ZAKIYA ATKINSON is an educator, interdisciplinary artist and choreographer who is committed to fostering artistic exploration and social change, through education, performance and community engagement. She is the founder and director of Zaman Dance Theatre Collective and the Essex County MetroWest Dance Festival. Atkinson’s professional credits include concert dance, television, print and educational programming.
Atkinson holds New Jersey K-12 Teacher Certification in Dance and is the director of the Memorial High School Performing Arts Academy Dance Program. She has served on the faculties at William Paterson University and the JCC MetroWest. She has facilitated arts outreach in South Africa and Uganda and has been the recipient of a NEA Learning & Leadership grant, a Teacher Fellowship at Bates Dance Festival and a fellowship in the Body Politic Laboratory at Gibney (NYC). She is a member of Dance New Jersey, the National Dance Education Organization and continues to present her in-practice research at arts, education and human rights conferences.
Atkinson earned a B.A. in Communications and Theatre from Temple University, an M.A. in Dance Education from New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and a Certificate in Holocaust & Genocide Education from the College of Saint Elizabeth.
Atkinson intends to pursue the Interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student with the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include dance as a conduit to social justice education, cross-curricular instruction and sociocultural theories in education.
DEBORAH DAMAST is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Program Director of the Dance Education Program at NYU Steinhardt, where she is also the Director of Kaleidoscope Dancers, Artistic Director of the program’s concerts and founder and director of the dance education study abroad program to Uganda. In addition, she is the Dance Director of IMPACT as well as numerous artistic collaborations with other NYU Programs including Percussion Studies, Music Education, Music Technology, and the Motion Capture Lab.
Damast has served on the faculties of Peridance, 92Y, New York City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Yard, Paul Taylor, Steffi Nossen School, and others. She has shown her choreography in numerous venues in NYC regularly since 1989, nationally in Massachusetts and Oregon, and internationally in Italy, Japan, Korea and Uganda. She also choreographs regularly at NYU for Faculty Concerts and other collaborative projects since 2002, including the EdTech conference and for the NYU Steinhardt graduation ceremonies at Radio City Music Hall.
She continues to teach children’s dance at LREI as well as the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory and The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard. At the Yard, she directs Kids Do Dance and conducts professional development for teachers through the Making It Initiative, and was on the writing team for the Doris Duke Audience Development grant.
Damast has presented her work at NDEO, ACDA, Dance Teacher Magazine, CUNY and NYSDEA conferences and the Forum on Education Abroad in the United States, and internationally at Kyambogo University in Uganda. She conducts Professional Development for the NYCDOE as a DELTA team leader, for UPK teachers through DEL, was a founding writer of the DEL/Early Childhood program and a writer for the NYC Blueprint for the Arts in Dance. She has worked on Arts Achieve for the NYCDOE and has co-written curriculum for New York City Ballet and Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Damast is the co-creator of Move N Groove Kids, a creative movement video series. She was featured on an NPR segment on creative dance as well as on Ugandan TV discussing collaborative practices. Damast is a recipient of the 2009 NYU GSO Star Faculty Award, the 2010 National Dance Education Organization Outstanding Educator Award, and the 2017 Steinhardt Teaching Excellence Award. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, has served on the NDEO board, and is Past-President of the New York State Dance Education Association.
Damast earned her B.F.A. Dance from SUNY Purchase and an M.A Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt.
Damast intends to pursue the Teacher Education specialization as a doctoral student with the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include cross-cultural collaboration in dance education, creative approaches to technique pedagogy, early childhood dance education and teacher training in dance education.
HEATHER DOUGHERTY (Arnhold Fellowship Research Assistant) is a dance artist and educator hailing from Pennsylvania. As a performer, Dougherty has danced in such unique locations as the petraglyph caves in Montana, ancient ruins in Rome, Italy, a parking lot in Philadelphia, and art galleries in SoHo. Dougherty has taught, choreographed for, and mentored a broad range of dance students of all ages and ability, in college and university dance programs and at private dance studios. The foundation of her beliefs regarding dance and dance education is rooted in the concept of educating the whole person. She is interested in the interrelationships of dance to the other visual and performing arts, the significance of somatic practices, the potential of interdisciplinary collaborations, and creating community through the arts.
The revealing of universal themes through personal articulation is at the core of her teaching philosophy and at the heart of her creative work. Dougherty has served on the dance faculties of The University of Arizona, The City University of New York Queensborough Community College, Middlesex County College NJ, Ursinus College, and Montgomery County Community College PA. She has also been a Guild- Certified Practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method for Somatic Education since 2013.
The study of somatic practices has catapulted Dougherty’s curiosity further into the investigation of anatomy and kinesiology, human movement potential, neuroplasticity, and the form and function of embodied awareness. She possesses an integrated approach to movement, the body, and consciousness that is based firmly on anatomical, kinesthetic, and developmental principles. Her goal is to bridge dancers’ external aesthetic objective with an internal kinesthetic acuity. She emphasizes an investigation of both the technical and cognitive aspects of dance in order for students to actualize who they are and how they connect with meaning to their community.
Dougherty earned a B.S. in Dance and Dance Education from New York University and an M.F.A Theatre Arts and Dance Choreography from The University of Arizona.
Dougherty will complete the Movement Sciences specialization as a doctoral student in the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. She is particularly interested in advancing the role of dance education within the community college milieu. Her research interests lie in the juxtaposition of the science of the body with the creative process, exploring efficient methods for integrating experiential anatomy practices within the context of artistic composition and performance. She hopes to stretch the democracy of dance in the context of power dynamics, social justice, cultural identity and self-expression, exploring avenues for expanding the reach of dance education to underserved communities and different-abled movers.
PATRICIA DYE has been teaching, advising and directing the Dance Department at Science Skills High School for Science, Technology & Creative Arts’s Jow-Ile-Bailar Dance Companies in Brooklyn for the past 20 years. She is also a dance faculty member for Ballet Hispanico and Lincoln Center Middle School Summer Audition Boot Camp. Dye has presented workshops for the NYCDOE Region 8 and conferences including NDEO, SDHS, NDA and CORD and the Brooklyn Academy of Music Teacher Advisory Council. Throughout her successful career of over fifty years, Patricia has taught master classes and workshops, choreographed and appeared in videos, industrial shows, Broadway shows, television commercials and movies throughout the USA and Europe, including three Professional dance Companies: Forces of Nature, Ballet Schulz Beckman, and Passing Ancestral Knowledge Along Theater Dance Company.
For seven years, Dye was the Artistic Director of the Restoration Dance Theater at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. She has served as assistant and Dance Captain for Dr.Chuck Davis since 1988. In 1993 she became Founder and Artistic Director of Passing Ancestral Knowledge Along Theater Dance Company (PAKA’). Dye is also a member of the Council of Elders for African Cultural Heritage featured in DanceAfrica at BAM. She has received several awards, including the UFT Mini-Grants and Capezio Ballet Makers Grant 2006-2014, the Phyllis Hyman Phat Friend Award 2008, recipient of the Long Island University Future of Men Leadership Award 2010 and the first awardee of the Diana Domoracki-Kisto Award, in 2013, from the New York State Dance Educators Association (NYSDE) for Pre-K-12 Dance Educators.
Dye is a mentor teacher for NYU and Hunter College Dance Educators. She has been an influential member of the New York City Department of Dance Education Assessment Team, Dance Blue Print Facilitator member DELTA 2005-2018, and the Region 8 Facilitator / New York City Department Dance Exit Examination Team / Arts Achieve Dance Adjudicator/ New York City Middle School Summer Dance Audition Boot Camp Instructor / TE Arts Dance Facilitator/New York City Mentor /Brooklyn Arts Monday Facilitator / United Federation of Teachers Dance Educators Executive Committee member/NYCDOE Arts Curriculum Mapping Writer Dance Team/ Brooklyn Arts Festival Committee member, conducts dance education workshops for DEL with Anne Biddle, Jody Arnold at the 92nd Street Y and was a featured Master Dance Educator in the NYS Emmy nominated documentary PS Dance!.
Dye earned her B.F.A at Adelphi University and her M.A. in Dance Education from NYU.
Dye intends to pursue the Teacher Education specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include examining diverse cultures as an integral part of young people’s development.
JOAN FINKELSTEIN is Executive Director of the Harkness Foundation for Dance. She performed professionally throughout the U.S. and Europe with the Cliff Keuter, Don Redlich, and Jean-Leon Destine Afro-Haitian dance companies, and was original cast in RAGS on Broadway. A recipient of NEA and NARB Choreographer’s Fellowships, her work was commissioned by Atlanta Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and South Carolina Ballet Theatre. Her own company Moving Pictures presented seasons in various NYC venues. She has taught children, teens, college students, professional and vocational adult dancers across the nation. As Director of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center (1992-2004) she oversaw a school offering 100 classes/ week, rehearsal space grants, workshops for professional dancers, dance lectures, weekly social dances, and the Dance Education Laboratory (“DEL”) teacher-training program, co-founded with Jody Gottfried Arnhold. She curated the Y’s dance performance programs including student and adult student recitals, the Fridays at Noon and Sundays at Three series of informal professional showings, and the 92Y Harkness Dance Project, an annual five-week fully produced festival featuring five professional companies in 25 performances.
As Director of Dance for the New York City Department of Education (2004-2014), Finkelstein spearheaded the creation of the NYC Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, PreK-12, chairing all meetings with participating contributors, and organizing and writing the final copy. In addition, she worked with a team of writers to create the Blueprint special education supplement Dance Education for Diverse Learners, and created the Arts Education Manual for School Leaders with contributions from her colleagues at the DOE’s Arts Office. With a team of DOE high school dance educators, she produced a NYSED-approved Intro to Dance high school survey course. She developed and administered citywide student dance assessments including the NYC Comprehensive Dance Examination for high school dance majors, and the dance portion of ARTS ACHIEVE, an USDOE-funded five-year arts assessment project. Joan supervised the Capezio Ballet Makers Schools Outreach Program providing free student dancewear, and co-supervised Summer Arts Institute, a monthlong intensive for 350 auditioned middle and high school students. Throughout her tenure Joan led citywide dance teacher PD, supported by a Dance Educator Leadership Training Alliance (DELTA) workshop facilitator team of master DOE dance educators and teaching artists. She was the Dance Education Consultant for the New York Emmy-nominated film PS DANCE!
A member of the National Core Arts Standards in Dance and New York State Learning Standards in Dance Revision Committee writing teams, Finkelstein received the 2009 NDEO Leadership Award and the 2014 NYSDEA Outstanding Leadership Award. Additional honors include International Committee for the Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame (2003), BAX Educator Award (2004), La Mama Moves! festival honoree (2011). Finkelstein was a member of the BESSIES NY Dance and Performance Awards committee for sixteen years.
Finkelstein earned her B.F.A and M.F.A in Dance and Choreography from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
As a doctoral student in the Ed.D. Dance Education program at Teachers College, Finkelstein will be specializing in Leadership and Policy and intends to conduct research on dance education delivery systems in NYC and selected other large U.S. cities.
ANA NERY FRAGOSO (Arnhold Fellowship Recipient) is the Director of Dance Programs for the NYCDOE Office of Arts and Special Projects. She currently provides leadership and guidance for dance programs in public schools, designs professional learning opportunities for dance educators teaching K-12 dance in NYC public schools, and serves as a liaison between the NYCDOE and external organizations offering dance and dance-related services to schools. She also directs the Arnhold New Dance Teacher Support program, which provides first and second year dance specialists with funds and instructional supports.
Fragoso grew up in the Canary Islands, Spain, where she began her lifelong passion for dance. Upon her arrival in NYC, she studied at the Alvin Nikolais Dance Lab (NYC) for two years. For twelve years, Fragoso taught at P.S. 315, a Performing Arts Elementary School in Brooklyn, where she created a dance curriculum that emphasized improvisation, technique and dance making. At P.S 315, she established strong partnerships with the larger NYC professional dance community such as Ballet Hispanico, Dancewave, Together in Dance, Alvin Ailey School, the Chinese Cultural Center, Dancing Classrooms, the Merce Cunningham School, Ballet Tech, American Ballet Theater and the New York City Ballet. During her last year at P.S. 315, she was selected to be one of the five New York City master dance educators featured in the PBS documentary, PS Dance!. From 2013-14 she created a brand new dance program at the East Village Community School where she built a strong community around dance by motivating students to explore, sharing curriculum with the administration, and educating parents, staff and administration on the educational benefits of a comprehensive public school dance curriculum.
Fragoso has been a member of the NYCDOE Dance Blueprint Writing Committee since 2004 and has worked as a NYCDOE dance facilitator co-designing professional development workshops for New York City Department of Education dance specialists. In 2017, she was a member of the New York State Dance Learning Standards writing team. From 2007-14, Ana was a faculty member at the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at the 92nd St Y providing instruction for pre-service and inservice dance educators and dance artists. As a cooperating teacher, she mentored undergraduate and graduate dance education students from New York University, Hofstra University and Hunter College. Fragoso also worked for six years as a dance coach for the Artful Learning Community Grant (ALC) doing action research to develop strategies for collaborative inquiry around formative assessment practices and student learning in dance and on Arts Achieve, a four-year project that developed innovative dance assessment tools and strategies. She has been the recipient of two grants from the Ministry of Culture in Spain and a J. Javits Fellowship award.
Fragoso earned a B.A. Dance/Education from Hunter College and an M.F.A. in Dance/Choreography from Sarah Lawrence College.
Fragoso intends to pursue the Teacher Education specialization within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her primary objective is to acquire exceptional research skills and strategies to deepen her understanding of issues related to teacher education, advocacy and policy.
KATHLEEN ISAAC is the Director of the Arnhold Dance Education Program at CUNY Hunter College, where she is the dance education coordinator for the B.A. B.A./M.A. and M.A. dance education programs. She has received two Faculty Innovations for Teaching with Technology (FITT) grants and has presented models for the inclusion of digital devises in dance teaching practice through Hunter’s ACERT (Academic Excellence in Research and Technology). She is on the Hunter College Arts Across the Curriculum Spotlight on Arts and Politics Committee and is an Associate faculty member of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. She is active in the National Dance Education Organization and received the NDEO Outstanding Leadership award for Dance Education in 2016. Kathleen is the recipient of the Dance Teacher Magazine 2016 Outstanding Dance Educator in Higher Education award, for her work in the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program. Her additional college teaching experience includes Teachers College, Columbia University, Stavanger University in Norway, and St. John’s University.
Isaac has served on the board of the New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA) and has been a leader, presenter and professional developer in dance advocacy, Pre-K-12 teaching practice, integration of dance and technology and dance assessment in New York City, New York State, nationally and internationally. She is currently on the editorial board of the Dance Education In Practice journal. She authored Revelations – An Interdisciplinary Approach for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and led workshops in several major cities in the United States and London, implementing this program from 1999-2010. She wrote Read My Hips® for the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and authored the Coca-Cola Community Outreach Program curriculum for the David Parsons Dance Company. Her work with dance students in public schools for over 25 years has been recognized by President Clinton’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities as a paradigm for the nation and featured in the New York Times, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, NBC News, CNN and Bravo. Her choreography for students has been performed at Hunter College, the Alvin Ailey Studios, Apollo Theater, Lincoln Center, New York City Center Studios and at Mayor Bloomberg’s 2008 State of the City Address at Flushing Meadows Park.
Isaac earned a B.A. in Dance from SUNY Brockport, a M.A. in Dance from New York University, Gallatin School of Individualized Study and has completed post-graduate work at NYU/Steinhardt and Empire State College.
Isaac intends to pursue the Teacher Education specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interest is to explore the role of decentration and joy within pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning in dance education.
MICHAEL ANTHONY KERR is the Artistic Director of DanceKerr & Dancers established in 2015 and the director of the dance program at New Voices Middle School. Kerr has performed as a dancer for a variety of choreographers and dance companies in the United States and Europe including Maher Benham’s Coyote Dancers, Deborah Damast, Floorplay Contemporary Dance Theater, Gemini Dance Theater, Amy Kail, Dance Consort: Mezzacappa- Gabrian as well as with Deanna Losi while teaching throughout the Tuscany region of Italy for several years. He is an aspiring actor who made his film debut playing Lance in the award-winning independent film, Peace After Marriage (European title: Only In New York) directed by Ghazi Albuliwi. He holds permanent NYS PreK-12 Certification in Dance and has been employed with the New York City Department of Education since 1996. Since 2000, Michael has implemented and developed the middle school dance program at New Voices School of Academic & Creative Arts (MS 443), one of five NYC public school dance programs featured in the New York Emmy nominated documentary PS DANCE!. His work as a dance teacher has also been featured on News 12 Brooklyn, in New York Teacher, UFT, with a front-page feature interview, in Dance Teacher Magazine (June 2017) and most recently in Don Rauf’s book Exploring Theater: Choreography and Dance in Theater.
Kerr has served as Chair of UFT/NYC Dance Educators and was awarded the Diana Domoracki-Kisto Dance Educator Award by the New York State Dance Education Association in 2015. He has been a cooperating teacher for Columbia University Teachers College and New York University. He has served on the faculties of the Dance Education Laboratory and the Dance Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Kerr has conducted numerous dance and professional development workshops, served as a panel speaker, teaching artist, curriculum writer, guest artist, lecturer for such venues as Dance Teacher Magazine’s Teacher Summit, American Dance Guild, NYU, CW Post LIU, The Dalton School, Nimbus Dance Works, NDEO, NJAHPERD, Accademia Dance Center in Siena, Italy, Young Dancers In Repertory, On Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center and Laban 2018 International Conference.
Kerr earned a B.A. in The Arts/Dance from SUNY Buffalo State College and an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Rutgers University.
Kerr is elated to commence an Interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student in the first inaugural class of the Ed.D. in Dance Education Program at Teachers College. His research aim is to examine pedagogical challenges of PreK-12 public school dance educators.
KELLI MCGOVERN is a full-time, tenured dance educator at the Academy of Fine Arts and Academics at Bayonne High School (BHS), Bayonne New Jersey, where she has created the dance arts curriculum in the district and the BHS Young Dancer Program, a community outreach program designed to offer dance technique training to children with limited access to dance classes.
McGovern is also co-owner of Washington Rock Dance (WRD) along with her business partners and collaborators, Cleo Mack and Blair Ritchie. WRD is a private dance school, founded in 2015, based on developmentally focused training designed to maximize the potential of each student. WRD creates a foundational support structure for the professional dance company, Rock Dance Collective (RDC), a non-profit company of which McGovern is a Founder and Executive Director. RDC is represented by Pentacle and has most recently been commissioned by Rutgers Summer Stage, DanceNOW SteelStacks and Joe’s Pub, as well as CoLab Arts. RDC has self-produced multiple evening-length works in both nontraditional and traditional spaces to create pieces that respond to societal and environmental stimuli through an interdisciplinary collaborative process.
McGovern has served on panels to develop the Model Curriculum Dance Assessments to be used as the guide for all dance programs in the state of New Jersey and to facilitate workshops for CTE Arts Assessments and implementation of the new NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Standards. She has been selected to present her educational philosophies at the National Dance Education Organization National Conferences in Arizona and Washington, D.C and at the NJAHPERD Conference. Kelli is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
McGovern earned a B.F.A in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts and an Ed.M. in Dance Education from the Graduate School of Education, both at Rutgers University.
McGovern intends to pursue the Leadership & Policy specialization as a doctoral student with the Ed.D. Dance Education program at Teachers College. She is interested in developing research to examine funding and implementation of dance education programs in school districts; working with administrators and communities to examine obstacles that may be preventing dance an indispensable learning opportunity in every student’s education.
JENNIE MILLER is a parent, teacher, photographer, and dancer. Educated in progressive schools inspired by Summerhill, her teaching career has been at the arts-based public school, P.S. 3, also known as the Hippie school, where she has been teaching creative movement for the past 16 years as well as PreK and Kindergarten in years prior. Miller is also the Artistic Director and founder of an innovative, site-specific children’s dance company in New York City, Dance Adventure. The company vision is to create dance in unexpected places while exploring the intersection of visual art and movement. Dancers between the ages of 9 to 15 discover their voices through cooperative group work based in choreographic techniques while exploring the physical world. With a social justice approach focusing on activism through art, Dance Adventure has worked with site-specific artists such as Olek, Ai WeiWei, Paula Hayes, Tom Fruin, and Heather Nicol. The work of Dance Adventure has been especially compelling with teen and tween dancers as they navigate their own developmental changes and explore the city in which they reside. This expressive work is an extension of imaginative play and is vital to a developing mind.
As a dance photographer, Miller works for the Loco-motion Children’s Dance Theatre as well as creates compelling, bound books of her dance photography from Dance Adventure. She is classically trained in ballet and attended the School of American Ballet at Juilliard after studying with Lynda Yourth in San Diego. She also trained at Barnard College and performed in the premier of Sean Lavery’s Twinkliana. She holds a Common Branches N-6 Permanent certification and has interned at the Bank Street School and P.S. 234.
Miller earned a B.A in Psychology with a minor in education from Barnard College and an M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education.
Miller intends to pursue the Interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include the process of creating art as it relates to the physiology of development.
SUSAN GADDY POPE is a dance educator at First Avenue School with the Newark, NJ Public Schools. Previously she taught dance for the NYCDOE at I.S. 218, Children’s Aid Society Community School. Pope is a contributing author of the Newark Public School Elementary School Dance curriculum focusing on arts integration, 21st century skills and assessments. She also serves on the Teachers Resource Guide writing team for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. As a cooperating teacher, Susan mentors student teachers from Montclair State University and Rutgers University.
Pope founded the nonprofit organization, I Dance Because, dedicated to dance education and the emotional healing aspects of dance to help people facing developmental and life transitions to better understand and access their inner strength and to learn to celebrate themselves in the face of life’s adversities. Her organization provides scholarships to local dance schools and higher education and in collaboration with her son, Spencer Charles, develops a dance calendar to bring awareness to rising and established Newark dance legends and their inspiring stories.
In 2000, Pope was invited to the White House to speak about the impact of dance education in the lives of her students at a conference titled Raising Responsible and Resourceful Youth. As an author she has published: TEACHING DANCE HISTORY TO MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS (2016), Dance Education in Practice, 2:2; 7-12; DANCING MY PRAYERS (2010), a guide to combining movement and prayer in your devotional life. West Orange, NJ New Seasons Press; I DANCE BECAUSE…(2005), a collection of stories, essays and poems about dance, Bloomington, Indiana, Authorhouse Publishers; and Mourning into Dancing – The Transformation of Lives: A personal Journey (1999), The International Journal of AAHPERD.
Pope was selected to be in Who’s Who among American Teachers in 1998. She has also served as the director of the St. James AME Church Dance Ministry for over 10 years. She is a member of the National Liturgical dance Ministry Network, National Dance Education Organization, Dance New Jersey and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She is also a certified PraiseMoves© (Christian alternative to yoga) instructor, who leads church parishioners in gentle stretching and Christian meditation.
Pope earned a B.A. in Dance from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in Dance Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
Continuing at Teachers College as a doctoral student in the Ed.D. Dance Education Program, Pope intends to pursue the Teacher Education specialization. Her research interests include assessment and learning disabilities.
PASCAL REKOERT started his dance career performing with Dutch companies Stichting Totaal, Danstheater Arena, Foundation Satori, and Bronkhorst & Jongewaard. In 1998 he performed in The Fall, a piece that garnered acclaim as “the dance document of the 90’s,” receiving the coveted Prix d’auteur du conseil général de la Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris, France. Upon his arrival to New York in 2000, Rekoert became a premier dancer and Associate Artistic Director with Jennifer Muller/ The Works, assisting Artistic Director Jennifer Muller with choreographies for New York City Opera, with performances at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, and with projects in Bolivia, Thailand, China, and Brazil. Since 2000, Rekoert has also produced a wide variety of festivals and performance series in New York City: WestFest which featured companies from the UK, Israel, and Canada; The HATCH Presenting Series; The HATCHed Sequel Series; the GHOST Series, and dance film festival Canned Unicorn at The Rover SoHo.
Rekoert’s choreographies have been presented in theaters in Switzerland, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and throughout the United States. Mr. Rekoert commercial work includes Motorola, Levi’s, Dockers, PTT Dutch Royal Communications, L’Oreal Paris, BERENIK, New York Fashion Week, and various celebrity designers. Described as “magnetic and intricate” (the Dutch Volkskrant, 2001), Rekoert has also collaborated with various filmmakers. In 1999, he choreographed the Dutch short dance film “Erasmus Spitzen, Crossing a Bridge on Points,” which premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Since 2008, Rekoert has worked with Z Collective in a variety of theater, film, and hybrid collaborations. Rekoert independent film ventures include the first-ever ”portable” dance film festival in 2008, bringing 35 short dance films to mobile devices, such as iPhones, and iPods.
Rekoert has received generous support from the Westbeth Artists Residents Council (2009-2011) and The Field for a two-week residency at White Oak Plantation in Florida (2008). Prizes and awards include the Chashama “Best Short Film Award” (2008), and the Prix d’auteur du conseil général de la Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris, France (1998).
As a Lincoln Center Scholar who finished his master’s degree in an inaugural partnership program between Lincoln Center Education and CUNY Hunter College, Rekoert helped revise the New York City Department of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance. In June 2016, he graduated with NHSDA Honors and was selected to present Chancellor Farina with the President’s Medal during the CUNY Hunter Commencement ceremony. Before becoming a full-time NYCDOE dance educator in 2015, Pascal Rekoert taught master classes throughout the US, Italy, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Bolivia, and Thailand.
Rekoert earned a B.A. in Dance from SUNY Empire State College and an M.A. in Dance Education from CUNY Hunter College.
Rekoert intends to pursue the Leadership and Policy specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Through his research he aims to understand the correlations between race, masculinity, and socioeconomic status within the male adolescent population in urban neighborhoods.
MELISSA BARTREM is a dance artist, educator and choreographer from Toronto, Canada. Her work in the dance industry has taken her across North America, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Her professional credits include performances on stage, television, industrial shows and other live events. As an educator, she strives to cultivate a classroom environment that nurtures creativity, fosters the love of movement and promotes the highest quality in dance education. Bartrem has served on faculties at Centennial College, teaching Commercial dance and interdisciplinary arts as part of the Performing Arts fundamentals program, in addition to working with the Royal Academy of Dance, mentoring students of the Certificate in Ballet Teaching studies program. She has had the opportunity to collaborate with various arts organizations in both South Africa and China, in addition to presenting her in-practice research at various arts and education conferences. Bartrem holds a B.A. in Theater Performance and Sociology from The University of Toronto, and an M.A. in Dance Education from The Royal Academy of Dance, accredited through the University of Surrey, England. Bartrem also holds a variety of professional teaching certifications, with organizations such as The Royal Academy of Dance, British Association of Teachers of Dancing and Can Fit Pro Canada. Bartrem intends to pursue the interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include challenging traditional dance pedagogical practices and inclusive performance arts training in higher education.
SHIRLENE BLAKE is a dance educator and teacher leader at Harvest Collegiate High School, a NYCDOE Consortium School. She brings to her classroom a diverse background in performing and teaching various dance disciplines, arts advocacy, dance and special needs, as well as working with pregnant teens and teenage mothers. Besides the development of the dance program and daily dance instruction for grades 9-12, Blake participates on the administration team for the planning and facilitation of school wide professional development and advisory curriculum. Blake serves as a citywide dance facilitator and Arts Monday facilitator for NYCDOE Office of Arts and Special Projects as well as a curriculum writer and reviewer. She was an adjudicator for the Arts Achieve dance assessments. For New York State, Blake is the Subject Matter Expert for the Dance Content Specialty Test for NYS Teacher Certification and serves on the NYS Arts Content Advisory Panel which advises the Commissioner and Board of Regents on curriculum and assessments. She was also on the NYSED Arts Standards Revision Team. In 2016, New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA) awarded Ms. Blake the Diana Domoracki-Kisto Award for her years of dedication to dance education. She is currently an active Board member and Treasurer of NYSDEA. Before joining NYCDOE, Blake was a teacher, department chair and teacher leader at Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts. There she developed and implemented curriculum in Dance Technique, Choreography, Dance History and Anatomy. She facilitated teacher workshops on Social Emotional Literacy, 21st Century Skills, Strength Based Education and Technology. She was also one of the founding members of the Rosemary Kennedy / Long Island High School for the Arts collaborative, creating an opportunity for students with special needs to find common ground through dance. As well, Blake created and taught the “Mommy & Me” movement experience for teenage mothers with children ranging in age from 5-months to 3-years old in the Nassau BOCES Teenage Parenting Program. Blake earned a B.F.A in Dance from Southern Methodist University and an Ed.M. in Dance Education from Temple University and holds a Post-Graduate Advanced Certificate in Supervision and Administration from Hunter College. Blake intends to pursue the Teacher Education specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. She is interested in the implementation and balance between theory and practice in teacher preparation programs as well as arts assessments.
HETTY KING is a dancer, choreographer and dance educator born and raised in New York City. Currently, she is the PreK-5 Dance Teacher at PS188K in Coney Island. Ms. King spent ten years as a dance educator in the DOE working in schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. While in the DOE she was a cooperating teacher, participated in projects to develop MOSL in the Arts, proctor and adjudicate for Arts Achieve and develop formative assessments through Artful Learning Communities. As a teaching artist she taught for Lincoln Center, The Joyce, Pentacle, and Hospital Audiences reaching a wide range of populations both in-school, afterschool and in institutional settings. She has also taught at DEL, New World School for the Arts, Sarah Lawrence College and Cocker College. Hetty was a professional dancer from 1985-2002 working in the companies of Ralph Lemon, Marta Renzi, Victoria Marks, Bill Young and David Dorfman. Independently she created and performed in projects with Allyson Green, Tim Feldman and Jeremy Weichsel. From 1992-1996 she lived in Montreal where she taught, choreographed and created an international summer dance intensive in collaboration with Studio 303. While in Canada she worked with artists Tedi Tafel, Irene Stamou and Lin Snelling as well as touring her own work across Canada. As a student Hetty has been the recipient of the Saul Birns award at NYU GSAS and in 2000 received the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities. As a choreographer she has received three Jerome Foundation Commission Grants and an US/Mexico Fund for Culture Grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Hetty has presented numerous times at the NDEO National Conference and is a contributor to Dance Education in Practice. King is currently contracted with the University Press of Florida to complete The Anatomy of Center, a posthumous manuscript authored by somatic dance pioneer, Nancy Topf. Hetty holds a B.F.A. in dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, an M.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from the UWM and an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Ms. King is a CMA, certified RYT200, completed teacher training in Pilates with Ellie Herman and is certified in the Topf Technique®. King intends to pursue an Interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests are at the intersection of Somatics and Dance Pedagogy and experiential learning for PreK-12 learning. She is interested in the practical language that allows for somatic techniques to be accessible to children and teachers alike and aims to bridge the space between artistic/creative expression, mindful practices and somatic techniques like Topf Technique®.
ANDREA MARKUS is a dance educator, choreographer and mentor. She is currently a faculty member of New York University's Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, Marymount Manhattan College's Department of Dance, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and the Ailey School. Markus has worked as a teaching artist and facilitator at the 92nd Street Y Dance Education Laboratory, ArtsConnection, Alvin Ailey Arts in Education and Community Programs, Ballet Hispanico, Dancewave and Global Arts to Go. Markus was born in Jamaica, West Indies. Her family migrated to America before she turned 10 years old for educational opportunities. Her desire to support fellow immigrants as well as volunteerism as a core value led Markus to work with the organization iMentor. Through iMentor, Markus works one-on- one with a student who is a recent immigrant from an underserved community to help empower her to graduate high school, attend and succeed in college and achieve her goals. Markus studied dance at Ithaca College, Ballet School New York, Dance New Amsterdam, Fareta and The Limon Institute. She has traveled to Guinea, West Africa to study dance and drumming with members of the national companies Les Ballets Africains de Guinea and Ballet Djoliba. She has performed as a concert dancer with the Alpha Omega 1-7 Theatrical Dance Company, performing dance works by George Faison, Eleo Pomare, and as well as other artists. Markus has also danced with the West African- based performance group, Magbana Drum & Dance NYC. Markus has presented works at NDEO, NYSDEA, Arts in Education Roundtable’s Face-to-Face Conference, NDA, and Dance Teacher Summit. She has worked as a coach/facilitator for the NYCDOE Arts Achieve and Arts Matter programs. In 2016, she received the NYSDEA Outstanding Teaching Artist Award. Markus received a B.A. in Biology with a minor is Spanish from Ithaca College and an M.A. in Dance and Dance Education from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Markus intends to pursue the Interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include examining and understanding the history of African arts for teacher training, youth empowerment and social justice.
CHELL PARKINS is a dance advocate, educator, choreographer, and performer dedicated to lifting the voices of marginalized communities utilizing dance and social media. As the Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of dance, a core member of ArtsEd Tennessee, and Fine Arts Subject Matter Expert for the Tennessee Department of Education, she became a leading voice in advocating for equitable access to dance education in Tennessee. Previous to relocating to New York City, she was Full Time Lecturer in Dance at Middle Tennessee State University. From 2012-2015, Parkins was the Director of Dance and Drill Team at Manor High School, a predominately working-class Latinx high school in suburban Austin, Texas. The program emphasized dance as a vehicle to overcome trauma, build positive communities and strive for academic success. Parkins was a consultant and pilot teacher for Dance and Media Communications, an innovative course developed by the Texas Cultural Trust for implementation in the Texas public school system. Through creation and analysis of dance history, technique, and choreography, students learned how to integrate dance with current technology, creating digital videos and websites. Her publication “Dance Media Collaborations: Engaging At-Risk Youth” details how students used choreographic methods, technology, and social media to explore cultural identity and social issues. Parkins travels regularly to the mountains of Guatemala to mentor university students as they perform and conduct movement workshops at elementary schools in K’iche communities. This project provides opportunities to train students working from a culturally respectful standpoint while developing an understanding of the needs of the communities served. WanderlustDance, her ongoing choreographic project, explores transmedia platforms for sharing virtual and corporeal travel dance experiences while incorporating motion capture technology to manipulate live video in performance. She has choreographed and performed versions of this work at the Millennium Forum in Northern Ireland, ZAWP, and AZALA in the Basque region of Spain, in front of the Guggenheim Bilbao, and with students at the Tennessee Dance Festival. In June 2019, she travels to Puerto Rico to create the most recent version of WanderlustDance, focusing on Puerto Rico’s complex political history and ongoing recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. As a dancer, she has performed with MADCO, Steamroller, Bibliodance, Forklift Danceworks and in the film Bernie with Jack Black. Her choreography has been featured in Dancers’ Footwork Bread and Butter Series, MOMFest, Frontera Fest, Dance Carousel, Coen’s New Works Festival, and Big Range Dance Festival. Parkins earned a B.A. in Dance and Acting from Washington University in St. Louis and a M.F.A. in Dance from The University of Texas at Austin. She holds certifications for K-12 Dance Education in Tennessee and 9-12 Dance Education in Texas, K-12 Physical Education in Tennessee and Texas, and is a certified STOTT Pilates instructor. Parkins intends to pursue the Leadership and Policy specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include examining theory and pedagogical methodology in support of the body as the site for social activism.
SHOLA K. ROBERTS is an internationally performing, professional dancer, dance educator, choreographer and fitness instructor based in Brooklyn, New York. She serves as the Dance Educator and Arts Liaison for MS 354 - School of Integrated Learning in the Crown Heights region of Brooklyn. Roberts, a proud Grenadian American, has had the opportunity to work with many renowned dance companies and choreographers. Her credits include performances with Kowteff West African Dance Company under the Artistic direction of Sewaa Codrington, Oyu Oro under the Artistic direction of La Mora, Fritzalyn Hector, Francine Elizabeth Ott and Otis D. Herring, for whom she served as an assistant choreographer and an apprenticeship with Evidence under the artistic direction of Ronald K. Brown. Roberts is currently a part of the 2018, Voices of Congo Square cast, which made its debut in the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has also worked with the Purelements, an Evolution in Dance as a professional company member as well as teaching Dunham, African and Jazz. Trinidadian recording artist Preedy has featured her choreography and she choreographed the award-winning dance presentation the for Ramajay Mas band in 2014- 2017 West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn. Roberts is a Dance Caribbean Collective Lead Artist and serves as the Choreographer/Rehearsal Director for Dance Caribbean Collective’s and WIADCA’s Youth Performing Arts Company. In 2017 and 2018 Roberts served as one of the dancers for Grenada’s three-time winning Groovy Soca Monarch King Dash. Roberts has appeared on several television and radio shows, including “Chit Chat with Lexan Fletcher” and “Good Morning Grenada.” She has also led workshops in Grenada and St. Marteen, including at Conception Dance Theater under the direction of Ms. Cecilia Griffith. Roberts received the 2016 Barnes and Nobles Favorite Teacher Award and in 2014 was recognized Caribbean Life’s 40 under 40 Caribbean Americans who have made an impact in their community. Roberts has been recognized for her contributions to her community by WNYC, the New York Daily News, the Caribbean Life paper, the Caribbean Times and likewise has been honored by Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams. Roberts earned her B.F.A. in Dance and Caribbean Studies at Howard University where she was a part of the last graduating class to study under the tutelage of the late Dr. Sherrill Berryman Johnson. She earned her M.A. degree in Dance Education at CUNY Hunter College where she was a Lincoln Center Scholar. Roberts intends to pursue the Interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include the need of creating a culture/community through the arts for the purpose of physical, mental and emotional development.
RACHEL SWENSON is a licensed Idaho K-8 teacher serving as a dance teaching artist for Idaho Commission on the Arts and the Utah Arts Council as well as a dance specialist at Idaho Fine Arts Academy, a grades 6-12 public arts school of choice in West Ada School District. She teaches both the art-of-dance and as well as how to incorporate dance as an integrative learning tool through project-based choreography with students that focuses on connections to dance history, current events, life skills, environmental issues, as well as social issues. Swenson is the co-director/co-founder of the Idaho Screendance Festival. She has performed professionally in various venues in Utah and was a guest performer for Ririe Woodbury Dance Company. She has also performed for choreographer Meghan Durham Wall for the Paradigm Dance Project, and for Jim Moreno's Proving Ground Dance Company. Performing the works of Hanya Holm and Alwin Nikolais have been highlights of her professional experience. Throughout her career, Swenson has worked in many K-12 schools in Utah and Idaho, including as an Art Works for Kids teaching artist at Knowlton Elementary and William Penn Elementary schools in Utah; as a visual arts teacher at Christine Donnell School of the Arts in Idaho; and as a creative dance teacher for the Virginia Tanner Dance Arts in Education program at University of Utah. Swenson has extensive experience providing professional development for educators, including Idaho’s Arts Powered Schools, West Ada School District, BYU Arts Partnerships, Utah Valley University, EduFest, the Utah State Office of Education, Dance and the Child International, Utah Arts Council’s Arts Networking Conferences, Artworks for Kids, Tanner Dance Program, Idaho Dance Education Organization, and the National Dance Education Organization. She has been awarded over fifteen grants for dance education from Idaho Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jeker Foundation, the Inukai Family Foundation, and VSA Idaho and is the recipient of the 2019 Teacher of the Year for Idaho Fine Arts Academy and the 2017 NDEO Executive Directors Award for Outstanding Advocacy. In her commitment to advocating for equality in arts education in public and private schools, Swenson has been active in establishing and serving state and national organizations. She is the founding President and current Development Director of the Idaho Dance Education Organization and is the West Region Representative for the National Dance Education Organization, where she was also a contributing committee member for the NDEO “Priorities Pamphlet.” Swenson has also served on multiple committees for the State Board of Education and West Ada School District for arts education standards revisions and arts education textbook adoptions. Swenson earned a B.F.A. in Modern Dance and an M.Ed. in Education from the University of Utah. Swenson intends to pursue an Interdisciplinary specialization as a doctoral student within the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include cognitive processes in creativity, cultivating creativity, cultural hierarchy of arts education, dance literacy, and improving arts education leadership.
ALLISON TROTTA is Head of the Dance Department at The Nightingale- Bamford School, where she teaches and develops curriculum and programming in all three divisions. This has included the implementation of an elective program in the Upper School, which has enabled her to create many new courses including Dance History, Dance and Film, Dance and Gender, Site Specific Dance, and Dance and Politics. Trotta choreographs regularly at Nightingale for student concerts and mentors both student choreographers and Seniors pursuing Independent Study Projects in dance. Trotta has connected the Nightingale Dance Department to many local arts institutions. She has worked closely with the educational directors of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to facilitate regular class visits. She has brought Gibney Dance, Alexandra Beller and Les Ballets Trocadero de Monte Carlo to Nightingale for assemblies and master classes. She is a partnering teacher with the Joyce and a member of the National Dance Education Organization, whose conference she attends annually. Trotta has enabled students to show work in the Dig Up Festival at the 92nd Street Y and has her dance classes regularly attend their Friday at Noon series. Trotta's choreography has been presented throughout the United States including at the Boulder International Fringe Festival, the Dance Complex in Cambridge, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and in New York City at at the 92nd Street Y, University Settlement, The Joyce SoHo, and the Clark Studio Theater at Lincoln Center. The Boston Globe described her work as having a visceral rhythmic punch, (Campbell, 2007) and she is the recipient of a Harkness Space Grant from the 92nd St. Y. Trotta earned a B.F.A. in Dance and Performance from Marymount Manhattan College and her M.F.A. in Choreography from Sarah Lawrence College. Trotta intends to pursue the Leadership and Policy Specialization as a doctoral student with the Ed.D. in Dance Education Program at Teachers College. Her research interests include the relationship between dance education and service learning, equity work, and social justice education.
Program Director: Dr. Barbara Bashaw
Teachers College, Columbia University
334-J Horace Mann