Going Back to School

By Roenigk, Alyssa | Dance Teacher, January 2005 | Go to article overview

Going Back to School


Roenigk, Alyssa, Dance Teacher


Which type of continuing education is best for you? DT helps you sift through the myriad options available.

With the new year, your annual desire for something new reawakens. This year, do something about it! Whether you want to earn certification in a specific teaching method, stay abreast of the latest approaches, get fresh choreographic inspiration, refresh your understanding of technique basics or network with colleagues, it's possible to achieve your goals by attending a continuing education course, seminar or conference.

The options are many and varied, so we're helping you sort through the hundreds of companies that offer these programs by dividing them into six categories and providing an overview of each type. Once you've decided which one you're most interested in, turn to the DT 2005 Continuing Education Guide on page 111 to select the specific program that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that not every program fits neatly into these categories, or that many fit into more than one, so peruse the guide carefully. Many offer discounts for early registration, so check with companies directly for more details. You may even be able to apply online.

For K-12 Teachers

Overview: This category of classes offers seasoned K-12 dance teachers as well as regumr academic teachers new methods to integrate dance instruction into basic curricula. Some are even state-funded and provided to certified professionals free of charge. (Contact specific programs and check with your administration for details.)

Prerequisites: Professional experience is a must for most programs, whether it is in the educational or dance classroom. Many programs require elementary, middle and high school educators to be state-certified.

Length: Programs range in commitment from a week or two over the summer to yearlong classes that require only an hour or two per week. The longer summer intensives may require travel and boarding.

Examples: Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, National Dance Institute, Perpich Center for Arts Education, SCM Dance Productions

For Choreographers

For teachers who have choreographed one too many lyrical solos and are in search of a creative pick-me-up, these courses are designed to inspire and refresh. Expect to work collaboratively with visiting choreographers, as well as to sit in on round-table discussions to share tips with colleagues. Opportunities to create original work and have it performed during the workshop or course are available in many cases. Most require an application (and a small application fee), as well as the submission of examples of past choreography on video and a resume detailing choreography experience and goals.

Prerequisites: There are few requirements other than previous choreographic work. Beginning choreographers with little experience should seek out programs designed specifically for new choreographers, or spend time gaining experience before applying. Prospective participants are often allowed to sit in on or audit choreography classes before enrolling.

Length: Most courses last two weeks or longer, with days as lone as 13 hours.

Length: Most courses last two weeks or longer, with days as long as u nours.

Examples: Concord Academy, The Glenda Brown Choreography Project, Regional Dance America, School at Jacob's Pillow, The Steps Choreography/Performance Workshop

Reading, Writing and Reflecting About Dance

Overview: Being a great dance teacher often means stepping out of the studio, putting away the dance shoes and studying the art-form from a completely different perspective. If you're interested in bringing depth to your teaching, an academic class in dance history, a dance notation course, a dance critics' conference or a workshop in community outreach might be for you. Business seminars are also available for teachers and studio owners wishing to optimize operations. …

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