Five Opportunities for Professional Development, Express Delivery to Your Living Room
August 7, 2020

It can be tricky to get away for a conference, whether due to travel budget concerns or finding a substitute to cover your absence. One silver lining of the pandemic is that five conferences are now available online, no travel necessary. You’ll find sessions to address your concerns no matter what your role in the dance community—whether you’re on the business side, interested in curriculum development, need continuing ed certification, or a performer who wants to teach. Why not gather colleagues from your studio or school for an educational watch party to inspire you as you launch into the new school year?


First Annual UNITY Leadership Conference

August 8–9; $125

UNITY promotes cooperation among dance organizations and addresses certification and standards for dance education. This inaugural leadership conference offers 13 sessions that cover both teaching and management topics. You’ll hear from industry leaders such as Rhee Gold and Susan McGreevy-Nichols—plus a Dance Teacher session featuring Gina Gibney. All videos and materials will be available for 60 days after the conference.

Two sessions of note:

  • “Encouraging a More Diverse Membership” (LaShonda Chaney and Janine Hart)
  • “Thinking Big as a Dance Studio Owner” (Karen Hildebrand talks with Gina Gibney)

Register here

ConQuest, a Virtual Conference for Dance Professionals

August 14–16; free

Geared to dance studio owners and other professionals who work in the studio space, this conference was designed specifically for distance learning and includes workshops, panels, roundtable sessions, master classes and a special program for dancers under 18. Plus, Dance Teacher will be hosting a workshop on “Dismantling Racism in the Dance Studio and Beyond.”

Two sessions of note:

  • “Why I Trashed the Trophies: How to Make Meaningful Disruption in Your Dance Studio” (Chasta Hamilton)
  • “Parent Solutions: How to Take the Complaints of Your Clients and Turn Them Into Gold” (Kerrin Michaels)

Register here

Dance Educators Training Institute (DETI)

August 17–19; $100

Co-presented by ClancyWorks Dance Company and Baltimore County Public Schools, DETI offers four workshops on each of the three days, with topics such as teaching online, racial equity, somatics, composition and technique.

Two sessions of note:

  • “Building Racial Equity: Creating Space for Productive Conversations About Race” (Rajeeyah Finnie-Myers of Race Forward)
  • “Managing Your Virtual Classroom: Netiquette” (Stephanie Crockett of Baltimore County Public Schools and Darryl Pilate of Prince George’s County Public Schools)

5th Annual International Teaching Artists Conference (ITAC5)

September 14–17; $200 ($50 options for artists impacted by COVID-19 pandemic)

Teaching artists from 19 countries will present a fascinating array of topics in more than 40 sessions. Each day has a theme: Tuesday: Unlearning; Wednesday: Local & Nomadic Practices; Thursday: Peace & Reconciliation.

Two sessions of note:

  • “Creative Unlearning: Embracing Ambiguity” (Dana L. Squires)
  • “Teaching Chinese Dance in a Global Community—Practices and Challenges” (Ling Tang)

Register here

National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)

October 23–25; $50–$195

NDEO hosts one of the largest annual dance education conferences in the U.S. This year’s theme is “Dance and Society: Developing Community, Empathy, and Understanding through Dance.” Details of the conference program to be announced soon.

Register here

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