Travel Grant 2011-12: Teresa Heiland

Teresa Heiland, Dance

National Dance Education Organization: Focus on Dance Education — Collaborations: Different Identities, Mutual Paths
October 19-23, 2011
Minneapolis, MN

Nature/Type of the Event

The NDEO conference is where dancers discuss teaching and learning. NDEO aims to support scholarship of teaching and learning in all facets of a dancer's education. We discuss the ideas, tools, people, and practices that take us in new directions, but keep student learning at the center of teaching?

Relevance of Event for Applicant's Teaching, the Applicant's Involvement in the Event, and Expected Learning or Outcome

Through my research on writing and dance notation and literature reviews on second language acquisitions, multiliteracies (New London Group), and various other educational theories, I have been building frameworks for what dance literacy means and how we can teach toward literacy in dance. Because of my focus in dance education toward literacy (both with dance notation and writing in English), I was asked by a colleague to serve on an hour long panel about literacy because we believe the field of dance is in dire need of support in this area—plus I have a good deal of expertise. I was also asked by the NDEO Research Committee to attend a dance education frameworks think tank. There is resistance in my field to adopting language that will create consistency across our curricula from Kindergarten through higher education. I was asked to join this discussion because of my literacy background. Because I am becoming more recognized for my expertise, I have become more confident in my own research and am now part of a network of educators who are working to shape pedagogical theory. At LMU, I teach "Principles of Teaching Dance" and am currently researching an "Independent Study" course that bridges dance notation and performance. Each interaction I have at NDEO strengthens my understanding of what to do and how to research what I do. The final influence is that I am being encouraged by NDEO colleagues to start a journal of dance literacy research, which I have been discussing with Elias Wondimu at LMU. Step by step my ideas are starting to be absorbed and supported at LMU and across the country. Going to NDEO conferences is becoming more and more valuable to me as I meet members and they reveal their belief in my work at LMU.

Travel Report

The NDEO conference provides opportunity for educators to become informed, involved, and instrumental in shaping the future of the dance education by providing opportunities, networks, and systematic reflection on teaching and learning.

  1. I was invited to a special meeting posing the question of whether dance education should establish a set of terms and frameworks that all educators should be using;
  2. I attended a meeting on jazz dance that delved into the nature of universities being biased against teaching African-American based dance forms in higher education;
  3. I presented two papers, one that examined imagery application in dance pedagogy and the other explored dance literacy. Both of these brought up many questions about what should be taught and how we should shape pedagogy to achieve desired outcomes.

This conference is the prime resource for dance educators to stay informed of best practices, teaching experimentation, and educational policy. NDEO has the power to make change and implement educational policy, so attending is recommended for anyone interested in dance education theory, practice, policy, or educational research.