how it stays the same. Participants will be given the opportunity to put Hopak movement through their own cultural lens, changing the phrase yet again and further discussing how culture acts as an access point to movement. The session will conclude with Q&A among the participants.
Cross-training for all Levels & Learners of Dance Technique
Mary Simone Burns
Dance Educators who include multiple cross-training techniques within all dance genres, can further foster learning gains, as well as decreased rate of injury. This includes all dancers, from the recreational to the pre-professional; the adult learner to the pro, and every age/dance form in between, including active and retired dance educators!<
This presentation will include a brief introduction to the presentation, and then offer exercises from three cross-training techniques, twenty (20) minutes each:
- Strength training
- Pilates for Dancers
- Zena Rommett Floor-barre™ technique
This will assist all in the movement experience themselves and show how all could benefit from various means of cross-training – young and old alike. A final ten (10) minutes will allow time for Q&A and further discussion.
3:00pm-4:15pm Session 4
Lessons Learned in the Time of COVID: Pivot - Explore - Embrace!
Erin Lally and Ann Biddle (DEL Workshop)
The year of 2020 was a time of challenge and change for all of us; we had to learn how to quickly pivot to a remote learning teaching environment and adopt and adapt quickly. At DEL, we had to become Zoom dance education experts “overnight” as we experimented with new instructional strategies and technologies in order to bring our interactive and embodied learning model into the Zoom room. We learned how to increase our use of multimodal resources and explored new technology tools and platforms in inventive ways. During the 2020-21 academic year, DEL’s faculty also committed to intensive anti-racist training with Dr. Nyama McCarthy-Brown to deepen our organizational understanding of belonging. The lessons learned during this time were deep and profound and helped DEL elevate our work to new levels and expand our reach in order to deliver inclusive, equitable, and accessible professional learning to our growing national and global audience.
Join Erin Lally, DEL Director, and Ann Biddle, Director of the DEL Institute in this interactive presentation that shares the lessons they learned during this journey.
In this interactive presentation, facilitators will model and share:
- How they developed multi-modal instructional resources for dance educators
- How to integrate multimodal learning into diverse dance learning contexts
- Culturally responsive practices to embed into the Zoom dance room
- Favorite technology apps DEL learned and now use in their online learning platforms
- New inclusive ways to engage all learners in the Zoom dance room
- Curricular materials that demonstrate multimodal learning approaches
Click on presenter name for full description.
Latinx Dance Educators Alliance
Mari Vasconez, Chell Parkins, Michelle Manzanales, Yebel Gallegos, and Kiri Avelar are New York-based dance artists, educators, and advocates united in efforts through the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance, a resource site centering Latinx/a/o and Hispanic contributions. With decades of work in the field, they bring together personal perspectives, lived experiences, embodied cultural knowledge, and pedagogical methodologies for consideration through the lens of convivencia, a culturally relevant community practice centered around the intersectionality of Latinx/a/o identities.
Kitty Lunn began her study of ballet at an early age, and at 15 she was dancing principal roles with the New Orleans Civic Ballet, where she made her professional debut as Swanilda in “Coppelia.” Her work in New Orleans led to a scholarship to the Washington Ballet, where she studied and worked with both Mary Day and the great ballet master Edward Caton.
Numerous ballets in which she danced include “Swan Lake,” “Giselle,” “Les Sylphides,” and “The Nutcracker.” While in Washington, Lunn worked with such dance legends as Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, José Limon, and Erik Bruhn. While preparing for her first Broadway show, she slipped on ice, fell down a flight of stairs, and broke her back. Now a paraplegic using a wheelchair, Lunn works diligently on behalf of performing artists with disabilities. In 1995, she founded Infinity Dance Theater. She is a Registered Dance Educator and a frequent guest teacher at New York University.
Dance artist Luísa Righeto was born in Brazil and graduated from the Martha Graham School in 2016. In addition to dancing with Infinity Dance Theater, she has performed with Alison Cook Beatty Dance (as a guest artist), Coyote Dancers, and Ziriguidum Dance Group in New York City as well as with Dance Claudia de Souza and Caleidos Dance Co in Brazil. In 2018, she received The Notable Brazilian Award through the Brazilian Community Heritage Foundation.
producer, educator, filmmaker and performer--celebrates twenty-six years as a NY choreographer and company director. His repertory has earned praise for its humor, stylistic diversity, musicality, charisma and accessibility. The acclaimed NYC-based nonprofit Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company celebrates twenty-three years. Collaborations that erode boundaries, blend disparate genres and disciplines, take chances, involve community, promote accessibility, and celebrate performers' individuality and humanity are areas of focus. Performance highlights include Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, Fire Island Dance Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Bryant Park, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has been awarded commissions, residencies and fellowships including The Joyce Theater Foundation, Raumars (Finland), Sacatar (Brazil), Djerassi (California), Skafiotes (Greece), Maison Dora Maar, (France), Centro Negra (Spain), Gdański Festiwal Tanca (Poland), and The Studios of Key West. Daniel danced with Garth Fagan Dance and Mark Morris Dance Group, and has been on the faculty at SUNY Buffalo State, Kennesaw State University, The University of Michigan, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and The University of the Arts as well as a guest at numerous schools, colleges, and universities. He currently is on the faculty at Ithaca College’s Department of Theatre Arts.
Sarah Billings Wheeler
Sarah Billings Wheeler is an artist and dance educator who has worked in both private studios and public schools over the course of her career. As a NYC Department of Education dance specialist, she worked in four different schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Sarah holds a MFA in Dance-Creative Practice from Saint Mary's College of California, a MA in Dance Education from New York University, and a BA in Psychology from Barnard College and currently works as the Finance Manager for Dancing Classrooms. She is working toward completing her Master Practitioner Certification with the Language of Dance and continues to explore ways to use LOD to inspire creative choreography -- including her own. With a career chapter as a DanceSport professional, Sarah continues to seek opportunities to share her passion for social dance and community dancemaking with dancers of all ages.
Tymothy Jaddock holds an MA in Dance Education and Ballet Pedagogy from New York University and American Ballet Theatre. Jaddock has an extensive background in character and folk dance and danced five seasons with the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. While in Edmonton, Jaddock developed Ukrainian Character Dance programming at KaRAR Performing Arts where his competitive program received multiple awards, provincial recognition, and eventually affiliated with a leading dance Academy, providing dancers a direct pathway to professional careers. After his time in Alberta, Jaddock participated in a residency and training program where he trained and performed with various state ensembles in Ukraine. Inspired to bring his extensive knowledge of folk dance to the culturally diverse classroom of the 21st century, Jaddock has focused his research on using cultural dance to engage the modern learner, dancer, and mover.
Mary Simone Burns, Ph.D.
An instructor of movement for over thirty-five years in Pilates' studios, colleges & professional dance studios in NYC, Texas & Chicago, Mary now works w/NYC’s dance community in injury prevention/rehabilitation. With a BA/MA from Columbia University in Dance (with an Economics minor thrown in for her business side) & a PhD in Dance Education from NYU’s School of Education, she always has both sides of the brain working! Certified in multiple dance techniques, including Simonson, Evans/Bartenieff, & Zena Rommett Floor-Barre®, Mary is a PMA/BASI full apparatus Pilates for Dancers Specialist, as well as an anatomically correct NASM Personal Trainer. A movement addict for life, Mary’s career is dual-fold; assisting both dancers and all humans in both postural & daily technique improvement to decrease rate of injury; and to further increase teacher knowledge in anatomy, kinesiology & movement analysis, for safer teaching from the start. Mary loves to utilize humor and innovative means of imagery amid each class/session, so all may enjoy ongoing laughter every other exhale within each moment session, together!
Erin Lally (BFA, MA)
Erin Lally (BFA, MA) is the Director of the Dance Education Laboratory at the 92Y. For over fifteen years, Erin has taught dance in public schools, studio, and community settings, sharing her love of dance with children, educators, and families. For five years she taught with Luna Dance Institute in Berkeley, CA where she served as the Family Services Manager, specializing in family dance classes and working with parents and children in the reunification process. Erin is the former Education Director of RIOULT where she led DanceREACH, RIOULT’s education outreach program. Erin was also a founding member and Dance Specialist at Bronx Charter School for the Arts in the South Bronx, NY where she created the dance curriculum and was the dance educator for grades K-5. Erin has served as a teaching artist for New York City Center, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispanico, and American Repertory Ballet Company. Erin holds certificates from the 92Y’s Dance Education Laboratory, the Language of Dance (LOD), a BFA in modern dance performance at the University of the Arts, and a MA in Dance Education at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Erin believes in the power of dance to build relationships and foster community. She is thrilled to lead DEL at 92Y, making the mission of Dance for Every Child a reality. Erin loves her family dance parties with her two children, taking delight in their choreographic skills and beautiful expression.
Ann Biddle (MA, Fulbright Scholar)
Ann Biddle (MA, Fulbright Scholar) has been a dance educator, professional developer, curriculum writer and choreographer for 30 years. She is the Founding Faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory at 92Y and Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow. Published dance curricula include: New York Export: Opus Jazz, Jerome Robbins: The Essence of Cool, Doug Varone and Brenda Angiel’s Aerial collaboration, Dances for iPhone film series, Wonderdance, Dance Making & Langston Hughes Poetry, The Essence of Pearl Primus, Reimagining D-Man in the Water and Into Sunlight A Teacher’s Guide. She is the Project Director of the DEL Tracing Footsteps: Honoring Diverse Voices Through Dance History in NYC curriculum project. She is a doctoral candidate in the EdD Dance Education program at Teachers College.
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.
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.
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.
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
NYSDEA One Day Intensive for Dance Educators