Dance as Shifting Curricula and Learning/Teaching Possibilities



Rainy Demerson

MA Dance Education, New York University

BA World Arts & Cultures/Dance, University of California Los Angeles


Aiming to develop a curriculum that addresses the identities of diverse classrooms in general, and my African-American students in particular, I conducted an in-depth review of the literature on the developmental needs of adolescents, statistics on African-American students’ self-imag and its implications on learning in public schools, responsible intercultural education through community building, and strategies for creating an engaging classroom experience. I also suggest we seriously consider the lack of ethnic & gender diversity amongst public school educators, and urge all educators to acknowledge the cultural assumptions we bring into our classes, our curriculum, and management strategies. The curriculum proposed in this paper offers practical application of emancipatory education for dance students. Further, it

encourages creative interactions between dances and perspectives of the African diaspora with those of the students’ home cultures and experiences. Finally, it addresses students’ previous identity-forming experiences while broadening their horizons with a global perspective.


Rainy Demerson recently received an MA in Dance Education from NYU. She also holds a BA in World Arts and Cultures with a Dance Concentration from UCLA. She taught Dance and Yoga in inner-city after-school programs and residencies for five years before earning her NY State teaching license. From there, she spearheaded an Intercultural Dance program at MS 267 in Brooklyn. She taught at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO and is a Dance Instructor at El Paso Community College in Texas. Her other publications include “Beginner’s Mind: Applying the Zen practice of Soshin to Best Practices in Dance Education,” appearing in the September 2013 edition of JODE. Dedicated to gaining a first-hand understanding of culture in context, Rainy has also studied dance in Indonesia, Cuba, Brazil and Senegal. She has produced her work in Senegal and New York with her company Sacred Space Dance.

To view article, click link (press Back to return to website): TEACHING DANCES OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA




Ellen Gerdes

Ed.M. Temple University

B.A. Wesleyan University


Through questionnaire data, the dance students at Tsoying High School Dance Division in Taiwan offer an important perspective on dance technique.  Engaging with Melanie Bales’ concept of the “eclectic” body in American contemporary dance, I explore both the historical underpinnings and the students’ experience of a Taiwanese curriculum that focuses on ballet, modern dance, and Chinese opera movement.  This paper details the voices of the Taiwanese students while not only demonstrating how technique education affects the dancers’ motivation and understanding, but also re-asserting technique into existing conversations on dance, politics, and multi-culturalism.


Ellen Gerdes’ research interests lie at the intersections of politics, pedagogy, and movement practices of the Chinese Diaspora.  As an adjunct instructor, she has taught in the dance programs at Temple University, Drexel University, Rowan University, and Bucknell University.  Her writing on Asian and Asian American dance has been published by the Asian Theatre Journal and Dance Chronicle.  She has taught Chinese fan dance as a guest instructor at several universities and as a teaching artist at the Folk Arts Cultural Treasures School, Philadelphia.  After a rewarding five years of performing professionally as a dance and vocal artist, Gerdes is excited to begin her doctoral studies at UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures/Dance program this fall.

To view article, click link (press Back to return to website): ECLECTIC LESSONS FROM TAIWAN



 Rachel L. Holdt


Mills College


In this article, I evaluate integrated technology as a fundamental part of curriculum in post-secondary dance education.  Integrated technological curriculum considers the use of technology in the classroom, studio and stage as a tool for instruction of the whole dancer, and is essential in preparing the dancer for professional life after graduation.  By providing powerful enrichment to students’ training through practical opportunities to enhance learning and development, integrating technology into dance curriculum is a vital part of being responsive to the needs of current and future students.  Using specific case studies to support integration into the classroom, I assess the current and foreseeable role of technology in higher education.  Also, incorporating evidence-based research from current and former educators in the field, I propose technology-integrated curriculum as a viable and fundable way to realign and renew the focus of post-secondary dance education.  This paper will articulate the role of integrated technology in post-secondary dance education, and proposes technology-integrated curriculum as a practical, yet necessary way to revitalize dance in the university.  Moreover, I will also discuss integrated technology’s significance to viability, outcomes, and economics within post-secondary education.    Keywords: dance, digital media, technology, curriculum, post-secondary, classroom technology, media, integrated technology


Rachel Holdt is an emerging dance artist, choreographer, filmmaker, budding dance scholar and performance artist making work in academic and professional settings for the past six years.  In the past few years, her practice has evolved to include technology for dance performance incorporating dance for film, gaming devices, projection, and software.  She is currently finishing coursework at Mills College for her MFA in Dance Choreography and continues to create, perform, and research performance technologies. Her master’s thesis from Mills College investigates the role of integrated technology for dance education at the university level.  Future research will be directed towards required, integrated technology pedagogy for post-secondary education.  She is excited to be creating and presenting performance works and critical theory focused on the intersection of dance and technology, and will continue to develop work that includes and investigates this developing field.

To view article, click link (press Back to return to website): CONSIDERING THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATED




David Outevsky,

MSc Dance Science, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London PhD Dance studies candidate, York University, Toronto


Touch overall and hands-on feedback in particular, have occupied an important position in dance education for a long time; however, its use has been questioned over the last few decades in western society. This paper explores the different research on touch within disciplines such as child development, dance therapy, somatics, and psychiatry and links the findings to possible uses in teaching and learning dance. Also, after reviewing the current use of touch and hands-on feedback in dance education, the paper outlines the positive and negative aspects of the application of touch through discussions of published works as well as author’s personal experience as a dancer and teacher.


David trained and competed in ballroom dancing in Canada from the age of 12 years-old. In 2004, he moved to England to complete his BA in Anthropology. As a professional dancer, he began to compete at the international level, teaching and performing throughout Europe. In 2011, David completed his MSc Dance Science program at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London. He did his research in the field of touch, weight bearing, and visual contact in dance partnering. David is currently pursuing his PhD in Dance Studies at York University, Toronto, Canada. His present research revolves around the socialist dancing body.

To view article, click link (press Back to return to website): THE ROLE OF TOUCH AS A TEACHING AND