Points of View

Danielle Laurion, LMHP, BC-DMT, GLCMA is a dancer, educator, dance/movement therapist, and choreographer in Omaha, Nebraska. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a MA in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling and a graduate level certificate in Laban Movement Analysis. Her undergraduate degrees are in Dance and Secondary English Education from the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point. Currently, Danielle leads the dance program at Omaha South Magnet High School and serves as adjunct faculty for the dance courses at the University of Nebraska—Omaha. In addition, she directs Reach for It, a movement therapy group for older adults and people with Parkinson’s, and The Moving Company, a modern dance company. Danielle specializes in using movement with diverse populations to address the spectrum between wellness and therapeutic needs, focusing on psychosocial approaches. She also enjoys curriculum writing and program development, currently working on designing dance curriculum for the Omaha Public School System and helping redraft the fine arts standards for the state of Nebraska. Danielle serves as a board member for Nebraskans for the Arts and is excited to recently join the Standards in Action committee for NDS.

“Standards-based curriculum helps to ensure equitable education and establishes common language and goals for learning. It’s important for all students to have access to well-rounded dance education, and a common language allows students to take their knowledge into different environments successfully. While the standards provide check points for educators to teach inclusive dance education, the standards-based lesson plans are designed to inspire practical ways of connecting students to the standards.”

Mary Ann LavertyDr. Mary Ann Laverty is currently a dance specialist for Virginia Beach Gifted Dance Education Program. Prior to her current appointment, she was Director of Dance at Woodside High School, Center for the Performing Arts, and full-time Assistant Professor at Hampton University where she also directed the Community Children’s Dance Program. Dr. Laverty received her Ph.D. from New York University where she managed the Kaleidoscope Dances for Children and performed with Washington Square Repertory Dance Company; her M.A. from Mills College; and her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University where she studied the Dunham Technique extensively. Aside from teaching modern technique, Dr. Laverty has a strong interest in world dance forms and has studied classical dance forms in Haiti, Bali, and India. Her research centers on early Black Modern dance, and, Charles H. Williams and the Hampton Institute Creative Dance Group.

“Standards-Based Lessons provide a blueprint to guide us to be the best possible educator by encompassing a wide variety of learning experiences and assessments that fairly evaluate student understanding of material. Standards-Based Lesson Plans also provide another viewpoint of your discipline and can spark ideas for new, innovating and challenging curriculum design.”

Lynn C. Reynolds has made dance her life’s work. She performed with several dance companies in Houston, such as Discovery Dance Group, Joan Karff’s New Dance Group, and Chrysalis Repertory Dance Company. She directed and performed in Houston Contemporary Dance Collective and Houston Contemporary Dance Company. Reynolds then obtained a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Dance from Sam Houston State University. She taught dance in Houston Independent School District; eight years in Longfellow Elementary School and 12 years in West Briar Middle School. She won several awards, including HISD Dance Educator of the Year, TAHPERD and SAAHPERD Dance Educator of the Year K-12, and an Honorable Mention for Dance Educator of the Year K-12 from the National Dance Association. Reynolds has been interviewed for two articles in Dance Teacher Magazine, and shared her knowledge in conference workshops for TAHPERD, SAAHPERD, the National Dance Association, the National Dance Society, CEDFA and the Texas Dance Educators Association. She has written standards and curriculum for Houston ISD elementary and middle school dance programs, and also written middle school dance standards for the state of Texas.

“Dance standards are important because they set a state and district expectation of what dance students should be learning, practicing and performing. They are a manual for school and state administrators to see what is being taught in the dance classroom. Standards can be a great help to the beginning teacher who needs a guideline on how to get started while providing experienced teachers with ideas for new class material. Standards are also very helpful for dance teachers in feeder patterns as they will know what their incoming students have learned and should be able to demonstrate.”

Gayle Kassing, PhD taught dance in public and arts magnet schools, studios, and undergraduate and graduate courses in four colleges and universities. She has administered dance programs in fine arts, physical education, and was Dean of the Florida School of Arts. In three university dance programs she taught Dance Methods courses and supervised dance education students in preparation and student teaching settings. Gayle has a BFA in Ballet and Theatre from Texas Christian University, a Master of Arts in Modern Dance from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, a PhD in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Woman’s University, and a Master in the Art of Teaching: K-12 with media.

Dr. Kassing is first author of Teaching Beginning Ballet Technique and Dance Teaching Methods and Curriculum Design, first and second editions. She is the author of History of Dance, first and second editions, Beginning Ballet, and Discovering Dance.

“Standards-based lesson plans in dance are critical components for teachers to implements in their dance lessons and curriculums. Student learning gains strength through standards-based connections in lessons, learning experiences, units, and curriculum to state and national standards. In return, dance education gains acknowledgement in the dance classroom, the school, district, state and the nation. Dance educators using standards-based lesson plans contributes to creating a stronger singular voice for the importance of a dance education at every level of education for all students.”

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National Dance Society/Standards in Action/Lesson Plans Collection

Special Thanks to National Dance Society Past Presidents: Sandy Weeks, PhD & Gladys Keeton

©2022 by National Dance Society