Sunday, December 8, 2013

NDEO and Teacher Evaluations

It's been awhile since I have posted anything here. So just some thoughts on what has been going on the past two months.

First of all, the NDEO conference in Miami was amazing. lots of very interesting and high quality presentations and the panel I moderated on Men in Dance Education was very well attended and incredibly successful. Many of the workshops that I went to specifically addressing men and boy's issues in dance were very informative.

I also got to connect with many friends, colleagues, dance teachers, and dancing partners that I haven't seen in awhile. I took two movement classes. One on African Dance, which was exhilarating and humbling at the same time and one with the incredible dancer and teacher Lori Bellilove.

I didn't get to see much of Miami other that the downtown area, the bay, and Little Haiti but that is fine with me. I did get to see some of the Ironman competition which was going on just a few blocks from the hotel.

After an exhilarating and informative weekend I came back to teaching and Department of Education bureaucracy that includes the Common Core and the new Danielson Protocols for teacher evaluations. What a mess and how frustrating. The whole thing is just being rolled out in such a manner that it has everyone on edge. From teaching to the new standardized tests to being evaluated on the look of your classroom and the quality of your bulletin boards. Now I know these might be important but how about the "quality" of your teaching and not in 15 minute snippets or even one full period classroom observation, but your overall impact on the students and the school environment. It is just all so frustrating and seems to keep us doing tons of paper work that has little to do with the education of children.

More on these topics as the year unfolds and we get closer to our quality review. In the meantime here is a picture of many of the men who were in attendance this year at the NDEO conference.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

NDEO Conference 2013

The NDEO conference in Miami is just two weeks away. I will be there as both a participant and presenter. I am moderating a panel on Men in Dance Education. The panel consists of Barry Blumenfeld, Stafford C. Berry, Jr., William (Bill) Evans, John-Mario Sevilla, and Benny Simon, a current current graduate student in Dance Education at Steinhardt, NYU.

Men make up 52.9% of the workforce (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2010 American Community Survey) and 26.8% of the workers in education, training, and library occupations (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey) At this conference men will make up approximately 4% of attendees. Though it is considerable that fewer men in the field of dance education join the organization, the number is far below the national average for educational fields. We feel that we can safely infer that men are simply a small minority in dance education. Why is this when men make up a much larger percentage of professional dance companies? Where are the men going after they perform? Why do so few go into the field of dance education? What keeps those who pursue a dance education career in the field? How can we draw more men in to the field, and perhaps keep more boys dancing as well? 

The members of this panel comprise a diverse, multi-generational group of men in dance that offer insights into these questions and more. By drawing on their own experience as dancers, choreographers, and educators they provide a backdrop for a myriad of topics concerning men in dance and what the future may hold for this persistent and irrepressible minority within the world of dance education.

Check out the "Thumbs Up" about me and the NDEO panel in the NYSDEA newsletter. Go to this link and scroll down to the "Thumbs Up" section.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Come to one of these upcoming performances 
at the CoolNY Festival in Dumbo, Brooklyn
I will be performing my solo "Whisper" 
and a new duet with Lauren Naslund 
"For Kiki: An Artist's Life Remembered"
Check below for dates and times
Hope you can make it to one of the performances 
They are a lot of fun and have a fascinating variety 
of choreographers and performers  on every program.
See you there!!