Photo by The Fleet, courtesy of Lion's Jaw Festival

Growing up in New Jersey, Lisa Race trained with a memorable dance teacher: Fred Kelly, the younger brother of famous tapper Gene. "Fred would introduce our recitals," she says. "He would always cartwheel down the stairs." It wasn't until years later, when Race was pursuing her master's degree and chose to write a research paper on Kelly, that she realized there was a clear connection between her own movement style—improvisational and floor-based—and his. "In this television clip I watched, Fred jumps up to the piano, then jumps off it—he's going up and down and around," she says. "I thought, 'Oh, wow, all this time, I've thought of my dancing as my own, but that's where it started!' Moving upside-down and into the floor. There's a thread there. I rerouted it in different ways, but there's a connection."

Now, as a professor at Connecticut College, she concentrates on how to introduce her students to that love and freedom of upside-down work—and how to best prepare them for life after graduation, no matter what dance path they take.

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Photo by Julie Lemberger

In February, The Dance Education Laboratory of 92Y Harkness Dance Center hosted the fifth annual DEL Movement Sentence Choir led by noted choreographer David Dorfman, DEL founder Jody Gottfried Arnhold and educator Ann Biddle, with live percussion by Kyle Olsen. Some 70 dancers and teachers from both education and studio settings spent four hours focused on collaboration and community-building through dance.

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Watmora Casey's students compete at Youth America Grand Prix, where he was named Outstanding Teacher in 2011. Photo by Kristie Kahns

Dance Teacher asked nine respected instructors to identify the most common technique mistakes they see when addressing a group of students for the first time. Here, they discuss the origins of these problems and offer their best solutions.

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David Dorfman teaching at Connecticut College

The National Dance Education Organization has announced that David Dorfman will be 2015 Annual National Conference Keynote Speaker. He will speak at the Grand Closing Reception and Dinner, held on Saturday, October 10, 6:308:30 pm.

Dorfman is a professor and the chair of the dance department at Connecticut College and founded his company David Dorfman Dance in 1987. He holds a BS in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA in dance from Connecticut College, and he received a 2005 Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, in addition to numerous other honors and awards in the dance field.

This year’s conference, Focus on Dance Education: Engaging in the Artistic Processes—Creating, Performing, Responding, Connecting, takes place Oct. 7–11 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort and nearby venues in Phoenix. For more info, visit:

Photo by Adam Campos, courtesy of Connecticut College.

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