DEL FUNdamentals: From The Facilitators

DEL Founder Jody Gottfried Arnhold sat down with Founding Faculty Ann Biddle to discuss their initial desire to create the DEL Essentials course, and how this training has evolved in the virtual space, now called DEL FUNdamentals.

⇨  DEL FUNdamentals runs during DEL’s Summer Institute, June 28-30, 2-5pm EDT. Learn more and register online.

At DEL, we encourage teachers to be lifelong learners and actively seek opportunities for professional development. As facilitators and curriculum designers, we’re always learning, too. We are continuously adapting our courses and workshops and aim to be responsive to change. 

“We’re a community. We’re an incubator of people and of their dreams and ideas for dance and dance education. We’re a laboratory. We experiment, reflect, and develop.” … Jody Arnhold

Last year, our teaching environments became virtual, swiftly and without warning. We knew that if we wanted to reach educators with resources that could help them succeed—from introducing a community of support to guiding curriculum development—we would need to adapt our essential DEL training.

Enter DEL FUNdamentals. Emphasis on FUN.

Ann and Jody agree that this course really is FUN—it’s pure joy, the joy of movement. When they designed this course for an online space, they wanted to make sure that it delivered the essence of DEL pedagogy in a joyful and celebratory way. Even on Zoom, educators participate in movement exploration and continue to build community.

This short course gets to the essence of the DEL model, providing an introduction to key components of teaching dance to children and teenagers. 

A foundational component to the DEL model is Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), which is our common vocabulary. LMA is our language and our guide, and we are eager to add to and continue discovering new applications of this vocabulary with our DEL FUNdamentals participants.

Teachers individualize and apply the DEL model in their classroom by designing uniquely engaging dance experiences for their students. While those who go through this course acquire the same tools, they all apply them differently because of who they are — we encourage teachers to recognize their uniqueness and teach from their heart. We call this the Teacher’s Heart, which is at the core of our model. Teachers find their own voice in their classroom and gain confidence in leading their students to do the same. 

“Dance is about discovery, exploration, and collaboration. It’s about creating a dance out of anything.” … Ann Biddle

For first year teachers, DEL FUNdamentals gives them a place to start. DEL FUNdamentals provides a movement vocabulary and a framework for understanding in a way to engage all learners.

For seasoned educators and dancer-choreographers, DEL FUNdamentals is an energizing way to re-engage with infinite possibilities to center and value self-expression through dance.

The DEL model encourages a supportive classroom environment where students can use dance as a vehicle to express very complex ideas and collaborate in community with their peers. This is incredibly powerful. Children—all kinesthetic learners—will remember this experience for the rest of their lives.

“There is no dance without dance education.” … Jody Gottfried Arnhold

“We believe that dance is a universal language. DEL wants to strengthen a global dance education movement.” … Ann Biddle

We cannot wait to expand our community and the impact of the DEL model with DEL FUNdamentals this summer!

DEL FUNdamentals course content is derived from the highly popular DEL Essentials course taught at DEL 92Y and at DEL at Jacob’s Pillow. Learn more and register online.