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

Dance Teacher Awards

Who knew that a virtual awards ceremony could bring our community together in such a powerful way?

Last night, we celebrated the annual Dance Teacher Awards, held virtually for the first time. Though it was different from what we're used to, this new setting inspired us to get creative in celebrating our six extraordinary honorees. In fact, one of the most enlivening parts of the event was one that could only happen in a Zoom room: Watching as countless tributes, stories and congratulations poured in on the chat throughout the event. Seeing firsthand the impact our awardees have had on so many lives reminded us why we chose to honor them.

If you missed the Awards (or just want to relive them), you're in luck—they are now available to watch on-demand. We rounded up some of the highlights:

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Rambert artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer had input on the new Rambert Grades curriculum. Photo by Camilla Greenwell, Courtesy Rambert

British dance company and school Rambert has launched a new contemporary-dance training syllabus. Rambert Grades is intended to set a benchmark in contemporary-dance training, focused on three strands: performance, technique and creativity. Moving beyond the Graham and Cunningham techniques that form the basis of most modern-dance training in the UK, it includes contributions from current high-profile choreographers Hofesh Shechter, Alesandra Seutin and Rambert artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer.

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For Parents
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As studios in many areas begin to open up with safety protocols in place, dance students are, of course, itching to get back into class. But just because dancers can go back to in-person training doesn't mean all families are ready for their children to actually do so.

As a parent, it's understandable to feel caught between a rock (your dancer's will to attend in-person class) and a hard place (your concerns surrounding COVID-19). Yet no matter how many tears are shed or how much bargaining your dancer tries, the bottom line is that when it comes to issues of health and safety, you—the parent—have the final say.

Still, there may be ways to soften the blow, as well as best practices for setting or amending expectations. We asked Danielle Zar, a child and adolescent psychotherapist who specializes in parent education, to share some tips for this tricky situation.

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