2023 DEL Lab Schools Recipients

Congratulations to the 2023 DEL Lab School Recipients!

We are thrilled to honor 12 dance educators for their innovative and inspiring work in dance education. The DEL Lab School initiative is designed to acknowledge and celebrate dance educators who are bringing the DEL Model to life in their unique teaching contexts. These 12 recipients are teachers at public schools, private schools, universities, and private studios, working with students from Pre-K through adulthood. We extend our utmost gratitude to these educators for actively making “Dance for Every Child” a reality! 
Read on to learn more about each 2023 DEL Lab School recipient. 

Learn more about how to become acknowledged as a DEL Lab School

Barry Blumenfeld, K-5

Friends Seminary

Early in Barry’s dance training, he was selected to take a workshop taught by Gregory Hines. Greg’s message in that class was “be expressive”, and that has inspired Barry for almost three decades. Those two words have rooted in his psyche and fostered the life-long belief in the power of dance to be a means of understanding the self, the world and the relationship between them.

Randa Broughton, 9-12

Edward R. Murrow High School

Presently Randa teaches courses ranging from Introduction to Dance to Dance Kinesiology for grades 9-12 at Edward R. Murrow High School. Murrow is a large community of over 4000 individuals with a strong performing and visual arts focus. At the heart of each teaching opportunity Randa believes a student’s creative impulse drives the learning environment. Embodying the conversation between a student’s creative energy and the inquiry process builds a collaborative classroom where each voice resonates

Tina Christina-Price, K-5

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

Ms. P has an inclusive classroom where students of all abilities enjoy dance making experiences. It’s amazing to watch groups of students laughing and smiling as they work on task solving activities. It’s a creative experience that has a remarkable impact on our students.

Deborah Damast, K-5


Deborah Damast has been teaching children and adults in numerous environments for 35 years and has mentored future teachers for 20 years at both NYU and the Dance Education Laboratory. She aims to create learning spaces in dance that center joy, humor, resilience and reflection where everyone can participate in a fulfilling and enriching experience.

Daria Fitzgerald, 3K and PreK

92NY Nursery School

Daria Fitzgerald teaches early childhood dance classes through 92NY’s Nursery School, Parenting Center, and Harkness Dance Center. Daria is also a DEL Pre-K Create coach, assistant director of Kids Do Dance at The Yard, associate director of the Arnhold NYU Steinhardt/Global Visiting Scholar Summer Workshop, and a teaching artist in New York City Public Schools and the JCC. Daria believes that every child is an artist with an important point of view, and it is the responsibility of their teachers and families to nurture and affirm their creativity while giving them tools to expand their skills.

Christina Fontanarosa, K-5

PS 243 Weeksville School

Christina Fontanarosa works at P.S 243 Weeksville School in the historic Weeksville neighborhood. She teaches grades PreK-5. Fontanarosa’s teaching is informed by the Danielson Framework and Laban Method. Her “Teacher’s Heart” is based in radical empathy.

Catherine Gallant, K-5

PS 89

Catherine Gallant has been teaching at PS 89 in Lower Manhattan since 1998 when she created the dance program with an emergent curriculum directly inspired by the DEL model.

Melinda Kasal-Canty

!ACCENT! Dancers

From the day she began teaching, Melinda’s philosophy has always been that dance is an ART and should be available to anyone, no matter who you are, where you are from, nor your age, because that is how she began her dance experience.  If she wasn’t accepted by her first dance instructor at the age of 16, and nurtured, she wouldn’t be who she is today.  Melinda’s “Teacher’s Heart” includes Communication, Patience, Humor, Generosity, Respect, Family, Passion, Love, and Tenaciousness.

Andrew Jannetti, K-2

PS 79 Francis Lewis Elementary School

Mr. Jannetti sees dance as essential to the growth of a student’s search for authenticity and individual expression of ‘self.’ He believes in working with the level, ability, and natural instincts of each student and then moving them toward an increased self-awareness, higher level of cognition, overall physical well-being, and positive social interactions.

Susan Gaddy Pope

Montclair State University

Susan is a retired elementary school dance educator with over 30 years of experience in K-12 schools in Newark, NJ, and the New York City Department of Education. As an adjunct professor and coordinator of the BA program at Montclair State University, Susan works with BFA and BA students, helping them create creative movement lessons for children. Susan has a teacher’s heart and believes all teaching spaces should be filled with love, joy, and embodiment.

Felice Santorelli, 7-12

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School

As a dance educator, Felice places great value on creative experiences linked to improvisation and choreography and the development of young artists and their unique voices and perspectives. She aims to offer learning opportunities through various creative processes that allow students to see themselves as members of the dance community and to see the value of making art based on their own lived experiences.

Pam Vlach


Pam Vlach is the lower school (K-4) dance specialist at Spence, an independent school in Manhattan. Pam’s students have attended performing arts high schools, performed on Broadway in shows like Matilda, Lion King and Billy Elliot, and danced with the Radio City Rockettes. Pam is an advocate for student voice and believes in providing opportunities for students to express themselves creatively while attaining collaborative life skills.

Arnhold wants to put a certified dance teacher in every public school, and she emphasizes that dance education must start when children are young in order for it to properly take root. It’s an ambitious goal, to be sure. But for Arnhold, the value is multidimensional—she sees it as fundamental not only to children’s development and learning but to the survival of the dance field as a whole.
Dance Teacher Magazine
May 2010