Announcing our First Annual DEL Lab School Honorees
We are thrilled to honor 12 dance educators as 2023 DEL Lab School Recipients!
Our DEL Lab Schools initiative is designed to honor and celebrate dance educators bringing the DEL Model to life in various teaching contexts.
Our 2023 recipients are an inspiring group of educators. Read about them below, and make sure to RSVP for our online celebration on May 16, 2023, 4-5 ET!
You’ll get to hear more about each recipient’s work with DEL and their individual applications of the DEL Model, as well as hear from Jody Gottfried Arnhold, Founder of DEL at 92NY, and Ann Biddle, Director of The DEL Institute – Teacher Certificate Program. We will also host a short Zoom dance party!
Congratulations to all!
2023 DEL Lab Schools Recipients
Barry Blumenfeld is on the faculty of Friends Seminary, where he built the dance program over the past 23 years, NYU Steinhardt, and DEL at 92Y, for which he co-created the app DanceMaker. He has worked as a teaching artist in private pre-schools and studios such as Broadway Dance Center, with deaf college students at Gallaudet University, and as an adjunct professor at American University. Barry has served as President of the New York State Dance Education Association and was a recipient of the Outstanding PreK-12 Dance Educator Award from NYSDEA in 2017. He received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Dance Education Organization, and he wrote a monthly “Ask the Experts” column for Dance Teacher Magazine for 8 years. Barry founded the tap/modern dance company TAPFUSION and has choreographed numerous works that have been presented in New York, Florida, Maryland and Washington, D.C.. His work with this company led to a Choreographers Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Dance from American University and is a certified Level 1 Teacher of Language of Dance®; a certified yoga instructor; and a Registered Dance Educator.
Edward R. Murrow High School
Randa Broughton (M.A., Dance Education, Columbia University, B.S., Dance History & Criticism, Skidmore College) has been a New York based dance educator and performer for over 25 years. Presently she co-leads the dance program at Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood, Brooklyn. Randa facilitates courses that support the beginner to advanced level dancer whether the student’s goal is to choreograph their first movement study, complete the NYC Dance Commencement Exam, or continue dancing at the college level. Randa participated in DEL’s first Facilitators Course and has been an NYC facilitator of
city-wide professional development and part of the team implementing the Arts Achieve Initiative. Randa has taught at the National Dance Education Organization’s conference and produced dance units published by the NYC Office of Arts and Special Projects. She has studied extensively with multiple artists ranging from Alwin Nikolais, Frank Hatchett, to Zvi Gotheiner and has performed and created work for venues such as Danspace at St. Mark’s, 92NY, DIA, BAX, and Washington Square Church.
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
After exploring many dance genres under the tutelage of a retired Vaudeville performer, Ms. Christina-Price found herself in the classical ballet world. She earned an apprenticeship with the Stuttgart Ballet and performed with the National Ballet of Iran, Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal and McGill Danse.
After returning to the States, she directed Roberson School of Ballet in Binghamton, NY, and founded Ballet Arts Theatre and Aspire Dance Company in Endicott, NY. In 1983, she attended McGill University and twenty-five years later received a BA in Dance from Empire State College. She has teacher certification in DanceAbility and loves to choreograph inclusive pieces for disabled and non-disabled dancers.
She recently graduated from the DEL Institute Teachers Certificate Program and is currently enrolled in the 2023 DEL Facilitators in Training program. Teaching the DEL model has enriched her pedagogy. For that, she is deeply grateful!
Deborah Damast (BFA Dance, SUNY Purchase, MA Dance Education, NYU, DEL Certificate) is Associate Professor and Program Director of Dance Education at NYU Steinhardt where in addition to teaching, she is Artistic Director of concerts, Kaleidoscope Dancers, and the Uganda study abroad program. Deborah is the Past-President of the New York State Dance Education Association, has served on the boards of NYSDEA, NDEO, Dance Education in Practice Journal, and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and is a member of the NDEO Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access IDEA committee. She is on faculty at LREI/Little Red Schoolhouse, Dance Education Laboratory, and The Yard and has directed programs at Peridance, Steffi Nossen, Harvey School Cavalier Camp, The Yard Kids Do Dance, OBT Exposed, Deborah facilitates Professional Learning for teachers through the NYC Department of Education, 92Y DEL, and PKFCC Pre-K for all and has contributed to the NYC Blueprint for the Arts, Dance and the DEL Early Childhood model. She has presented at numerous conferences and festivals including at NDEO, NYSDEA, ACDFA, CUNY, Kymabogo Music Education in Uganda and her choreography has been shown at over 40 venues in NYC including Ailey Citigroup, Peridance, World Financial Center, Riverside Church, Judson Church, Symphony Space, Cooper Union, 92Y, 14St Y, Skirball Theatre, and internationally in Japan, Uganda, Korea, Italy, and Canada. Deborah has taught for the Education Departments of Oregon Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet and has written curriculum for Peridance, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, DEL, NYCB, and the NYC DOE. Deborah is a recipient of the 2009 NYU GSU Star Faculty Award, the 2010 NDEO Outstanding Dance Educator Award: Higher Education, and the 2020 Dance Teacher Magazine Award for Higher Education. She participated in Motion Capture studies at NYU, collaborated with Music and Music Technology, and at NYU was a co-recipient of grants for Dance Literacy and Data Literacy, Professional Development, and the 2020 Diversity Innovation grant. Deborah is thrilled to return to facilitate another workshop at DEL with colleagues and collaborators from Uganda and the United States.
Daria Fitzgerald (M.A., Dance Education, New York University, Professional Dance Teacher Certification, New York State) teaches dance classes through 92NY’s Nursery School, Parenting Center, and Harkness Dance Center. As a Pre-K Create coach and facilitator for DEL at 92NY, Daria supports New York City 3K and Pre-K teachers in developing skills and knowledge to facilitate the implementation of high-quality and sustaining dance education practices. Daria is the assistant director of Kids Do Dance at The Yard and was the lead curriculum designer for The Yard’s Making It program in Martha’s Vineyard schools. Daria is also a teaching artist in New York City Public Schools and the JCC. She has guest lectured at New York University and is an associate director of the Arnhold NYU Steinhardt/Global Visiting Scholar Summer Workshop. Daria has presented professional development workshops through Dancing Classrooms and The Lawrence Arts Center. She regularly presents her research and pedagogical practices at the National Dance Education Organization’s (NDEO) annual conferences. Previously, Daria served as a member of NDEO’s Development Committee and as NDEO’s Graduate Student Representative to the Board of Directors. Daria curates an Instagram that features books to use in dance class: @booksfordancing.
P.S. 243K The Weeksville School
Christina Fontanarosa has been an educator for 23 years. She has worked for the NYC DOE, NAIS schools, and in higher education as a teacher/administrator/counseling service manager. She has a BA and M.Ed in Early Child Education. Fontanarosa has been teaching dance for 6 years and earned her dance college credits through DEL and SUNY Empire. She believes in supporting the whole child and empowering youth to direct their own paths through dance education experiences. Christina Fontanarosa is also the author of the Library of Congress archived journal entitled Early Childhood Journal: Yoga & Feelings.
Catherine Gallant (dancer, choreographer, teacher) brings dance to new audiences through direct interaction with the public via works in non-traditional sites most recently in Portumna, Ireland at the Irish Workhouse Center. Ms. Gallant’s work often explores themes of chance, doubt and the body as a source of comfort and torment. Catherine Gallant/DANCE has been seen at Danspace St. Mark’s Dance Access, Chashama, GreenSpace, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center and Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out. Catherine has been the dance educator at PS 89 in NYC since 1998. She and her young students were featured in the documentary, PS DANCE! She was on the writing committee for NYC Blueprint for the Arts in DANCE and is on the faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) and Hunter College. She is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory and holds an MFA in Dance from Temple University. Catherine is also the director of Dances by Isadora which, since 1989, performs, teaches and collaborates with dancers throughout the world, most recently with choreographer, Jerome Bel, on his recent work, Isadora Duncan. She has studied and performed the work of Isadora Duncan since 1982 and is a founding member of the Isadora Duncan Archive.
P.S. 79 Francis Lewis Elementary School
Andrew Jannetti, MA is based in NYC and has a distinguished career as a choreographer, dancer, educator, fitness instructor, and producer. He has presented choreography at DTW, St. Marks’s Danspace, Gibney, 92nd Street Y, Alvin Ailey, The Duke, DIA, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), Cunningham, DUMBO Dance Festival, CoolNY Festival, ADG Festival, NY International Dance Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival, and other venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s been awarded grants for his choreography from NYSCA, NJSCA, MCAF, Meet The Composers, the Field, and the Harkness Center. He was awarded a BAXten award, aPASEtter award, and the Dani Nikas Excellence in Teaching Award and recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA). He has worked full time as a Dance Educator for the NYC Department of Education, and at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) for over 30 years in many roles from Teaching Artist to Education Director and Director of their School Breaks program. He is an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University and St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He is a past president of the NYSDEA and has served on the Advisory Board of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).
Melinda (Mel) Kasal-Canty is the owner and sole instructor of !ACCENT! Dancers, a multi-faceted dance, and fitness studio which also houses ACCENT ON U WELLNESS (an enterprise which offers everything wellness-oriented to include fitness classes, nutrition counseling, and CPR instruction). Now in its 22nd year, Melinda started !ACCENT! Dancers in a community center. After 13 years, she was able to relocate to her own studio, and cultivate !ACCENT! Dancers into a full, technical dance program offering Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, and Creative Movement for ages two to 60+. To date, Melinda has produced 42 recitals (two a year, with an average of 20 choreographies per recital). In addition, Melinda choreographs for special events such as wedding first dances, sweet 16s, and special community events.
Melinda is also an Adjunct Professor for Lionel University, teaching individuals to obtain their Fitness Certifications. She is a proud Air Force retiree, serving 20+ years. Her dance training is varied and accessed before and while serving in the military from different Universities (San Diego State University; Christopher Newport University; and University of Maryland). She has a Master’s in Project Management (Summa Cum Laude), a BS in Business, an Associates in Sports Science (which includes multiple fitness certifications), several certifications from DEL (most recent being DEL FIT), and is a certified American Red Cross instructor.
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 NYCDOE. 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 is a doctoral candidate in the Dance Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research on embodied pedagogy as an indigenous practice and the use of storytelling in research pushes back against the dominant way of knowing by recognizing the body’s capacity to impact student learning. As a published author, Susan has contributed to the depth of knowledge in dance education through journals and books.
Susan leads workshops for dance educators and classroom teachers on creative movement, hip-hop education, and culturally relevant practices and consults through her non-profit organization, I Dance Because. She is a frequent presenter for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Community (NJPAC) Engagement Program, providing community workshops, and serves on the NJPAC dance advisory council. Susan has a teacher’s heart and believes all teaching spaces should be filled with love, joy, and embodiment.
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA)
Felice Santorelli (Ed.M Dance Education, B.F.A. Dance and Choreography) is a full time dance educator at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA) in Western Massachusetts. Felice’s teaching experience ranges from K-12 to higher education and in various styles of dance. Felice brings experience designing dance curriculum that blends skill-building in technique, creative dance making, improvisation, and dance history, and draws connections between dance and the world and other art forms. Felice is the Artistic Director of PVPA’s Catalyst Dance Company, a student choreography group that focuses on the development of young dance artists and dance makers. Work from this student group has earned recognition and awards at the Regional and National level. At PVPA, she leads the DEL PVPA dance mentoring program, established by DEL Founding Faculty Ann Biddle with generous support from the Arnhold Foundation. Her work and the work of her students is featured in the film PS Dance! The Next GENeration (Nel Shelby) which premiered in 2022 on PBS. Felice is a DEL facilitator with DEL 92Y and DEL at Jacob’s Pillow, leading professional development for dancers and dance educators. Additional work includes Pilot Teaching for the National Core Arts Standards for Dance (NCCAS), numerous presentations at the National Dance Education Organization Conference (NDEO), mentorship for the DEL Institute, as well as contributions to curriculum writing projects for the NYC DOE.
Pam Vlach has been teaching dance for over 20 years at private studios and schools in Seattle and New York. Performing highlights include dancing choreography by Tony Award winner Savion Glover in Dance this…! (2005), and Gala for Career Transitions for Dancers at City Center with American Tap Dance Foundation (2014). She danced in Red Hot, original choreography by Ray Hesselink at Summerstage, at La Mama off Times Square and as a member of Les Femmes, Germaine Salsberg’s tap company. Her choreography has been performed in Germany, South Africa and Uganda and has received awards for its conceptual themes and musicality. She is the founder of Tap Uganda, Inc., a non-profit organization facilitating learning exchanges through dance and movement between children in Uganda and the U.S.. Pam has presented Intercultural Learning Through Dance Education at Dance and the Child International in Adelaide, Australia (2018) and A History of People Through Movement: From Uganda to Jazz and Tap at the Martin Luther King Symposium at Grace Church School in New York, NY (2022). She holds a BA from the University of Washington in Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication and an MA (New York University) in Dance Education. Pam is certified in New York State for Dance PK-12.