Our Story

Jody Gottfried Arnhold founded Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) in 1995, with Joan Finkelstein as Founding Director and Ann Biddle as Founding Faculty. These three visionaries saw a need for a practical and focused dance pedagogy program outside of a university setting. An experimental laboratory, DEL is a safe place for new and experienced dance teachers to enhance their skills, develop sequential curriculum, and learn from one another. For over twenty-five years, DEL has been training and supporting the work of dance educators, equipping the teachers of today with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.

Why DEL?

DEL offers a variety of dance education courses: weekend workshops, intensives, and a summer institute for educators and artists interested in developing as dance educators. Foundations in Dance Education is the first course that DEL recommends for new students. All DEL courses align with the New York City Department of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Grades K-12. The approach is built on Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), a language and system developed by Rudolf Laban. The LMA vocabulary provides a mode of clear communication, in addition to guiding unit and lesson planning. Course topics include technique, improvisation, composition, classroom management, conflict resolution, dance history, and anatomy.
Through SUNY Empire State College, DEL provides undergraduate and graduate college credit. DEL also provides professional development for the New York City Department of Education.
DEL is a program of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center. 92Y is a world-class center that connects people to the worlds of education, the arts, health, and wellness and Jewish life.

DEL Mission Statement


DEL inspires dance educators to engage in creative, transformational, and ongoing professional learning centered in the artistry of teaching and focused on humanistic principles of equity and justice. DEL provides an inclusive, nurturing, and dynamic laboratory where dancers and educators from diverse communities gather to experience embodied exploration and discovery, collaborative dance making, culturally responsive practices, and collective self reflection.

DEL…art at the heart of teaching™