The Dance Teacher As Artist Institute Graduates a New Cohort  of Dance Education Professionals in SC

The Dance Teacher As Artist Institute Graduates a New Cohort of Dance Education Professionals in SC

As we wrap up an intensive, invigorating, and rewarding week in Greenville, SC at the Dance Teacher As Artist (DTAA) Institute, which was funded by the SC State Department of Education in conjunction with Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project, I am in awe of the dedication that our South Carolina dance specialists, certified to teach K-12 dance education, have to their students, their schools, and their communities. Many came to us last weekend having just finished their school years within the last two to three days.  To prepare for the Institute, participants completed preliminary reading and writing for an introduction to the groundbreaking twenty-first century model of educational dance (developed by Brenda Pugh McCutchen, MFA). That model is transforming the way that teachers across the US and abroad approach dance in public schools. Upon arrival, participants jumped in with both feet for an intensive study of the six defining characteristics (6DC) of educational dance, which ensure that the dance curriculum in public schools is comprehensive, substantive, sequential, artistically-driven, contextually coherent, and inquiry-based.  The dance student is not only a dancer and performer (though this continues to be an important cornerstone), but is guided by the dance specialist to become a choreographer (creating and composing dance), a dance historian/anthropologist (knowing dance history, culture, and context), and a dance critic (analyzing and critiquing dance). Students learn and embody the vocabularies of dance, leading to literacy and fluency, in a curriculum that is student-centered to holistically educate the whole child. That is done with attention to the cognitive-intellectual, kinesthetic-motor, psychological-social, and aesthetic-artistic development of each child. Dr. Tina Curran and Ms....
40 Startling Facts That Will Totally Transform How You Look At Ballet

40 Startling Facts That Will Totally Transform How You Look At Ballet

We are reposting this article to give wide exposure to it.  It is informative and well-written and full of information that would answer the 40 likely questions you might want to know about classical ballet.  So if you have wondered what it is like to perform the magical feats you see on the stage, here is your opportunity.  Enjoy. Brenda Pugh McCutchen, dba Dance Curriculum Designs, Columbia, SC   Ballet is a beloved art form that has been around for centuries and remained a popular part of culture. But there’s much about it that lots of people do not know. Here, then, we reveal some of the most surprising facts about the dance and the ballerinas that regularly perform it.   A lot of work goes into creating a tutu The tutus that ballerinas wear for their performances take a lot of time and energy to make. In fact, they each involve 300 feet of material, take around four days of work to produce and can cost as much as $2,000 to own. And the high prices all adds up because dancers get through up to 150 tutus in their careers.   Ballerinas get through two or three pairs of shoes each week One of the biggest costs in ballet is the shoes. Ballerinas typically go through pointe shoes at a rate of three a week. Sometimes, a pair won’t even last a night for a principal dancer in a production such as Swan Lake. The Ballet Theatre in Pittsburgh once revealed that it spends $100,000 each year on just shoes for its dancers.   No performance is ever the same Dancers...
Heartfelt Congratulations on Culminating The 2018-19 School Year!

Heartfelt Congratulations on Culminating The 2018-19 School Year!

“Heartfelt Congratulations on Culminating The 2018-19 School Year!” May 15, 2019 Guest Blog by Tressa Oswalt     Congratulations! Most of you are getting close to the close of another school term – hopefully, a successful one. We at Dance Curriculum Designs (DCD), know the feelings. Happy, but exhausted. Confident, but contemplative. Ready for the end, but already mapping out the next beginning. This is the time you look back on your year, your semester, or your quarter and congratulate yourself on your good teaching, student growth, and curricular goals met…..and contemplate what could be done better.   We, at DCD, feel you. It’s why we are here. Providing the materials and ensuring that dance is taught as ART is our lifeblood and our mission. Our quest is to make this easier and more effective for every dedicated teacher of dance. We believe in our arts education products and know that they make dance teaching easier and more focused, offering more ways to meet required dance standards. We are working to finalize more teaching kits for K-12 and post-secondary,  and are excited about upcoming products to be introduced in 2019. So as you conclude this term and look ahead to the next, look at our proven materials and consider using them to guide you in designing and teaching your dance curriculum. Please feel free to message us through the Contact page on this website or call to ask questions. We are here to serve you and your students as you move forward to the next term.     Tressa Oswalt is the graphic designer at Dance Curriculum Designs.  She is...
An NDEO Moment at the 2017 National Conference

An NDEO Moment at the 2017 National Conference

A NDEO Moment at the 2017 National Conference   By Cyndi Wellborn November 19, 2017 Although Brenda McCutchen was unable to attend the 2017 National Dance Education Organization conference in San Antonio Texas recently, that didn’t stop Dance Curriculum Designs from making an impact on the attendees. Dance Curriculum Designs supplied over 800 color copies of Brenda’s newly designed poster, “Take a Moment to Dance”, as part of attendees’ conference gift bags.  Tina Curran sent a photo of the conference bag and poster.   Kristina Walton (L) and Lisa Herlinger-Thompson (Rt) show off their posters with some serious movements after a fun day at the conference as they “take a moment to dance.”     Blogger: Cyndi Wellborn is the office manager of Dance Curriculum Designs, in Columbia, SC. She is the reason the posters arrived safely and in time to be put into the NDEO conference gift bags. She is also the reason that DCD products arrive in the hands of those who are awaiting their orders.   Brenda Pugh McCutchen Dance Curriculum Designs Columbia, SC ...
“The Value of a Well-Rounded Education” and How It Impacts Dance Education

“The Value of a Well-Rounded Education” and How It Impacts Dance Education

The Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) makes for a brighter future by broadening the perspective about what it takes to educate a child in today’s schools.  That expansion bodes well for education which has unintentionally languished through the years of the No Child Left Behind law (NCLB).  Now that ESSA repeals the narrowly-focused NCLB, the value of arts education is re-emphasized. Dance education is particularly vulnerable during this transition.  Here is why. To add dance just for the sake of diversifying the curriculum is insufficient. To create performance-driven dance programs narrows the curriculum by allocating too many educational minutes to performance preparation. While they are entertaining, overemphasis on showcases diminishes the key content and experiences that afford a complete education in all artistic processes. The goal of ESSA is to provide a well-rounded education which includes dance. But unless dance re-envisions what a well-rounded dance education means, dance will become nothing more than a satellite to the core curriculum.  Its performance-driven emphasis will prevent it from achieving the criteria that would make it educational.  That would be a shame for everyone. Now is the opportune time to redesign the old 20th century model of performance-driven dance in K-12 in favor of a well-rounded education in dance.  To expand the traditional one-dimensional “steps and styles” emphasis into an inclusive multi-dimensional emphasis is necessary if dance is to achieve educational integrity.  Expansion of our horizons for the sake of a broader dance literacy will require a systemic change in how dance specialists are prepared as undergraduates in higher education, in how dance is taught in the schools, in how dance specialists...