Expanding DEL’s Work in Early Childhood Dance

Expanding DEL’s Work in Early Childhood Dance

We’re so excited to celebrate Daria Fitzgerald in her new role!

We are thrilled to announce that Daria Fitzgerald has joined the DEL Team full-time in a newly created role: Associate Director, Early Childhood Dance!


Daria joining the DEL Team represents our ongoing commitment to growing DEL’s Early Childhood Dance programs across our community.

DEL’s Early Childhood dance education model is currently being taught and implemented at 92NY’s Nursery SchoolParenting Center, and the Harkness School of Dance. For nearly a decade, we have collaborated as an arts partner for the NYC Department of Education 3K-Pre-K Create Professional Learning Series which supports teachers in developing skills and knowledge to facilitate the implementation of high quality and sustaining dance education practices in their 3K-Pre-K classrooms.

Recently, thanks to a generous grant from the New York Community Trust, DEL is also developing a new Dance and Literacy curriculum, aimed to support in combating the literacy deficit among NYC students from Pre-K through 5th grade. DEL’s student-centered curricular model includes movement exploration and dance-making opportunities that reinforce literacy principles in an integrative and collaborative manner.

In 2024, DEL is also launching a new asynchronous DEL Dance for Early Childhood course for dance educators, developed by Deborah Damast, Dawn DiPasquale, Daria Fitzgerald, and Erin Lally. The course begins April 8. Click here to learn more and register!

DEL’s work in Early Childhood education continues to be a strategic priority, and we are thrilled to have Daria spearheading these efforts.

Learn more about Daria below!

Daria has been teaching, facilitating, coaching, and curriculum-writing for our early childhood programs since 2019.

Daria has a strong connection to literacy education–check out her children’s dance book Instagram page @booksfordancing! She has presented at the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) Conference many times with early childhood-focused lessons and books.

Daria works closely with the nursery school and parenting center teachers at 92NY to create lessons centered around what their students are interested in and the books they’re reading.

The connection between learning and play is important to Daria.

First introduced through NYU’s study abroad program, directed by Deborah Damast, Daria has visited Uganda three times to collaborate with and learn from Ugandan teachers. Specifically, Daria has studied how children learn through active games and she and her Ugandan colleagues have presented this research at DEL, NYU, the National Dance Education Organization, and Dancing Classrooms

When asked what drew her to early childhood dance education, Daria replied,

“I like the imagination and the exploration of it. There’s a lot of things about preschool that I think could be applied to other areas of education, where the students are encouraged to explore their own interests.

I like the idea that if students have dance in preschool, then children and parents expect dance to be part of their curriculum right from the beginning.”

Daria’s passion for early childhood dance education is exactly what we strive for and believe in here at DEL.

It’s why we do this work: Dance for Every Child.

Join us in celebrating Daria in her exciting new position!

To learn more about Daria, check out her recent highlight as one of our inaugural DEL Lab Schools recipients! READ HERE>

And show your congratulations and love for Daria ON LINKEDIN>