More than 100 dance educators and students from across the state will arrive at UNCG this Saturday, Feb. 27, for “Connecting Across Carolinas: Energizing Dance Education,” the inaugural North Carolina Dance Education Organization (NCDEO) annual conference.
Organized by UNCG Professor of Dance Education and NCDEO President Dr. Mila Parrish, the one-day conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at UNCG’s Coleman Building.
With 16 breakout sessions covering a wide range of topics – from ballet to dance technology to contemporary African dance – the event has something for everyone.
“North Carolina is a large state with incredible arts in education programs in the schools. However, in dance, we do not have adequate professional development opportunities for our teachers,” Parrish said. “This conference is an opportunity for all dance educators and dance teachers in training to participate in a day of experiential learning and skill development with some of the top dance professionals in the state.”
UNC Charlotte’s E.E. Balcos, a professional modern dance performer and choreographer who has performed nationally and internationally, and East Carolina’s Teal Darkenwald, founder of a conditioning program used by dancers across the nation, are among the dance professionals who will lead the sessions.
The conference includes keynote addresses by UNCG Professor Emeritus Dr. Sue Stinson and Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis, widely recognized as one of the nation’s foremost teachers and choreographers of traditional African dance.
According to Parrish, the conference isn’t just for educators.
“This is an incredible networking opportunity for students,” she said.
NCDEO serves as the state affiliate of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), an advocacy organization for dance education that provides professional development, networking forums, honor societies, journals, research and advocacy for teachers.
Parrish, who knew the value of having a state affiliate from her time at Arizona State University, helped launch NCDEO in August. The organization, which is based in Greensboro, has nearly 150 members.
Conference registration remains open until Feb. 27. The registration fee ranges from $35 to $100 depending on NDEO membership status and eligibility for the discounted student rate.
For more information and to view the conference schedule, visit ncdeo.org.
To learn more about UNCG’s Department of Dance visit, performingarts.uncg.edu/dance.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations