Brenda Pugh McCutchen

2013 Website Bio pic 2Brenda Pugh McCutchen, M.F.A. Dance, is now a US dance education consultant with national and international clients.  Through Dance Curriculum Designs McCutchen directs her work to K-12 and higher education to improve dance education, increase dance literacy, expand curricula, and guide professional development.  An advocate for holistic educational dance, she takes schools from performance-driven, entertainment-oriented programs to more integrated, substantial arts education models.  McCutchen’s ensures that dance is taught at the same level of integrity as music and visual arts education.  These beliefs drive her to create innovative studio-classroom materials which integrate conceptual understanding with skill development.  NDEO endorses McCutchen’s teacher resources which are now used in classrooms throughout the USA and other parts of the world.

McCutchen earned an M.F.A. in dance from the University of NC at Greensboro and studied at the Nikolais-Louis Dance Theatre Lab in NYC ever grateful for the tutelage of Alwin Nikolais and Phyllis Lamhut.  She was professor of dance at Winthrop University, Furman University, and Columbia College of SC.  Professional leadership animates her background:  a K-12 dance educator,  a dance artist-in-residence,  a choreographer-performer, a statewide arts education director/administrator, pioneering dance professor, and a dance education professor.  These key roles generated the experiences and insights which inform her teaching and consulting today.  She is known to be practical and holistic, able to relate on many levels. McCutchen raises the bar on dance as art in K-16 education in varied ways: providing holistic teacher resources, teacher workshops, curriculum development, consulting, and program review.  

 McCutchen’s widely-used textbook, Teaching Dance as Art in Education (Human Kinetics, 2006), is recognized as the premier foundation text for universities who prepare and certify K-12 dance specialists.  It is also widely used in the field of professional development in dance education. 

McCutchen gives teachers access to holistic instructional resources that impact education in a powerful way.  Her cutting-edge teacher resource kits–which turn the textbook’s insights into posters and creative catalysts in the classroom–are a new breed of teaching tools in dance.  They kick daily instruction up to the next level:  to inform, inspire, and integrate dance’s artistic processes with what teachers are teaching.  The combination engages learners in unforgettable ways.   Students with these new insights  better create, perform, respond, and connect to historic and cultural contexts.    McCutchen materials instill what is most enduring about dance: the dance elements, the four-step critique process, the choreographic principles, processes, and structures, and dance’s essential questions.    Her mission is to ensure that dance earns the respect it deserves in education.

For a complete vitae, please contact and see our blog, “What Drives Brenda Pugh McCutchen?”


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For more than a decade Dance Curriculum Designs™ has been creating fine quality dance resources that universities and schools need to build lasting dance literacy and necessary skills. DCD offers teachers and professors inspired materials that form core content, increase understanding in dance, and demonstrate why dance is vital to one’s education. DCD believes good teachers need great resources that solidify dance’s essential principles and processes for students of all ages. That philosophy drives DCD to create the best materials possible to guarantee conceptual clarity, increase artistic skills, and ensure practical, broad-based dance literacy.  The dance education resources on this site produce well-rounded, literate, and highly educated students of dance from elementary through college.

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  • Now, key concepts from the foundations textbook, Teaching Dance as Art in Education (Human Kinetics: 2006) present themselves as vibrant teacher materials that go straight into the classroom. The Teacher Toolkit Series kits are packed with resources to enliven the most vital aspects of each dance cornerstone. Contents in each toolkit translate dance’s core concepts into high impact learning experiences and skills.  Some tools are content and others are catalysts to activate a creative learning environment sparkling with critical and creative thinking. These inquiry-based materials resonate immediately with university professors and dance specialists alike.
  • Each toolkit’s broad-based concepts move students forward and keep them growing year after year by building complexity and depth that sharpen their understanding and perception. Thus, “The Ultimate” version of each toolkit continues to advance a child from fifth grade all the way through college dance courses. Pretty awesome. 
  • With each new product DCD demonstrates a commitment to not only keep pace with the latest advancements in dance education but to keep a step ahead of the field to supply futuristic ways of teaching. 
  • All of our teaching materials synergistically support each other to build a contextually coherent learning plateform that supports what you teach in technique, composition, analysis, and integrated learning through dance.  If you want to advance all types of dance inquiry as listed in the new standards–from the perspectives of the dancer, the choreographer, the dance historian, and the critic, look no further.  Our dance resources bolster all you teach related to performng, creating, connecting, and responding to dance.
  • The product line is growing to increase support your teaching needs.