All panels are 1 hour and 20 minutes in length.   Panels are distributed throughout the week from Tuesday – Saturday.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013


11:30 am – 12:50: Judith R Marcuse Studio

 “WDA-Americas Presidents: Reflecting on the Past and Looking to the Future”
by Genevieve Oswald,
Ruth Abrahams,
Grant Strate,
Jin-Wen Yu,
& Mary Jane Warner

The World Dance Alliance Americas was officially established in March 1993 at its inaugural Assembly in New York City.  Chaired by founding president, Genevieve Oswald, founding curator of the [then] Dance Collection of the Research Division for Performing Arts at the New York Public Library, this remarkable gathering included a distinguished group of dance professionals from 14 countries of North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. In honor of the founding of WDAA, this Past Presidents panel with Genevieve Oswald, Ruth Abrahams, Grant Strate, and Jin-Wen Yu, moderated by 2013 incoming president Mary Jane Warner, will present the origins of the organization and the principals and visions on which it was founded. Each president will remark on their leadership vision for the organization and recount highlights from each of their tenures.  Following comments by several founding members on stage including Lynn Brooks (USA), Keyla Ermecheo (Venezuela) and Vanessa Harwood (Canada), final comments on the relevance of WDAA’s mission for dance in today’s global society will initiate audience questions and participation in a lively and enlightening dialogue.

WDAA Mission (1993): To serve as a primary voice and support group for dance worldwide.

WDAA Goals (1993):

  1. To establish a center for information, advocacy and communication for dance organizations and individuals, a forum for the exchange of ideas, information, expertise and resources in all areas of dance with the publication and presentation of information in several languages.
  2. To encourage an awareness of, access to, and understanding of dance as an art, a ritual and traditional expression, and as a leisure-time activity in diverse communities throughout the world.
  3. To assist in the identification and promotion of all dance traditions, styles and approaches in recognition of their cultural, artistic, and social importance.
  4. To encourage the protection of dance repertoires in all forms of dance repertoire in all forms of dance by preservation in notation, film, and media yet to be devised.
  5. To coordinate, support and enhance the world of existing dance organizations. To collaborate with those organizations working in other art forms, related disciplines, education and community activity.
  6. To facilitate international exchange and to encourage dialogue among all people in dance regardless of affiliation.
  7. To build through dance a saner, safer world through mutual respect and global cooperation.

Headshot - Genevieve OswaldGENEVIEVE OSWALD is Curator Emerita of the Dance Research Collection of the New York Public Library. She brought this collection from a couple of bookshelves in the Music Division, then at the 42nd-St. branch, to an independent section of the Performing Arts Research Libraries, now located at Lincoln Center. This collection is, to quote dance historian Sandra Hammond in Ballet Basics, “the most impressive of all” the dance research centers available in the United States—one of the most impressive worldwide, a model for others to follow. Integrating written texts, visual materials, moving images, clippings, taped interviews, and artifacts from dancers and performances, this astonishing collection has also shared its wealth through exhibitions, publications, and programming. It serves as a vast and deep treasury preserving information on the art of dancing, the dancers who created that art, and works that represent it.

Executive Director of the Gomez Foundation for Mill House and the Gomez Mill House Museum and Historic Site, Dr. RUTH ABRAHAMS served as Executive Director of the Lehman College Foundation, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Pratt Institute, Senior Editor for Professional Development at Peat Marwick Mitchell, and Alumni Director at New York University.  Artistically, Dr. Abrahams sang professionally in New York from 1967-1980, recording, performing in light opera and off Broadway productions, and as a soloist and chorister in classical choral performances.  She received a Masters of Humanities (Japanese Studies) and a Ph.D. in Dance History from New York University. Her dissertation, “The Life and Art of Uday Shankar,” published in the fall, 2007 edition of Dance Chronicle.  She taught graduate and undergraduate dance history as adjunct associate professor at New York University Department of Dance and Dance Education from 1982-1996, and was a founding member and first President of World Dance Alliance – Americas, an international advocacy group for dance.

GRANT STRATE: C.M, L.L.D, F.R.S.C.; Choreographer; University of Alberta BA, L.L.B; Director,Centre for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C.,called to the bar of Alberta, 1951. He joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1951 and became the resident choreographer (20 ballets) He choreographed internationally with Studio Ballet, Antwerp,Belgium: Juilliard School of Dance, N.Y., the Royal Swedish Ballet, Stockholm and several Canadian dance companies; Professor Simon Fraser University. He was the recipient of the Centennnial Medal in 1967; the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, 1977;Ontario Dance Award 1979, Dance in Canada Award 1988; the Jean A. Chalmers Award for Creativity in Dance,1993, became a member of the Order of Canada, 1995; The Governor Generals Performing Arts Award, 1996;  L.L.D Simon Fraser University 1999; Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 2006.  Now retired, he continue to be active in the dance field.  He was on the Board of the Vancouver Dance Society and later joined the board of the Dance Foundation which is involved in the foundation and matters concerned with the Dance Centre, which has been a remarkable contribution to dance in all its forms, in Vancouver.

Headshot - JinWen YuJIN-WEN YU, EdD & MFA, has created, performed, directed, and produced more than 100 works for the stage in the Americas and Asia, including 40 commissioned works for professionals and institutes. Dr. Yu has also presented, performed, and taught at dance festivals both nationally and internationally. In 1999, he founded the Madison-based Jin-Wen Yu Dance. The company has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Yu has received numerous grants, honors, commissions, residencies, and awards such as the NEA grant, Outstanding Dance Artist Award from Taiwan, Wisconsin Arts Board Choreographer Award, the first Madison CitiARTS, Commission Signature Grant, Chinese Information and Culture Center in New York, Dane County Arts among others. Yu was invited to perform at UNESCO in Paris for the Celebration Concert of the 2005 International Dance Day. His works and performances have been praised in The Boston Globe, LA Times, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle. He currently serves as the President of World Dance Alliance-Americas.

Heaadshot - Mary Jane WarnerMARY JANE WARNER has been a member of WDA since 2003. She organized the World Dance Alliance Global Assembly, in July 2006, at York University in Toronto, Canada, which encompassed a conference, performances, workshops and a youth program. She held many administrative positions in the Department of Dance at York University (Chair, Graduate Program Director, Associate Dean) before retiring in 2012. A specialist in Canadian dance, she has published Toronto Dance Teachers: 1825-1925 (1995) and with Selma Odom Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories (2004), and has written numerous articles on dance in Canada. In 2005 she received a major research grant from the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council to document the work of several Canadian choreographers. She then joined with Toronto Heritage Dance, as President and Co-Director of the company to present remounts of important Canadian dance works to ensure that the Canadian dance heritage is kept alive through both live performance and documentation. She developed the dance education courses for York’s Faculty of Education when dance became a teachable subject in 1992 and taught the courses for many years. Currently she is engaged in research projects funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health to deliver dance to older adults and special populations and is the Recipient of a Planning Grant from the CIHR (Canadian Institutes for Health Research) to develop programs related to Dance as a form of Health Promotion in Preventing Type 2 Diabetes.


 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm: Judith R Marcuse Studio

 “Promoting Public Engagement with Dance’s History and Thought”
by Amy Bowring, Dance Collection Danse
Lynn Brooks, Franklin & Marshall College
Genevieve Oswald, Curator Emerita of the Dance Research Collection of the NY Public Library
& Imogen Smith, Dance Heritage Coalition

A range of resources have arisen in the dance field to collect and create access to documents of dance history, theory, and philosophy. Archives, libraries, and museums—along with publications that draw on these and other resources—preserve and disseminate information that affords the public a deeper understanding of the field—its concerns, history, and evolution, and also its connections to the world beyond dance itself. This panel includes representatives of several institutions that have grappled with these matters.

Discussion will focus on the Dance Research Collection of the New York Public Library, the Dance Heritage Coalition, Dance Collection Danse, and Each panelist will address these questions: What is this institution’s mission? How has the public been engaged in the work of this organization?  Have shifts been evident in public interest and engagement, and if so, how have these been met?  What challenges does this institution face going forward? 
 Panel attendees will be invited to share their experiences and to identify needs of the field for ongoing public engagement programming that such institutions might further address.

The New York Public Library’s Dance Division was among the first systematic collections of dance-research materials, establishing a precedent for a fully rounded embrace of dance materials in print, manuscript, images, and material objects. The collection is accessible to scholars, students, dance artists, and the public. Exhibitions have highlighted the collection’s richness, and publications brought attention to its holdings. Dance lovers have expressed their interest through membership on committees that offer tangible support to the Collection by building a network of informed and dedicated patrons.

Philadelphia’s thINKingDANCE was established in October 2011 as a diverse group of people interested in writing and thinking about dance. Selected through a competitive admission process, members include experienced scholars and editors as well as relative novices with a commitment to the dance field. ThINKingDANCE provides much-needed journalistic coverage for experimental dance work, alternative voices in covering high-profile groups, public comment pages, and workshops with widely acclaimed dance writers/thinkers.

Toronto’s Dance Collection Danse employs institutional partnerships, print publishing, and virtual outlets to facilitate public access to its collection. DCD partners with other institutions, such as Theatre Museum Canada, to mount exhibitions and launch outreach programming. Through its remote research program, research packages of duplicated archival materials are sent to researchers across and beyond Canada. Virtual exhibitions and monthly online series, such as “Artifact of the Month” and “Enter, Dancing: Narratives of Migration,” provide further public access.

The Dance Heritage Coalition is adapting its programs and projects to implement digital tools and online resources, making its publications and initiatives available worldwide.  For example, items from the traveling exhibit (2004–09), “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures,” have been digitized for online access and expanded to include additional images and resources for further research.  A second example, “dance history detectives,” is an effort to identify images from dance history by applying the new approach of “crowd-sourcing”—drawing on the collective intelligence of a large group of people, in this case by means of social media and electronic communications.

Headshot - Amy BowringAMY BOWRING (B.A. Fine Arts Studies, York University; M.A. Journalism, University of Western Ontario) is a dance writer and historian, founder of the Society for Canadian Dance Studies, and Director of Collections and Research at Dance Collection Danse where her mentors were Lawrence and Miriam Adams. She has written historical essays and articles for a number of publications and she is the copy editor of The Dance Current. She chronicled Peggy Baker’s Choreographer’s Trust project and curated virtual exhibitions on Nancy Lima Dent and Alison Sutcliffe, as well as the live exhibit Dancing Through Time: Toronto’s Dance History 1900-1980. Amy lectures widely and is a sessional instructor at Ryerson University. She was a board member for Dance Media Group, helped found the Canadian Dance Assembly, and has served as a member of the Discipline Advisory Committee for Dance at the Canada Council for the Arts.

Headshot - Lynn Matluck BrooksLYNN MATLUCK BROOKS, the Arthur and Katherine Shadek Humanities Professor at Franklin & Marshall College, founded the college’s Dance Program in 1984. She holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Temple University. A Certified Movement Analyst and dance historian, she has held grants from the Fulbright/Hayes Commission, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Brooks has been a performance reviewer for Dance Magazine, editor of Dance Research Journal, and Dance Chronicle, and is the author of many articles and books. A choreographer, researcher, and teacher, her interests include modern dance, historical dance, and social history of dance. In 2007, Brooks received the Bradley R. Dewey Award for Outstanding Scholarship at Franklin & Marshall College. Currently, she is also a writer and editor for the Philadelphia-based project,

Headshot - Genevieve OswaldGENEVIEVE OSWALD is Curator Emerita of the Dance Research Collection of the New York Public Library. She brought this collection from a couple of bookshelves in the Music Division, then at the 42nd-St. branch, to an independent section of the Performing Arts Research Libraries, now located at Lincoln Center. This collection is, to quote dance historian Sandra Hammond in Ballet Basics, “the most impressive of all” the dance research centers available in the United States—one of the most impressive worldwide, a model for others to follow. Integrating written texts, visual materials, moving images, clippings, taped interviews, and artifacts from dancers and performances, this astonishing collection has also shared its wealth through exhibitions, publications, and programming. It serves as a vast and deep treasury preserving information on the art of dancing, the dancers who created that art, and works that represent it.

IMOGEN SMITH, a specialist in dance archives, has served as the Dance Heritage Coalition’s Project Manager since 2011. She has directed a wide variety of projects, including the creation of the online exhibition “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures,” and work with choreographers and dance companies to assess, organize, and preserve legacy materials. Smith has also worked for the Dance Division of the New York Public Library during much of the past decade, directing oral history projects and cataloging archival video and audio materials. In addition, she is a freelance film scholar and the author of two books, Buster Keaton: The Persistence of Comedy and In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013


11:30 am – 1:50 pm: Judith R. Marcuse Studio

“When Distinctions Collapse: Choreography, Improvisation and Performance in Academia.”
by Sarah Gamblin, Texas Woman’s University
Nina Martin, Texas Christian University
& Andrew Wass

What if, in the future, choreography and improvisation are not separate practices but are considered together as alternative methods of dancemaking?  What if, instead of consisting of steps and movements, dances are considered to be containers for performance, wherein steps and movement emerge?  How does the concept of choreography as container affect the way one teaches, coaches and directs a dance wherein the performer generates improvised movement material within a choreographic structure? How would collapsing the distinctions between performance, improvisation and choreography change curriculum for dance education?  How might a technique class be taught differently? What do dancers need to know and be able to do in a dance world where the performance of spontaneously generated movement constitutes a dance? What are potential new theoretical perspectives on the nature of dancemaking when conventional distinctions between choreography, performance and improvisation are disrupted?

Drawing from panel members’ creative practices regarding the nature of compositional creative process in performance, this panel will  explore the above questions in relationship to teaching and coaching performers in the context of improvised dancemaking.

SARAH GAMBLIN, Associate Professor, was a member of Bebe Miller Company from 1993-2000 and Bill Young and Dancers from 1996-99 with whom she toured various cities in South Africa, Portugal, Poland, St. Petersburg, Russia, Estonia, Peru and Venezuela as well as numerous cities in the US. In 2000 Sarah moved to Seattle to earn her MFA in Dance from the University of Washington. There she performed with the Chamber Dance Company, Rob Kitsos, Lingo dancetheater and Amii Le Gendre. Gamblin joined the dance faculty at Texas Woman’s University in 2002 where she teaches ballet and modern technique, composition, choreography, improvisation experiential anatomy and in 2006 founded Dance Lab, a student performing group devoted to improvisation in the dance making process and performance. Her choreography has been produced in Texas at the Fort Worth Dance Festival, the Out of the Loop Festival, Texas Woman’s University, Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation, Bates Dance Festival, the Greater Denton Arts Council, Dan’s Silver Leaf and Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio. Sarah’s work has also been produced in Washington at the University of Washington, The Northwest New Works Festival at On the Boards and in New York City at Hundred Grand and Dia Center for the Arts.

NINA MARTIN¹s choreographic works and master teaching has been presented in New York City; the US; and abroad; including Russia, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Venezuela, Mexico, and Japan. Performance credits include David Gordon Pick-Up Company, Mary Overlie, Deborah Hay, Martha Clarke, and Simone Forti, among others.  Martin has received funding for her work from the National Endowment for the Arts through six choreography fellowships, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Joyce-Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Meet the Composer/ Choreographer Grant, Texas Commission on the Arts, and others. Martin continues to teach and tour with Lower Left internationally, cultivate a dance community interested in collaborative inquiry, and as of Fall 2008, she joins the dance faculty at Texas Christian University as Assistant Professor.

After graduating from University of California, San Diego with a degree in Biochemistry in 1997, ANDREW WASS replaced the chem lab with the dance studio.  His performances have been shown in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Marfa, Tijuana, and New York.   Vital to his development have been his work with Lower Left, the phrase The content lies in the structure (Impro:110), and combining the methods learned in the lab with performative practices.  Living in Berlin since 2009, he has been curating the On The Wall dance film festival at ada Studio & Bühne.  Recently he completed his MA in Solo/Dance/Authorship at the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum für Tanz in Berlin.,, &


2:00 pm – 3:20 pm: Judith R. Marcuse Studio

“Dancing in the Digital Age: Approaches to Teaching Dance Online”
by Yoav Kaddar, West Virginia University
Kelly Ferris Lester, University of Memphis
Beth Megill, Moorpark College
& Pegge Vissicaro, Arizona State University

Teaching courses in an online environment may seem like an oxymoron when it comes to teaching dance. Many of our goals as dance educators are grounded in the kinesthetic experience of dance. Although teaching and experiencing dance online creates challenges for both educators and students, it can inspire new forms of creativity and serve as an additional instructional tool. Online courses in higher education are rapidly increasing in popularity. In attempts to reach the new online student and diverse populations on our campuses, dance educators need to adapt and be prepared to teach online courses.

The ability to use the Internet to expose dance students to dance in all its multitude of artistic and cultural facets is one that dance educators in the 21st century should embrace and use to fullest potential of the medium.  As dance advocates we need to also take advantage of this opportunity and bring dance to as large and diverse population of students as we can.  Online education has the potential to expand our face-to-face student teaching in the studio and conventional lecture halls, as well as, to expand our audiences in and out of the concert halls.

“Approaches to Teaching Dance Online” brings together four professionals from higher education in the USA who have embarked on journeys to teach dance in an online environment. Teaching a wide range of courses, including non-major and major courses, the panel will offer individual approaches to online courses as a means to brainstorm the possibilities within this format. Focusing on online learning the panel will present a selection of modules to teaching dance online and will engage the audience in a conversation on the benefits, challenges and possibilities that are associated with teaching online dance courses.

Headshot - Yoav KaddarDR. YOAV KADDAR is the Director of the Dance Program at West Virginia University. He has been engaged in dance education for 25 years. Kaddar brings to the educational facet of his career the vast national and international experience he has as a performer and choreographer. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he has danced with the Jose Limon, Paul Taylor and Pilobolus dance companies to name a few. He has choreographed over 60 works both in dance and theatre. As an educator he has taught and given presentations at colleges, universities, dance festivals and conferences in the US and abroad. Dr. Kaddar recently led to the development of the first Dance major for the state of West Virginia. He also launched WVU’s first online dance course. He has presented research based on this course at the NDEO annual conference in 2012 and at the 2013 conference in October.

Headshot - Kelly Ferris LesterKELLY FERRIS LESTER is an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Lester serves on the Board of Directors for the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA), and is a founding company member of Hub Dance Collective. Lester has been teaching online since 2010 and has presented research based on this course both solo and with panel Kaddar, Megill, and Vissicao at the NDEO annual conferences in 2011, 2012, and 2013. At USM, Lester’s workshop “Thinking Outside of the Box in Online Education” is offered to university faculty through the Learning Enhancement Center and a featured presentation at the LEC CONNECTS annual conferences in 2012 and 2013.


BETH MEGILL (MFA) is beginning her seventh year teaching at Moorpark College in Southern California, where she enjoys a full time teaching load in a variety of dance styles, and has the freedom to continually develop and refine her teaching methodology and pedagogy. Beth’s primary interests lie in the role of dance literacy in Higher Education and the presence of dance notation and theory to support dance as an area of research in addition to performance at colleges and universities. She has most recently teamed with Dave Massey from MiraCosta College in the publication of an online dance appreciation course and is finishing her Stage 3 Language of Dance certification for her work on utilizing LOD in the teaching of dance appreciation online as a general education requirement.

Since 1983, Dr. PEGGY VISSICARO has been contributing to Arizona State University’s School of Dance as a movement artist, dance maker, curriculum developer, educator, researcher, and community leader. She facilitates courses for undergraduate and graduate students in movement, creative, and ethnographic practices. Vissicaro is a Fulbright Scholar and Specialist, directs her company terradance®, and is president of Cross-Cultural Dance Resources. Publications include her widely distributed text, Studying Dance Cultures around the World, a chapter in 2013 book, Age and Dancing, articles in the peer-reviewed journals Ethnic Studies Review, Australia New Zealand Dance Research Society, Multimedia Tools and Applications, and The Review of Human Factor Studies as well as numerous contributions to the Foundation for Community Dance magazine, Animated. Vissicaro has presented papers and lectures, taught master classes and conducted residencies in Ireland, Korea, Scotland, Portugal, France, Brazil, Canada, and throughout the United States.


Thursday, August 1, 2013


11:30 am – 12:50 pm: Studio 7

“Bridging the Gap: Integrating Urban Dance Forms and Contemporary Somatic Approaches to Dance”
by Becky Dyer, Arizona State University

In Kyung Lee, Arizona State University
& Edson Magana

Despite the current 21st century emphasis on diversity, a clear hierarchy persists amongst dance forms in North America. The inequitable valuing of dance forms within American culture continues to fuel the long-held division between academic, somatics-oriented contemporary dance, and street dance (also referred to as urban dance). The academic dance environment has not responded to the growing urban dance movement and its sociocultural significance in today’s society, nor has it fully benefitted from the building body of knowledge and embodied experience growing within the urban dance field. In addition to the prominent locational separation of urban dance communities from academic contemporary dance/somatics settings, dancers from each of these distinct communities seemingly perceive their identity and practices to be autonomous and disconnected from other dance cultures.

In an attempt to investigate and perhaps remedy the line that divides urban dance from academic perspectives, the co-facilitators of this panel discussion will guide conversations in exploring ways to connect street dance vocabulary and knowledge to common vocabulary and understandings prevalent in higher education contemporary dance and somatics practices. The discussion will compare and integrate principles of the Barteneiff Fundamentals and Laban Movement Analysis with those of urban movement, with the goal of discovering how each framework might inform and invigorate the other. Facilitators will lead participants in viewing urban movement styles and theories through the lens of the Laban/Bartenieff Framework and other somatics paradigms. Similarly, contemporary dance aesthetics and Laban/Bartenieff theories will be approached from the language and paradigmatic viewpoints of urban dance forms.

Although the themes of the Barteneiff Fundamentals/Laban Movement Analysis framework and urban movement practices appear to be grounded in similar and related principles, the extreme differentiation of language in each masks their proximate relationship. It is our perspective that these respective embodied practices can complement and support each other. We believe revealing the overlapping concepts and viewpoints associated with each of these distinct practices, through experiential processes of comparison, contrast, and an integration of the language used by both, will help university contemporary dancers to more readily understand and learn urban dance forms, and will ultimately enrich the movement practices and capacities of contemporary dancers. Such a mediation of forms also has the potential to aid urban dancers in better understanding and critically analyzing their movement, which we assert will further the pedagogical understandings and practices in the urban dance field.

Some of the guiding questions will include: How might urban movement be successfully incorporated into an academic setting? How might sociocultural and embodied understandings of urban dance forms broaden university dance students’ understandings of their own movement practices and potential? How might embracing urban movement forms in academic settings draw more urban dancers into higher education settings, and how might this impact the future development of urban dance and culture both positively and negatively?

BECKY DYER (PhD, MFA, MS) is an associate dance professor at Arizona State University where she teaches Laban/Bartenieff Praxis and Somatic Studies, dance pedagogy, and contemporary postmodern dance technique. Becky is a certified Laban-Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA), ISMETA registered somatic movement therapist (RSMT), somatic movement educator (RSME), and holds a secondary dance education certification. Her research focuses on dance pedagogy, somatic epistemology, transformative learning perspectives, and somatic approaches to learning. She has published articles in Research in Dance Education, Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, Journal of Aesthetic Education, Somatics Magazine/Journal, and Current Selected Research in Dance, Volume 7.

IN KYUNG LEE, a MFA candidate at Arizona State University (ASU), is a dance and video artist whose recent works have been selected to be presented at Dance Film Series hosted by Dance New Amsterdam in NYC and American College Dance Festival Association Regional in Scottsdale Community College. She currently assists ASU dance faculty, Eileen Standley, whose research investigates movement and film, and co-instructs Contact Improvisation class at ASU. She worked with various international choreographers such as Tony Thatcher, Idan Cohen, and Thomas Lehmen. She is interested in experimentation and improvisation, as well as connecting isolated communities with the society through art. She has volunteered as teacher in Nepal, Cambodia, Korea, and Taiwan, and produced a dance film with live performance to address human rights issues pertaining to North Korea.

EDSON MAGANA (MFA) is an urban artist who has travelled internationally to dance, teach, and organize events. He is the founder of Cyphers, the Center for Urban Arts, which was selected by Phoenix New Times as the 2012 Winner for the “Best Place to Learn about Hiphop Culture.” He is one of the founding members of Furious Styles Crew (1993 – present), which has three chapters in USA, Spain, and Denmark. The crew represented USA in events such as Red Bull Beat Battle in London and Germany Championships, and won numerous battles worldwide. Among diverse categories in urban art, Edson specializes in break dance and graffiti. As an artist and educator, he is devoted to bring urban art to underprivileged children and wishes to continue his research in realizing ways to bridge the gap between urban art in academic settings and the streets.


2:00 pm – 3:20 pm: Judith R. Marcuse Studio

“The Canada Dance Mapping Study: An Evidence-based Profile of the Breadth and Depth of Dance Activity in Canada”
by Doug Durand, Tara Lapointe, Caroline Lussier, Geraldine Manossa, & Claire McCaughey (Canada Council for the Arts)

The Canada Dance Mapping Study is working towards a better understanding of the discipline’s infrastructure and its impact on society. For the first time in Canada, a public arts funder mandated to support professionals is undertaking a comprehensive view of the whole national dance ecosystem. In doing so we are like old-time explorers trying to fill in the blank sections of a map. The most obvious blanks are activities beyond the professionally-funded dance sector: commercial, amateur, competitive, participatory, dance in sport, and crossover points between dance and other sectors, such as health care. We are approaching all of dance as equally valid: there are no hierarchies or silos. As such the study reaches across all genres and practices to promote inclusiveness, encourage partnerships and collaborations, and enable all practitioners to see themselves connected together as members of the Canadian dance field. To tackle the multitude of knowledge gaps we have scoped out a series of research projects, several of which have been completed. Research to date includes reviews of existing literature, Internet-based inquiries and online surveys. To lead this initiative, the Canada Council has teamed up with the Ontario Arts Council and brought together a Steering Committee from across the country, representing leaders in the dance field and arts funders from national, provincial and municipal levels. We will present the results of the study to the public beginning this fall through a Web-based interactive and ever-evolving map of dance in Canada.

DOUGLAS DURAND‘s arts administration career spans three decades in various capacities and art disciplines, but with a particular emphasis on dance. In 2000, he moved to London to work as a dance officer with Arts Council England. Upon returning to Canada in 2003, he was commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts to research and write Dancing Our Stories, a collection of first-person narratives documenting dance animation practice in Canada. Doug joined the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Services as a cultural planner in 2005, delivering a program of grants and awards in support of the city’s non-profit arts organizations.

TARA LAPOINTE is a dynamic marketing and communications strategist with more than 15 years’ experience in the arts and entertainment industries. She is currently the Head of Marketing Communications at the Canada Council for the Arts, Canada’s national arts funder, where she introduced and began implementation of the first ever organization- wide strategic communications plan, a redesigned website, and the use of social media communications tools. She is also the VP, Marketing of IABC Ottawa. Previously, Tara was the Associate Director of Marketing at the National Arts Centre from 2004 to 2009. Before joining the NAC, Tara held marketing and communications positions at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting and Harbourfront Centre.

Trained in a diversity of dance forms in North America and Europe, CAROLINE LUSSIER worked for various arts organizations for 25 years before being appointed Head of the Canada Council’s Dance Section in 2011. She started her career as Artistic Director of an international folk dance festival, later moving to more administrative functions. Over the years, she has acquired extensive experience working with independent artists, dance companies, presenters, and festivals in both the dance and theatre worlds in Montreal and in regional Quebec. Caroline was Program Officer for the arts council of the Province of Quebec and a member of the Board of Directors of many dance companies, her community’s local theatre, and Quebec’s national dance association. She holds a Master’s degree in Slavic languages and literature.

GERALDINE MANOSSA is a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation in Northern Alberta. She completed a Master of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge, with a specialization in Cree Indigenous knowledge and performance. She has been writing about Indigenous performance processes and showcasing her work at various festivals across Canada including, Shared Habitat Festival (Toronto), Stream of New Dance Festival (Saskatchewan), Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver) and Dance Explosions (Calgary). Her performance methodologies have been highlighted in a video documentary titled Living Bodies created by University of Lethbridge professor, Lisa Doolittle. Her most recent publications are found in the Aboriginal Drama and Theatre Volume One – Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English, and “Uncovering Spirit,” based on a site specific performance, with choreographer Bill Coleman and playwright, Floyd Favel (Great Plains Research Centre Press). Geraldine currently works as a program officer for the Canada Council for the Arts.

CLAIRE McCAUGHEY is Head of Research and Evaluation at the Canada Council for the Arts. She has been engaged in arts and culture research for more than 25 years. From 2002 to 2005 she served as Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Culture Statistics at Statistics Canada. From 2008 to 2012 she managed the CADAC Secretariat hosted at the Canada Council for the Arts. CADAC (Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les Arts au Canada) is a national arts data system used by arts funders and arts organizations in Canada. Her research interests include cultural indicators and statistical frameworks, financing of arts and culture, measuring the economic and social impact of the arts, and profiling the artistic labour force. She has a B. Soc. Sc. (Hon. Econ.) from the University of Ottawa and an M.A. in Economics from Queen’s University.


3:30 pm – 4:50 pm : Judith R. Marcuse Studio

“What can we learn from case studies of emerging dancer-scholars about effectively assisting them in developing their voice for writing academic papers?”
by Cheryl LaFrance, York University
Linda Caldwell, Texas Woman’s University
& Ruth Naomi Levin, York University

This panel brings together three perspectives on recurring questions in graduate level Dance programs:  How can we create an effective writing program, especially for professional dancers transitioning to academe? What are the gaps in their shift from researching to writing and how might we address these by comparing the writing process to a choreographic one? How can we hook into their previous experiences of wrestling with choreographic decisions, in order to strengthen their understanding of, and confidence in, their writing process?

Linda Caldwell, Coordinator of Doctoral Studies, at Texas Woman’s University will discuss her work with dance doctoral students as they shift from creating meaning in the studio to creating meaning in text.  She will introduce the issues discovered in this process and her decision to work with doctoral candidate Cheryl LaFrance from York University who is focused on the transition from “studio to page” for emerging dancer-scholars.

Cheryl LaFrance, PhD Candidate at York University, will introduce her research exploring the role of metacognition in the academic writing process.  She begins with the question: How might metacognition of one’s preferred processing style as well as one’s creative process facilitate scholarly writing? Field research with PhD and MFA Dance students has led her to theorize that three processing styles  (“popcorn”, “graphic” and “linear”) seem to be operating when students research, wrestle with, and compose academic papers and dances. Awareness of these processes supports scholarly writing, especially the intermediary process of struggling, or playing, with the research through dialoguing and creating “graphic” representations.

Ruth Levin, first year Dance MFA student, is involved in Cheryl LaFrance’s research. Her main desire in becoming a participant was to engage in a reflective process about her writing. Though it has never been a major stumbling block, she reports struggling at times to connect diverging ideas around a theme and realized that outside ideas, feedback and dialogue in the research process would be valuable. The metacognitive awareness gained through this research process has spilled over into a deeper understanding of her creative process in all areas, particularly in her choreography. For example, she has discovered her need to first explore the “sparks” of interest through the development of material (movement and/or text) and that the through-line tends to reveal itself once the material is adequately explored, e.g., by visual, big-picture, symbolic representations. If however, structure is applied pre-maturely, the “spark” of interest is lost and the writing becomes rote and uninteresting.

The panelists will briefly present their insights to date, from their perspectives on the case studies, and then dialogue about issues and strategies before inviting the audience to join the discussion.

Headshot - Cheryl LaFranceCHERYL LAFRANCE, PhD Candidate at York University (Toronto) combines her passions for the creative processes of dance-making, academic writing, and teaching in her research. Using practice-led research and research-led practice, she addresses the question of how dancer-scholars might access their metacognitive understanding of their creative dance-making processes, and, in so doing, support their academic writing processes. Her research participants are students in the York Dance MFA, and Texas Woman’s University Dance PhD programs. She is the 2012 recipient of the CORD Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award for her paper “Theorizing hybridity and identity: the ‘edge-effect’ and ‘dynamic nucleus’ in bharatanatyam-inspired dances of two choreographers.” In 2011, Dance Chronicle published her paper “Choreographer’s Archives: Three Case Studies in Legacy Preservation” (34:1).

LINDA CALDWELL, Ph.D. and Certified Movement Analyst in Laban Movement Studies, is professor and coordinator of the low-residential doctoral program in dance at Texas Woman’s University. She serves as the co-chair for Research and Documentation for the World Dance Alliance-Americas and co-edits, along with Dr. Urmimala Sarkar of WDA-AP, the WDA publication of the Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship (JEDS). Her current interests include discovering new research methodologies specific to the needs of dance practice/theory and how to bring the dancer’s voice and body into scholarly writing. Her dissertation and past publications concern a 15-year exchange with Poland\’s contemporary dance company, The Silesian Dance Theatre. Dr. Caldwell\’s choreography has been performed in dance festivals in Lyons, France and Krakow, Poland, as well as chosen twice for the National College Dance Festivals in Washington, D.C. and Tempe, Arizona.

Headshot - RuthNaomiLevinA current MFA student at York University and graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, RUTH LEVIN‘s central passion is the study of the human experience. She has had the great pleasure of exploring this both within the context of the dancing and performing body as well as through several years of meditative practice. Her choreographic work intertwines these two perspectives to bring greater depth and wisdom to the studio and stage through the integration of meditative techniques and practices. She has had the tremendous privilege of working with world class artists and teachers in both fields of interest, including in the field of dance, Peggy Baker, Jolene Bailie, Margie Gillis, Danny Grossman, James Kudelka and Maya Lewandowsky as well as the faculty at York University and the School of TDT. Her guides in the direct study of mind are Achariya Doug Duncan, Catherine Pawasarat and the enlivened community of the Clear Sky Sangha.


Friday, August 2, 2013


2:00 pm – 3:20 pm: Studio 7

“Moving Public: A Model for Expanded Creative Engagement”
by Marc Berezowski,Simon Fraser University
Julie Cruse, Oberlin College
Pegge Vissicaro, Arizona State University

Three artist entrepreneurs bring diverse perspectives forward to envision and pilot a model for igniting creative impact by connecting artistic and public spaces. The model migrates transdisciplinary dance practices into public space and public activity into dance contexts, which socially transforms and frees creative engagement for participants across both domains. This panel, an experimental presentation, extends historical dance precedents exemplified by Anna Halprin, Judson Dance Theatre, and Alwin Nikolais who decentralized such binary conventions as performer/audience, expert/novice, and body/world. Today, digital cultures move beyond the influence of these and other revolutionaries by inhabiting open online spaces of invention and spontaneity embodied by popular and social media. Comparably, dance enacts somatic choice, physicalizing social and civic agency and empowering the whole person. An imagined future unites the liberating energy of dance with the dynamic space of public platforms to catalyze a paradigm of emergent creating, questioning, and interacting. Such expanded creativity collaboratively sustains, involves, and evolves the contemporary world.

MARC BEREZOWSKI’s passion with dance and with all the arts, in addition to his interest in education, has been a constant for 30 years, having been a dancer in several companies and a partner in outreach activities with, among others, Liz Lerman, Simon Fraser University, Arizona State University and the Arizona Commission for the Arts. He received his BFA from Simon Fraser University and his MFA from Arizona State University, which led to a three-year visiting assistant professor position in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance Department at Arizona State University West. Lately, his interest in dance and education has led him to be enrolled in the Arts Education PhD program at Simon Fraser University. Education at this advanced level has given Berezowski additional dance performance theory knowledge as it applies in context to Dance Education and Dance in Education. His research orbits around the culture of teaching dance and dance subjects from a post-formal lens. He has enjoyed teaching the EDUC 330 pedagogy class the last six years at Simon Fraser University, which was specifically developed to nurture and give confidence and competence to teachers and teachers in training when they teach the dance stream curriculum in the Public school system.

JULIE CRUSE designs and engages across media, arts, body, and learning. She is now Director and Designer of Digital Arts Co-Curricula at Oberlin College. Prior design work includes blended curricula for Arizona colleges, outreach campaigns for numerous entities, and embodied learning games at SMALLab (covered by The New York Times, CNN, etc.). She holds an M.A. in Media Arts and Sciences from Arizona State University and an M.F.A. in Dance-Technology from The Ohio State University. Frequently she presents at top-tier conferences, most recently CORD, Games+Learning+Society, and Emerge: Artists+Scientists Redesign the Future (reported in WIRED, Slate, and The New York Times). Latest credits include dancer for Liz Lerman, Susan Kozel, and Suguru Goto, and interactive musician for Merce Cunningham and Perry Cook. Distinctions span 20+ grants and honours for original art, academic merit, and entrepreneurship (NSF, OhioDance, etc). Her ventures have attracted partners from NYU, Sarah Lawrence College, and Columbia College.

Since 1983, Dr. PEGGY VISSICARO has been contributing to Arizona State University’s School of Dance as a movement artist, dance maker, curriculum developer, educator, researcher, and community leader. She facilitates courses for undergraduate and graduate students in movement, creative, and ethnographic practices. Vissicaro is a Fulbright Scholar and Specialist, directs her company terradance®, and is president of Cross-Cultural Dance Resources. Publications include her widely distributed text, Studying Dance Cultures around the World, a chapter in 2013 book, Age and Dancing, articles in the peer-reviewed journals Ethnic Studies Review, Australia New Zealand Dance Research Society, Multimedia Tools and Applications, and The Review of Human Factor Studies as well as numerous contributions to the Foundation for Community Dance magazine, Animated. Vissicaro has presented papers and lectures, taught master classes and conducted residencies in Ireland, Korea, Scotland, Portugal, France, Brazil, Canada, and throughout the United States.


Saturday, August 3, 2013


2:00 pm – 3:20 pm: Studio 7

“Discussing the Prime Tenets of Jazz Dance in Relationship to Current Practices”
by Vicki Adams-Willis, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks
Michele Dunleavy Penn State
Erinn Liebhard
Jeffrey Peterson, Muhlenberg College
Elizabeth Rhodes, Stephen F. Austin State University

Laura Smyth, Loyola Marymount University
Vicki St. Denys, Ryerson University

This panel of seven jazz-focused industry professionals will dialogue as a method for developing a shared understanding of how jazz dance is practiced in the 21st century. As jazz dance continues to rapidly evolve on stage, in television, film, written research and the classroom, the spectrum of sub-genres rooted in the form continues to expand. In order to establish a foundational understanding within this range, it is crucial to analyze and discuss the ways in which jazz dance is practiced and defined. The definition of jazz dance is perennially contested and often contingent on the style being practiced by the individual. Despite individual definitions, jazz dance styles do have a set of underlying foundations; this panel will work to define these similarities.

The panel will dissect the prime tenets of jazz dance, unpack the rationale behind and practice of the categorization of styles, and discuss how this information may be implemented in choreographic, scholarly and educational practices. Further, the panel will examine how jazz’s foundational concepts contribute to the continued mainstream appeal of its movement aesthetic and its position as a conduit of cultural knowledge. Panelists were carefully selected to represent consummate professional knowledge within a wide variety of approaches to jazz dance, and questions they will address include;

  • What do you perceive to be the prime tenets that define a dance practice as ‘jazz?’
  • How do these prime tenets translate within sub-categories of jazz dance?
  • How does your approach to jazz dance support practices used in other sub-categories?
  • How do the prime tenets of jazz motivate your creative, written and/or educational research?
  • How/ why do the foundational tenets of jazz provide for mainstream appeal and/ or cultural knowledge?
  • How can we encourage a positive approach to this dialogue among working dance professionals?

Having recognized the need to address this important topic, a handful of recent conferences (including NDEO) have presented panel discussions surrounding the current state of jazz dance. It is the goal of this panel to serve as a focused continuation of this important dialogue. It is crucial for the continued health of jazz dance that differences in definition and opinion are countered with efforts to promote shared foundational understanding. This discussion will encourage the continued health and growth of jazz dance, and deepen our scholarly and practical understanding of the form.
(Proposal co-written by Erinn Liebhard and Jeffrey Peterson.)

Headshot - Vicki AdamsVICKI ADAMS WILLIS carries on a family tradition that began when her mother opened one of the first dance schools in Calgary in the 1920’s. Besides teaching and choreographing for countless local and international organizations, including The School at Jacob’s Pillow, Vicki founded the Jazz Division in the Faculty of Fine Arts’ Program of Dance at the University of Calgary in 1978, and co-founded Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in 1984. where she continued her role as Artistic Director for 29 years. As DJD begins its 30th Anniversary celebrations, Vicki enthusiastically embraces her new role in the organization, Founder in Residence. Some of her numerous honours include the University of Calgary’s Superior Teacher Award, Global Television’s Women of Vision Award, The City of Calgary’s Community Achievement Award for the Arts, and an Alberta Centennial Medal. Vicki was also named one of the University of Calgary’s Top 40 Alumni, received the Established Artist Award at the 2009 Mayor’s Evening for Business and the Arts and was invited to write the 2013 National Dance Week message for the Canadian Dance Assembly.

Headshot - Michele DunleavyMICHALE DUNLEAVY’s work has been presented by numerous arts organizations including The Physical Theatre Project, Women’s Work Performing Arts Festival, Labco Dance, H20 Contemporary Dance, The Pittsburgh Dance Connection, and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and HATCH. Michele has danced with the Pittsburgh Opera, Junction Dance Theatre, Physical Theatre Project, DANA Movement Ensemble, ETCH Dance Co., and NYC based B3W. Michele is an Associate Professor of Dance at Penn State where she choreographs musicals and teaches Tap, Jazz, Improvisation, and Dance Appreciation. Recent projects include Cross Rhythms – an evening of interdisciplinary tap performance. Michele has served of the faculty at Point Park University, George Mason University, and the Catholic University of America. She is a member of SDC, the International Tap Association, and is the Northeast Regional Director of the American College Dance Festival Association.

Headshot - Erinn Liebhard Headshot - Photo by Jillian BellERINN LIEBHARD is a choreographer, performer, project coordinator, scholar and teacher passionate about jazz and American vernacular dance forms. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance from the University of Minnesota and is currently an M.F.A. Candidate in Dance at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Liebhard is the Artistic Director of Rhythmically Speaking, an organization supporting and presenting jazz and rhythm-driven dance in the Twin Cities, MN. She has presented choreography throughout the U.S. and Canada, and has trained and performed with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, the Eclectic Edge Ensemble, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Karla Grotting, Rennie Harris and Gesel Mason Performance Projects, Zoe Sealy of the former Minnesota Jazz Dance Company, and numerous other notable artists. She is currently a technique and academic course instructor at CU-Boulder.

JEFFREY PETERSON is Assistant Professor of Dance at Muhlenberg College where he teaches jazz, modern, and partnering. He holds an MFA in dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a BFA in dance from the University of Minnesota. Mr. Peterson began his professional career in national tours with JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski from 2000-2003. Since then, he has worked with Clare Byrne, Edisa Weeks, Stephan Koplowitz, and the The Minnesota Opera, among others. His choreographic work for Jeffrey Peterson Dance (JPD) blends jazz, modern, colorguard, and theater, often to arrive at social comment. JPD has been commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam’s In the Company of Men, Movement Research at Judson Church, and Rhythmically Speaking. His work has also appeared in the DanceNOW/NYC festival at Joe’s Pub and Joyce SOHO, The Minnesota Fringe Festival, Kinetic Kitchen, Intermedia Arts and the Bryant Lake Bowl, and Dixon Place.

Headshot - Libby RhodesELIZABETH RHODES is Co-director of Dance at Austin State University. Libby has performed on Broadway and in international tours. She is a three-time Fulbright award recipient to Panama, Bolivia, and France, where she taught jazz and musical theatre dance to conservatory students. She has served on the Dance peer review committee for the Council on International Exchange of Scholars and has presented papers at conferences hosted by the Congress on Research in Dance; the National Dance Education Association; and the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). Recognitions include being named the 2000 College/University Dance Educator of the Year by Southern District/AAHPERD and a 2004 Honor Award recipient by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Ms. Rhodes holds an MFA from Mills College and a BA in Theatre Arts/Dance Emphasis from Sonoma State University.

Headshot - Laura SmythLAURA ANN SMYTH is a Lecturer in Dance at Loyola Marymount University. She performs and trains in dance genres ranging from American modern to the African Diaspora. Her training has taken her across Canada, the United States ,and most recently to Port of Spain, Trinidad. Smyth received a BA from the University of Calgary in 2004, a Journalism Certificate from Mount Royal University in 2008, and completed her MFA in Dance at UC Irvine this past June 2012 where the focus of her thesis research was Jazz Dance of the African-American vernacular tradition. Smyth presented in Los Angeles at the NDEO Conference in 2012 on jazz dance and Language of Dance, and sat on a panel in Washington, DC at the IABD Conference in 2013 that discussed the state of concert dance today. Currently, Smyth is working with JazzAntiqua Dance and Music Ensemble of Los Angeles. This spring, Smyth will be working as a guest choreographer at Santa Monica College.

Headshot - Vicki St DenysVICKI ST. DENYS is Co-Director of Dance at Ryerson University, Toronto. Vicki teaches jazz, musical theatre, and choreographs annually for Ryerson Dances at Ryerson University. Her research, choreography, and teaching are centered on the evolution of jazz dance, its roots and influences, and its relationship to jazz music. She has toured internationally as a performer, teacher, and choreographer, and has been fortunate enough to choreograph for television, film, video, theatre, and opera. Recently, she choreographed and worked as dance consultant for the creation of a dance app for iPad. From 2000-2007 she taught jazz and choreographed for the prestigious dance program at The Banff Centre for the Arts, followed by 2 years as choreographer for the Opera as Theatre Program. In addition, Vicki has served as an assessor for the Canada Council for the Arts and holds an MA in Dance from York University.