NDEO Takes Chicago

Collaboration is the name of the game at this year’s national conference.


This year at its annual conference held in Chicago, the National Dance Education Organization preaches collaboration inside and outside the classroom.

“The world of dance couldn’t exist and expand without collaborations,” says Helene Scheff, conference coordinator. “Each time choreographers incorporate a piece of music, that’s a collaboration. Each time dance teachers work with another department within a school system or use technology in the classroom, that’s collaboration. A little cooperation can make all the difference.”

Conference attendees are invited to tour Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s studios.

To make the most of what Chicago has to offer, NDEO has enlisted Susan Lee, founding director of the dance program in the theater department at Northwestern University, as chair of the site committee. Her role is to connect NDEO with the Windy City’s dance scene. “Chicago has a long legacy in dance—in jazz, tap and ballet,” she says. “There’s such a history here and a wide breadth of work that’s represented.”

“We’ve wanted to come to Chicago for a long time,” adds Scheff. “It’s a hub, and we’re determined to incorporate that local flavor.”

Organizations involved include: Giordano Dance Chicago, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, New Trier High School and May I Have This Dance. Both the Joffrey Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will host conference attendees for studio tours. And Hubbard Street is offering an additional workshop on its program for Parkinson’s disease patients. Choreographer Heidi Latsky will present several courses at the conference and will offer discounted tickets to her company’s Friday evening performance at Columbia College Chicago.

Other highlights among the conference’s more than 200 course offerings include a session with 96-year-old Ann Hutchinson Guest, who will share her process of reconstructing Afternoon of a Faun from Vaslav Nijinsky’s original notes. There will also be a screening of the Martha Hill documentary, Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter, and panels on subjects including teaching internationally and the role of men in dance.

The American Dance Therapy Association’s annual conference takes place at the same time as NDEO’s, and the two organizations will share an opening reception with a “Taste of Chicago” menu. If attendees elect in advance, they can also take ADTA classes.

The conference takes place November 5–9. DT

For more: ndeo.org

Rachel Zar is a frequent contributor to Dance Teacher.


Thinkstock (top); photo by Quinn Wharton, courtesy of Dance Magazine

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