DEL Facilitators Share Exciting Fall News

We asked our DEL Facilitators if they had any exciting news to share with us this fall, and we received so many great notes! We’re so pleased to hear everything that’s happening in your lives!


Ayaka Cento (Kamei) is continuing to perform with The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway as well as The Metropolitan Opera’s Aida. Her students at 92NY are making amazing progress!

Andrew Chapman incorporated the Mobile Dance Film Association (MDFA) as an official 501c3 non-profit organization with the mission to support the production, education, and screening of mobile dance films. MDFA also held a collaboration with Krishna Washburn and Heather Shaw offering Audio Description for Dance Film resources, which rolled out on November 9. Andrew is also collaborating with the National Water Dance and Northwest Dance Project to create a screening for films that highlight climate justice. Find MDFA on Instagram @mobiledancefilmfestival!

Diane Duggan presented at the NDEO Conference on Integrating Insights and Strategies from Dance/Movement Therapy in Dance Education with Students with Disabilities. She is also choreographing a piece called Sleepwalk for the NYU Distinguished Faculty Concert on November 18 & 19.  DEL Facilitator Deborah Damast’s work will also be presented. 

Daria Fitzgerald presented Like a Dandelion: Exploring Cultural Assets for Dance Making in Early Childhood with her colleague (and past guest speaker in DEL workshops) Danielle Staropoli at NDEO’s annual conference.

Catherine Gallant led a workshop, Isadora Duncan: Access on November 5, is presenting a film at the New York Short Film Festival on November 13, and presenting work at the American Dance Guild Festival on December 3.

Michael Kerr recently retired from his NYCDOE middle school dance educator position and is looking forward to pursuing new opportunities. He has resumed his Dance Education doctoral studies at Columbia University, and is preparing his dance company DanceKerr & Dancers for a second co-produced dance concert event with Deborah Damast at The Ailey Citicorp Theater on Thursday June 23, 2023. He is also looking forward to facilitating a DEL workshop at 2023 New York State Dance Education Association Conference entitled Dancing With Pride In Fearless Spaces.

Hetty King received a grant from the NYC DOE Office of Arts and Special Projects to bring Flamenco Vivo to PS 145K, where she is the dance educator for PreK3-5. The grant is to specifically support students with neurodiversity and students who are English Language Learners. Here are some pictures of her students in their first Flamenco class of the 10-week residency program, which will support all four second-grade classes: gen ed, ICT, Dual Language, and Horizon. 

She also attended NDEO to share her new publication – A Guide To A Somatic Movement Practice The Anatomy Of Center by Nancy Topf with Hetty King. She sold all the copies brought to the conference and had a fantastic turnout for the presentation Sunday afternoon. 

On Tuesday, October 25th, she participated in a Studies Project at Movement Research. Jaime Ortega, another long-time student of Nancy Topf and Hetty, presented the work of Nancy Topf to a hybrid audience and we discussed the recent publication and engaged in an experiential activity from the book. 

Mariangela Lopez just received her certification as a Somatic Movement Educator (SME) from the school of Body-Mind Centering® after almost 5 years of study and investigation. She is also continuing her studies to become an Infant Developmental Movement Educator from the school of Body-Mind Centering® and is expecting to receive her certification in March 2023.

Dr. Nyama McCarthy-Brown led a two-day Liberation Dance Education Workshop for DEL, NDI Teachers, and Hunter College Dance students. The workshop focused on developing inclusive embodied movement practices and ways of entering space that welcome people and invite belonging for all. We’ve written before about Dr. McCarthy-Brown’s work on the DEL blog. Click here to read about her paper, “Navigating Anti-racism in an Anti-black Landscape: A Dance Educator’s Reflection.”

Ellen Robbins will be a panelist at the La MaMa Coffeehouse Chronicles #167: 55th Anniversary of Rod Rodgers Dance Company on November 19 — she was a member of the original company! On December 4, her students Felix Gaddie, Fae Leonard-Mann, and Oscar Estep will perform their solo choreography at the American Dance Guild Festival as the youngest participants ever to be included. Ellen’s students from ages 8 -18 will perform Dances By Very Young Choreographers on January 28, and on that same day alumni choreographers who worked with Ellen as children will present work as well.

Carina Ruabja conducted a workshop at PS 336 in Queens for preschool teachers to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in a program called Start with a Spanish Story and Dance. It is also her third season as a teaching artist in residence with the PreK and Kindergarten classes at PS 209 in the Bronx. In September, she started to work for the Innovation Hub Project at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, a 4-year arts integration initiative targeting Kindergarten through 5th-grade educators. Beginning in November, she will be leading a Yoga and Creative Movement workshop for Asian families through a PAAP grant (Parents as Arts Partners) in a school on the Lower East Side. And as a DEL faculty member, she is about to start the coaching residencies for Create, a NYCDOE early childhood arts in education project.

Mary Seidman is on the board of the American Dance Guild and will be co-producing the 2022 Festival, Return, Renew, Rejoice! at the Ailey Citigroup Theater December 1-4. Her company, Mary Seidman and Dancers, will open the performance on Saturday, December 3! 


In DEL-related news, Ann Biddle, Erin Lally, Deborah Damast, Dawn DiPasquale, and Daria Fitzgerald presented on behalf of DEL at the 2022 NDEO Conference in Atlanta, and just welcomed 20 professionals in our 2022-23 DEL Institute – Teacher Certificate Program!