Dr. Kelly Hendrick received the Dance Advocate Award!

Dr. Kelly Hedrick has been principal at the Edward E. Brickell Academy for Art and Advanced Academics at Old Donation School for ten years. Although her career demonstrates tremendous support for dance and the other arts, she has been a great advocate for the National Dance Society (NDS) in recent years. In 2018 and 2019, Dr. Hedrick supported NDS holding its annual conference on its new sixty-five million dollar school site. She figuratively opened doors across administrative departments and services to ensure smooth operations of these two professional development events. Her school is one that is unique across the country and Dr. Hedrick was the principal lead during the school’s new construction. Old Donation School houses the intellectually gifted students in Virginia Beach City Public Schools, the Gifted Arts Program, and the Gifted Dance Education Program (GDEP). The GDEP has existed for 35 years because of Dr. Hedrick’s initiatives and passion. Dr. Hedrick ensures that students feel welcome and that their presence is important. She visits the dance suites to observe students’ at work, routinely attends performances, and provides proper tools and technical support needed by the dance faculty. She monitors the students standardized test scores by academic areas and reports results to the school district key leaders. Her reporting of the positive data and other advocacy efforts saved the GDEP when it has been in jeopardy at higher levels. Dr. Hedrick’s faculty and parents have stated appreciation for her tireless efforts to maintain the dance studios, offices, theory room, and staff positions. NDS agrees with Dr. Hedrick’s staff members that she is most deserving of the national 2019 Dance Advocate Award.