A Peek Inside Our New DEL Institute

A Peek Inside Our New DEL Institute

Reporting out from DEL’s Year-Long Teacher Certificate Program for Dance Educators


From DEL Institute Director, Ann Biddle: 

The DEL Institute Teacher Certificate participants are a phenomenal group of committed and passionate dance educators who have dedicated this year to their professional development.

It has been wonderful getting to know this cohort! I have already been fortunate to have them as students in two DEL courses in early 2022 — DELving into Dance History: Roots of Jazz Dance and DEL Dance + Civics. Their engagement was palpable.

It is inspirational how they are accumulating new knowledge and understanding as they progress through the DEL Institute, and they have already started applying the DEL pedagogy into diverse teaching/learning environments.

These are the new leaders in dance education… This immersive and transformative experience is definitely generating new and innovative instructional practices for our field!

It has also been wonderful to hear how DEL Institute participants are building professional friendships with each other through our program!

I’m honored to meet with each student one-on-one for coaching sessions designed to support them along their journey. Each person’s unique vision for dance education is deeply inspiring to me, and I’m thrilled to see how DEL can provide a framework for each person’s specific teaching context.

DEL Institute students shared some reflections with us after attending DELving into Dance History: Roots of Jazz at Jacob’s Pillow.

It’s clear how deeply they are investigating their own teaching practices in relation to the course material, and how applicable these courses are in their professional approach day-to-day:

This [course] helps me to understand the evolution of the dance form, but it also allows me to look closer at the social, political, economic, and historical factors that influenced the evolution of the form. I sincerely appreciated learning about the similar reckoning that is occurring in the Lindy Hop community, because I myself am still learning – daily – how colonization, commercialization, and capitalism show up in dance. As someone who teaches Dance History it’s important that I recognize the systems at play and continue to show up and do the work.” –Danielle Lydia Sheather

I have a responsibility to engage with jazz, Lindy, and other Black dance forms wisely, in ways that support the original roots and culture that nurtured these styles.” –Andrea Homer-Macdonald

I no longer will allow practitioners of these various art styles to be hidden figures.” –Tanjarae Porter

I love how the DEL model has us viewing dance through a multitude of lenses to help give us broader knowledge and perspective.” –Sher Levesque

I was able to walk away with pedagogical approaches to incorporate into my teaching and curriculum.” –Kaitlin Szczesny

These workshops are making me think about how I might be more intentional with lifting up specific elements of movement technique while honoring those that came before me, but also in increasing the level of dance and curriculum integration that is happening in the room.” –Valerie Branch