My research identifies critical thinking as an essential component of dance training for students of all ages and abilities, particularly students K-12. This project strategizes ways in which the studio dance teacher can create opportunities for critical thinking in the classroom and reveals ways in which learning dance can enhance critical thinking. Special consideration is placed on how critical thinking, as a skill, relates to the unique curiosities and objectives of the discipline. Within the qualitative and experiential research design, theoretical questions are proposed and practical pedagogical applications are developed. Insights from interviews with experts in the field of dance education are interwoven with practical applications from teaching two summer dance programs for distinct youth populations, a college-preparatory program for "talented and gifted" students and an open class for homeless youth living in ShelterCare housing communities.
We offer five master's degree options that prepare you for a career as an innovative leader in dance education:
MA in Teaching Dance, All Grades, Initial Certification
This 40-credit master of arts program leads to eligibility for New York State initial certification as a teacher of dance, all grades (pre-K-12), with reciprocity in numerous other states. Learn more about this degree.
MA in Teaching Dance, All Grades, Professional Certification
This 34-credit master of arts program is for educators who already hold initial certification in teaching dance. The degree leads to eligibility for a New York State professional certification as a teacher of dance, all grades (pre-K-12). This track enriches and expands dance and pedagogical skills and provides options to transition into teaching in higher education. Learn more about this degree.
MA in Teaching Dance in the Professions, Non-Certification
This 36-credit non-certification master of arts program prepares you for a career in teaching dance to adult learners in higher education settings, private studios, schools of dance, conservatories, community outreach, or company-based dance programs. Learn more about this degree.
MA in Teaching Dance in the Professions: ABT Ballet Pedagogy
A partnership between the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and NYU Steinhardt, this 36-credit master of arts program builds on your background as a ballet dancer and prepares you for a career as a dance educator in company-based programs, conservatories, private studios, and higher education. Graduates will receive an MA in Teaching Dance in the Professions in addition to accreditation with the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. Learn more about this degree.
MA in Teaching Dance, All Grades, Initial Certification and MFA in Dance
Created as a partnership between NYU Steinhardt and NYU Tisch School of the Arts, this 76-credit dual degree (29 credits for the MA, 47 for the MFA) not only prepares you to launch your career as a professional dancer, but also leads to eligibility for New York State initial certification as a teacher of dance, all grades (pre-K-12). Learn more about this degree.
About our graduate programs
The Dance Education program envisions dance and education as complementary domains of knowledge. We pursue discipline-based inquiries and scholarly research to increase knowledge and expertise in these domains and to transform the way educators understand and teach dance.
Traditionally, dance is not taught as a domain of understanding; rather, it is taught as received knowledge. Our approach is to move away from a knowledge-centered curriculum – the “passive mind, active body” ideal – wherein submissive learners “acquire” dance content through a dominant pedagogy. Instead, we provide a curriculum that requires critical and creative thinking about, and deliberate practice with, key concepts in dance, human development and socio-cultural educational settings.
Our “thinking-centered” approach to dance education necessitates the integration of the developing mind and body in the context of educational/cultural practices. Therefore, our curricular structure is based on three areas of inquiry: 1) discipline-based inquiry which allows the dance artist to master his/her craft, 2) pedagogic-based inquiry that enables deep understanding of teaching and learning processes, and 3) research-based inquiry, which provides theory and methods for creating new knowledge in the field.
Our core courses begin with students developing and examining a personal vision for teaching and learning. Core courses sequence to give students a continual opportunity to integrate their prior-experiences with new knowledge; and culminate in highly individualized projects that evidence the integration of theory and practice. Electives from both inside and outside the program aid students in honing in on particular topics, interests or issues that support their vision. The learning experience in many of our courses is organized around conducting fieldwork in socio-cultural settings such as schools, colleges, institutions and cultural organizations. Through fieldwork, students have the opportunity to analyze educational models, exercise researcher skills, develop professional networks, and to awaken to the realistic idealism that propels the future growth of arts education.