Teachers Gear up for Back-to-School with NDEO

Why should students have all the fun? Teachers can get in the back-to-school spirit, too, with NDEO’s latest dance education courses. After offering Mini Courses over the summer, the organization’s Online Professional Development Institute is launching three new classes this fall. And just to be clear, this is an online continuing education institute. That means you can study in yoga pants, from the comfort of your own home or dance studio, possibly while sitting in a stretch, and at your own pace.

Whether you’re working toward the Certificate in Dance Education or simply growing your teaching toolbox, OPDI’s new 12-week courses offer the chance to learn from accomplished experts in the field. Patricia Cohen, Lynn Monson and Karen Bradley will lead Intro to the Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts, Creative Dance in Early Childhood and Intro to Dance Education: Theories & Practices, respectively. Bradley has published a book on Rudolf Laban, Monson has held prominent titles in state dance education organizations and Cohen trained under jazz greats. Hungry for knowledge yet? Visit ndeo.org/opdi for more information, then hit the books!

Photo courtesy of Rose Eichenbaum at UC Irvine

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As we wade through a global pandemic that has threatened the financial livelihood of live performance, dancers and dance educators are faced with questions of sustainability.

How do we sustain ourselves if we cannot make money while performing? What foods are healthy for our bodies and fit within a tight unemployment budget? How do we tend to the mental, emotional and spiritual scars of the pandemic when we return to rehearsal and the stage?

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Teachers Trending
Cynthia Oliver in her office. Photo by Natalie Fiol

When it comes to Cynthia Oliver's classes, you always bring your A game. (As her student for the last two and a half years in the MFA program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I feel uniquely equipped to make this statement.) You never skip the reading she assigns; you turn in not your first draft but your third or fourth for her end-of-semester research paper; and you always do the final combination of her technique class full-out, even if you're exhausted.

Oliver's arrival at UIUC 20 years ago jolted new life into the dance department. "It may seem odd to think of this now, but the whole concept of an artist-scholar was new when she first arrived," says Sara Hook, who also joined the UIUC dance faculty in 2000. "You were either a technique teacher or a theory/history teacher. Cynthia's had to very patiently educate all of us about the nature of her work, and I think that has increased our passion for the kind of excavation she brings to her research."

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Clockwise from top left: Courtesy Ford Foundation; Christian Peacock; Nathan James, Courtesy Gibson; David Gonsier, courtesy Marshall; Bill Zemanek, courtesy King; Josefina Santos, courtesy Brown; Jayme Thornton; Ian Douglas, courtesy American Realness

Since 1954, the Dance Magazine Awards have celebrated the living legends of our field—from Martha Graham to Misty Copeland to Alvin Ailey to Gene Kelly.

This year is no different. But for the first time ever, the Dance Magazine Awards will be presented virtually—which is good news for aspiring dancers (and their teachers!) everywhere. (Plus, there's a special student rate of $25.)

The Dance Magazine Awards aren't just a celebration of the people who shape the dance field—they're a unique educational opportunity and a chance for dancers to see their idols up close.

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