CDEA Reports – Update on our recent day conference with essential member news.
Spring Into Action
After a fantastic February day conference, March is a great month for reflecting on new beginnings as spring comes to life. As an organization we are springing into action with advocacy efforts at the state level and organizational planning on the home front. March is also particularly special for college dance programs in California that will be attending ACDA’s Baja Regional Conference at CSU Long Beach. Formerly ACDFA, the American College Dance Association, will be hosting a meeting on the repeatability issues at community college program. It is serving as an important time for intersegmental conversation to aid students in their transfer process. I hope to see you there!
On Behalf of CDEA, Beth Megill (SoCal President)
CDEA Day Conference
by Beth Megill
Last month’s incredible day conference at Loyola Marymount University was a solid affirmation of the recent rejuvenation of CDEA as an organization. Buoyed by a troupe of 17 passionate LMU dance students, LMU faculty members Teresa Heiland and Paige Porter lead the day with great finesse and professionalism. Offering a variety of classes and sessions, the schedule was both rich and varied, and featured an informative keynote address by Jack Mitchell from California’s Department of Education. Creative minds were stimulated, passionate spirits were ignited, and determined advocacy efforts were renewed. CDEA is on a roll and the future is bound to hold great things for dance education across the state.
One of the most exciting aspects of the conference was the activity and energy brought by our student volunteers. Teresa Heiland recently established an honors chapter for her dance students through NDEO, and used this event to demonstrate how student involvement is a key to the success of a powerful arts organization. The students ran everything from the registration desk, to the video and photo capture, tech set up, to the introductions of each guest teacher. This of course required a good deal of modeling and support on behalf of Heiland and Porter, but the success of the event is a testament to the power of an organized and invested group of like minded individuals who know that together, they can make a difference.
The member meeting closed the day with some essential information about current issues and next steps for CDEA. After I gave a brief welcome, I discussed our increased activity and involvement as an organization. The goal of increasing our membership so we can better represent all dance educators at the state level remains our biggest mission. The idea behind this goal is to come to state arts education discussions with a stronger voice and more political power. Our recent elections have resulted in our most robust greater board to date. These board members have been charged with growing our membership through various membership drives, improved e-communications, and a useful bank of resources for our members.
Unfortunately, the president elect for Southern California could not accept her position, and, therefore, we are still in need of a president elect for the SoCal region. This is an essential next step for our organization, and you might very well be the one to take on the charge.
Our advocacy efforts are in full swing, with NorCal President Jessy Kronenberg sitting in on CREATE California meetings and essential discussion with the other state arts organizations in regards to credential efforts. I have been busy working with the California Arts Project on new resources for arts educators regarding recent and upcoming LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) discussions for k-12 programs across the state. I will also be working with Kathryn Milostan Egus to facilitate discussions and planning on community college repeatability. A meeting will be held at the ACDA festival this month at CSU Long Beach. Please stay tuned for exact date and time.
Lastly, we want to invite all of our members to become more involved with CDEA in some capacity, for we believe that only together will we be able to make the change we want to see in our dance education programs. As an example, please consider hosting a local CDEA breakfast. This is an informal gathering ideally held once monthly for members to connect as friends and colleagues while talking shop over a good meal. These are not formal meetings, but have proven an effective tool in sharing information and bolstering our spirits.
You may also consider becoming more active on social media. If you already have a twitter account, hop on and see what is going on with CDEA and the California arts education scene. Share a great article or just listen in for news.
Joining a team to help with membership growth is another way to both become more informed and empowered. Or, perhaps you love to write and would like to contribute to this CDEA News monthly. We would love to have your voice represented! There are also teams for writing white papers (position papers about dance education), organizing upcoming events, and planning for the national conference this fall.
There are so many ways to become involved! Together we can do it. Join a team today and we shall see the changes tomorrow!