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....