November 5, 2023


By Brenda Pugh McCutchen


“The Place That Dance Curriculum Designs Now Calls Home”


(written to share a rare video event)



Many of you who follow Dance Curriculum Designs know that due to an extreme case of hypersensitivity to pesticides (aka Environmental Illness) in 2016, I had to evacuate my home/office in central SC.  Previously I had customized my home with an optimal office space to write, create, design literacy-based teaching toolkits and other standards-aligned resources to support dance teachers in articulating (and instilling) the many core concepts in dance’s artistic processes. What a great place it was to work. I was in heaven there, before it abruptly ended.


So, not only was I displaced from my home, that upheaval also destabilized Dance Curriculum Designs and sidetracked my ability to create and write the toolkits and the two textbooks I was working on. My assistant brilliantly took all the in-print toolkits and teacher resources to her basement and kept the company going as I recovered.  I eventually found an organic house 125 miles away in the SC mountains with fresh air, no pesticides, and carefully preserved Cherokee Indian heritage and artifacts. 

This special place with 7.5 acres of hardwoods is beautiful year round, but especially in autumn.  It seems to be a place where creativity can blossom again.


All of this background prefaces a recent surprise that took place in this mountain backdrop of “almost autumn.” I want to share it.  It’s an uninhibited improvisation, which gives a rare glimpse into the playfulness of wild bears which few get to see.  My video catches an unrehearsed duet by two yearling bear cubs—obviously siblings—who were “totally in the moment,” unaware of anyone watching. The stage was my front yard at 8:30 a.m.  Enjoy the view from the window of Dance Curriculum Designs’ new home.



Brenda Pugh McCutchen, author of Teaching Dance as Art in Education; Toolkits: Viewing Dance, Creating Dance, Composing Dance; and choreographic stanza books Choreographic Impulses, Dragonfly Diamantes. She created “Dance Curriculum Designs” in 2000 to increase dance literacy and promote holistic, artistically-driven educational dance in K-12 and higher education.