3.a. Dancers Connect

 

Dancers Connect (DC) is a multifaceted research and community partnership with several initiatives including the DC Saturday program and the DC iDance company. The DC program serves as an effective training ground for dance pedagogy by fostering in-depth practical inquiry and access to university personnel and resources rarely found in K-12 schools (Parrish, 2014, Parrish, 2019). DC functions as a learning laboratory where university students receive substantive experience working in teaching teams as they create and implement dance instruction. DC training emphasizes best practices in instruction and thus relies upon the National Core Arts Standards, Universal Design for Learning principals, 21st Century Learning Skills, and Howard Gardners’ Multiple Intelligence Theory. Curricular content is aligned with university dance education coursework and promotes interdisciplinary content themes, literacy and language development, culturally responsive pedagogy, and activist or issue-based instruction models (Parrish, 2014).

In 2019, The Dancers Connect program was approved by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) as a non-degree granting program for the community. The evaluators' criteria included an assessment of instructional, syllabi, curricula, student achievements, video evidence of mastery of dance styles studied.

Dancers Connect curricula website

Dancers Connect community website

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Dancers Connect Endorsements from the Community

Dancers Connect provides a unique opportunity for dance education candidates.  It is a laboratory of creative thinking and doing. Dancers Connect provides a platform for integrating both philosophy and the heart into teaching. As a teaching lab, Dancers Connect allows our young teachers the opportunity to try methods and strategies that are different from typical studio settings. There is a focus on supporting young children through adolescents as artists and choreographers. The voice of the dancers connect students is listened to and utilized to set a warm atmosphere where all young artists can thrive. --Dancers Connect Faculty

Dancers Connect provided my child with an environment and program that was both creatively enriching and educational. She enjoyed time with faculty and student teachers that fostered an appreciation for creative movement and dance throughout the curriculum that will instill a love of dance for years to come.

--Dancers Connect Parent

My daughter truly loves being part of the Dancers Connect program.  It has taught her a variety of dance skills from ballet and jazz to multicultural dance and student led choreography. I have watched her grow and develop in character over the years with Dancers Connect. She is blessed to have had the opportunity to perform locally and to travel out of state to the University of Utah with the Dancers Connect Program. Dancers Connect provides positive experiences for children that will last a lifetime.  I am forever grateful to Dr. Parrish and her team of young dance teachers for instilling a passion for dance and support of my daughter. --Dancers Connect Parent

Dancer's Connect is one of the gems in Greensboro. We have been so lucky to find this incredible program where all 3 of my children have been able to take classes at their age level to discover the joys of dance.  The mix of university students, with lots of new enthusiasm for teaching, and the mentorship and expertise of their professors makes for a wonderful place to learn about dance.  We have been involved for 3 years and look forward to many more in the future. 

--Dancers Connect Parent

My very first experience with the Dancers Connect kids was during the Bill Evans Workshop when we got to peek in on the students in the Dance Theater working on their Poetry dances.  I still remember this moment very clearly. There were about 25 or so students spread around throughout the space. I was amazed. The teachers were working one-on-one with students. While they were working with individual students one at a time, all of the other students were fully engaged and hard at work creating their poetry dance.  No one was goofing off. No one looked embarrassed or uncomfortable, not even any of the boys. Everyone was hard at work and looked like they were having fun at the same time. It was kind of magical. --UNCG Student Impression of Dancers Connect

Opening dance from 2014 Dancers Connect performance demonstrating collaboration and community.

See the Dancers Connect students' action hero improvisation, demonstrating learning as a process.

Dancers Connect performance based on the life of Josephine Baker

List of Publications

Parrish, M. (2018). Journey into the sea. The University of North Carolina Greensboro - K-12 Dancers Connect.

Parrish, M (2014). Dancers Connect: Community engagement in the arts:

In L. Overby (Ed.) Community Engagement in the Arts. New York, Press, Inc.

List of Dancers Connect Research Presentations

Collect, collide, collaborate, create! Building responsive cultures in the dance class

DaCi and the Child International Panpapanpalya conference

Adelaide, Australia. Adjudicated. (July, 2018).

Celebrating community: Cultivating collaboration, culture, and identity amongst students 

Dr. Mila Parrish session lead with Emily Morgan, Kelly Ozust, Ashley Cartledge, Gabby Peterson.  

NCDEO Conference. Cultivating Community: Transforming North Carolina Through Dance 

Charlotte, NC. (February, 2018).

Creating Citizen Movers – An inclusive approach to dance pedagogy

Dr. Mila Parrish session lead with Lisa Wilder, Janai Fennell, Isabelle Collazo

NCDEO Conference. Cultivating Community: Transforming North Carolina Through Dance 

Charlotte, NC. (February, 2018).

Interdisciplinary Community Engagement through Dancers Connect Summer Camp

Session lead: Dr. Mila Parrish with Danielle Kinne and Joyce Raleigh

National Dance Education Conference. Focus on Dance Education:

Engaging in the Artistic Processes: Creating, Performing, Responding, Connecting,

Phoenix AZ. Adjudicated. (Oct, 2015).

Community engagement redefined with Dancers Connect-Research presentation

13th Dance and the Child International World Congress: Twist & Twin.

Copenhagen, Denmark. Adjudicated.  (July, 2015)

Interdisciplinary Community Engagement through Dancers Connect Summer Camp

Session lead: Dr. Mila Parrish with Danielle Kinne and Joyce Raleigh

National Dance Education Conference. Focus on Dance Education:

Engaging in the Artistic Processes: Creating, Performing, Responding, Connecting,

Phoenix AZ. Adjudicated. (Oct, 2015)

Imagery and Understanding: Issues in secondary dance education

Guest Speaker

Utah Dance Education Organization Workshop Presentation Provo, Utah. (November, 2014).

  

Culturally Responsive Instruction in primary grades

Guest Speaker

Utah Dance Education Organization Workshop. Provo, Utah. (November, 2014).

Community engagement redefined with Dancers Connect National Dance Education

Lead Presenter: Dr. Mila Parrish with UNCG students Anthony-Taylor Davis, Stephanie Davis,

Trevor Helms and Shelbi Guions

National Dance Education Conference. Focus on Dance Education:

The Art and Craft of Teaching in Miami, Florida. Adjudicated. (October, 2013)

Process, Process, process

Lead Presenter: Dr. Mila Parrish with USC dance education students Alyson Amato, Laura Smith,

Amanda Nelson, Lisette Benefield

National Dance Education Conference in Los Angeles, Ca. Adjudicated. (October, 2012).

Collaborative Activist Problem Solving in the Arts:  

Lead Presenter: Dr. Mila Parrish with USC dance education students Jennifer Coffey,

Amanda Nelson, Joanna Hardy

National Dance Education Conference. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Adjudicated. (October, 2011).

Dancing Stories: Literature and Activism in the Dance Class                  

Presenter: Dr. Mila Parrish

National Dance Education Conference. Tempe, Arizona. Adjudicated. (October, 2010).

Constructivism in the classroom.                                                                            

The Dance Research Society of Taiwan Annual Conference:

A New Epoch of Dance Education. Taipei, Taiwan. Adjudicated. (December, 2008).

Earth First: Dancing Relationships with Our World.                                  

Presenter: Dr. Mila Parrish

NDEO Conference: Focus on Dance Education:  

Community Building. Mobile, Alabama. Adjudicated. (June, 2007).

Hip Hop dance in contemporary culture.                                                             

Dance and the Child International Conference- Coloring Senses, Moving, Creating, Observing

Three Dimensions of the Dancing Child: The Hague, Netherlands. Adjudicated. (July, 2006).

Children as Activists in K-12 dance instruction.                                                     

Dance and the Child International Conference-

Coloring Senses, Moving, Creating, Observing Three Dimensions of the Dancing Child:

The Hague, Netherlands. (with Lindsey Bauer). Adjudicated. (July, 2006).

Curriculum for change: Children as Activists in K-12 dance education         

Congress on Research in Dance. Dance and Human Rights Joint Conference.

Québec, Canada. (with Lindsey Bauer). Adjudicated. (November, 2005).

Curriculum for change: Children as Activists in K-12 dance education

Lead Presenter: Dr. Mila Parrish with ASU graduate student Lindsey Bauer

National Dance Education Organization Conference.  Buffalo, New York. Adjudicated. (Oct, 2005).

Techno, Trance and Jungle: Rave Culture for Dance Educators.                      

Lead Presenter: Dr. Mila Parrish with ASU dance education students Saza Dimmick and Melanie Mitchell

National Dance Education Organization Conference. Buffalo, New York. Adjudicated. (Oct, 2005).

Culturally responsive teaching in dance education curriculum.                           

Pulses and Impulses for Dance in the Community. Almada, Portugal. Adjudicated. (Oct, 2003).

Moving Out of Domains and into Big Ideas.                                                         

Dance and the Child International - Breaking Boundaries: Dances, Bodies and Multiculturalism.

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. (with Kathy Lindholm Lane). Adjudicated. (August, 2003).