Our History

Jody Gottfried Arnhold founded the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) in 1995 at the 92nd Street Y, with Joan Finkelstein as Founding Director and Ann Biddle as Founding Faculty. These three visionaries saw a need for a practical and accessible professional learning program in dance education. Since its inception, DEL has provided a welcoming and inclusive community that nurtures and supports professional learning across the lifespan. DEL’s comprehensive curriculum equips dance educators with the tools they need to succeed in the dance classroom.

L to R: Ann Biddle (Director, DEL Institute), Jody Gottfried Arnhold (DEL Founder), Erin Lally (Director, DEL). Photo Credit Whitney Browne

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™

Photo Credit: John Suhar

DEL Provides

The Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) offers a variety of dance education programs including in-person and online courses, workshops, special events, and a summer intensive experience for dance educators.

The DEL Institute – Teacher Certificate Program, launched in 2022, offers dance educators access to a year-long teacher certificate program that includes one-on-one coaching, mentoring, and a final practicum.

All DEL courses align with the New York City Department of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Grades K-12 and the National Core Arts Standards in Dance.

DEL Model

Rooted in innovative and current educational philosophies, the DEL model is an inclusive and accessible framework designed to be applied in a wide variety of dance education contexts for all learners and practitioners in dance education.

Banner Image Photo Credit: Danica Paulos
"The DEL programs have opened up a new set of pathways for my artistic and professional expression and I am grateful for their 'right-on' educational philosophy and commitment to dance and children and educators."
Jill Liflander
DEL Student