CDEA Elections – CDEA wants your input on the 2015 Executive and Greater Board Members.
Keeping it “Real” – Wendy Jones explores authentic movement with her company members.
Giving Back – Andrea Hansen (1 of 3 Scholarship recipients) reminisces on her experience at the NDEO conference.
Happy New Year
As we welcome in the New Year and new semesters, CDEA is pleased to announce another window of opportunity for our members. January is the election month for CDEA and this year we have open positions on both the Executive and Greater Boards. Please see the announcement on the next page and consider submitting your nomination today. With all of the recent forward momentum of the organization, we have plans to expand the activity of our general board in 2015 with a central goal of building our membership overall! Exciting times and fresh starts are on their way.
On Behalf of CDEA, Beth Megill (SoCal President)
2015 CDEA Board Nominations
Nomination period for CDEA Executive Board and Greater Board members is officially open.
Nomination Period: January 1th – 14th
Voting begins January 20th and polls close January 31st at midnight Pacific Time.
Positions will be announced February 1st.
All positions begin Feb 7th
Greater Board Welcome Meeting will be held February 7th 3:00pm- 4:30pm.
ALL Greater Board Positions are OPEN
Greater Board Commitments
- Sat, Feb 7th 3-4:30 GB conference call
- 90 Min training with Exec Advisor – phone or in person (before March 1st)
- Check ins as needed (minimum monthly) with Exec Advisor
- Sat, Sept 12th 3‐4:30 pm GB conference call
- Attendance to regional meetings as scheduled (minimum 1 per year)
- Active recruitment for CDEA events
- 1-2 Contributions to blog or CDEA News
Term: Positions are held for 1 year and at the end of that year the candidate has the choice to keep the position for an additional year without holding an election.
Greater Board Open Positions
Open Position — (Exec Advisor)
Liaison Dance/Arts Organization — (B. Megill)
E-Communications/Technology Director — (B. Megill)
Liaison Secondary Ed (Nor and So) — (J. Kronenberg)
NHSDA Representatives (Nor and So) — (J. Kronenberg)
Member Relations Director — (K. Kusanovich)
Liaison Elementary/Middle Ed — (B. Megill)
Executive Board Open Positions
President‐Elect (SoCal) OPEN (SoCal Only)
Term 1 year (likely followed by 2 year presidential term)
Term 1 year (Option to renew without election for additional year)
Keeping It “Real”
Teaching intention and performance quality in high school.
by Wendy Jones
As an artist, I create what I feel, experience, and research. And sometimes what helps heal.
As a high school teacher, my job is to use original choreography as a means to educate, challenge, and inspire.
Combining these missions isn’t always straightforward. I’m sensitive to not being too personal or forcing my feelings into a format that wouldn’t serve my students’ educational goals. But what I’ve realized is that students thrive on the energy in the material without needing the specific personal context. They interpret the themes their own way.
During a recent dance company rehearsal, I asked my dancers for their interpretation of the dance’s themes. They answered with synonymous concepts: “leaves and seasons changing” and “the circle of life”, among others.
From my perspective, the piece I was creating was about the loss of my mother. Soon after she passed away I was back to school and had to face the year. It was hard to focus and felt disconnected to my thoughts and feelings. Dancing about it is the only thing I knew to help me understand what I was experiencing. I wanted to dance about how I felt during her last weeks of life.
But who wants to give that kind of dark feeling to someone else, especially my student dancers? I had to figure out how to create honest material without pulling them into my sad and confused world.
The movement phrases combined frantic and angular movements inspired by the thought of what brain activity might look like when frustrated or stressed. At the time I created the movement, I was frustrated by how helpless I felt with my mom’s condition.
I then asked the dancers to create duets without touch using the material I gave them. One dancer danced the phrase while the other dancer created movement “helping” their partner. They also generated motifs that stemmed from a reaction they had when learning about a friend or family member in distress. As I began to piece the dance together and tell my story the dancers showed the vulnerability and uncertainty I was feeling. The music and movement underscored the topsy turvy world I was living in.
When it was time to talk to the dancers about the intention and feeling, I found myself torn with the decision to whether or not to tell them the story behind the piece. That was when I decided to ask them what they thought it was about before sharing this personal experience.
Sitting in a circle, raising their hands one by one, they described the piece as “dreamlike” and about “the leaves and seasons changing,” “the circle of life,” “brain activity,” and “people struggling during different events in their life.”
The dancers in my company, who mostly Lowell sophomores and juniors who bring academic intensity to everything they do, gave me great insight to how they interpret movement and how they felt dancing their parts.
They may not have the original context, but they’ll frame it in their own way in a way that is just as authentic to the feeling. I plan to tell my students the original story by the end of the year, but the result of these discussions is a deeper piece that both they and I have more profound connections with. With this project, I realized that it is possible to use my personal experiences as a source for my artistic voice while protecting the emotions of my students. It also challenged me to rethink how I and my collaborators think of the true meaning of the piece. And, finally: Can there be one true, unified goal for our hybrid as choreographers, educators and dancers?
My mom was a dance teacher herself and when I felt down she’d tell me to “dance it out”. It’s true, choreography helps me heal but my dancers are also part of that process. Hearing the beautiful analogy of falling leaves and the changing of the seasons has comforted me in my time of grief.
CDEA Scholars Share
One of three recipients who attended the NDEO conference last fall!
by Andrea Hansen
Thank you CDEA for the opportunity to attend the NDEO Conference this year! The generous grant provided complimentary conference registration and aided in enhancing my motivation to bring a greater dance experience to my hometown of Bakersfield, Ca. The conference produced a wealth of new knowledge and also served as a firm foundation for networking.
For four days straight, dance educators inspired by unveiling their expertise and research in the form of presentations, workshops, breakout sessions, and technical dance training. I could not be more proud as I watched my friends moderate a panel for their most recent book, Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches. I enjoyed sipping on wine as I sat stimulated by my fellow California Dance Educators providing suggestions on how we can strengthen our great state. I gleamed from ear to ear sitting in the hotel bar mingling with past colleagues and new friends. The sight of Thom Cobb, NDEO President, hugging and shaking hands with everyone that passed his table was especially heartwarming! I felt immediate satisfaction chatting with my FIRST dance teacher, who now directs the United States Royal Academy of Dance, and I was moved watching a private rehearsal of The Joffrey Ballet working with Stanton Welch.
For the first time, I attended the NDEO Conference on behalf of myself, instead of representing an organization. It was difficult to explain to others that I was there as JUST “Andrea”, not Andrea from ‘said’ University or ‘said’ Non-Profit. Within this level of discomfort, I began to consider networking and how first impressions truly make an everlasting impact.
Recently, I have enjoyed blogging about dance. My blog links different topics of life by utilizing dance as the platform. Upon considering my NDEO networking experience, I chose to compare dance and networking. “Dancing Networks” discusses HOW networking transpires and HOW it sustains.
I envision networking just as I see dancing…organized chaos with satisfactory results. It takes time to sum up the nerves to dance, just as it does to walk up to someone and introduce yourself. Once it begins, it is all you can do to keep the flow and pace. Once it ends, you must muster up the strength to do it all over again. Nobody said dancing was easy; you have to work at it…just like networking! – Dancing Networks, www.danceandrea.com, November 2014
It was apparent during most of my NDEO networking experiences that the “dance” was less work, however; I can’t help but think how many of my other experiences definitely needed some fine-tuning! NDEO certainly provided a great foundation for networking and I was pleased that I was able to make so many new contacts in a few short days.
The NDEO Conference opens up the realm of dance by allowing dance educators to access new research, participate in work shops, and network with contacts that will serve as future references. As an artist and educator, it is important to be knowledgeable of the constant changing trends in the dance world. NDEO’s 2014 cCnference provided educational subject matter that I have been able to share with my fledgling Bakersfield dance community. I am beyond thankful for the support of CDEA to attend this year’s conference and look forward to future programming with newly established networks!