This month, Professor of Dance Donna Davenport joined her colleagues in a National Dance Education Organization panel to discuss the status of NDEO’s vision for the future of dance in higher education.
In the webinar, “Widening the Dance Circle – Update on Dance 2050 Think Tank,” Davenport and fellow scholars and educators, Luke Kahlich, Kelly Lester, Jessie Levey and Stephen Ursprung, highlighted the trajectory and recent work of Dance 2050: A Think Tank for Dance in Higher Education.
As Davenport wrote in 2019, Dance 2050’s vision document has helped “generate an open, critical dialogue about the future of dance in higher education. Each year, a different theme drives the colloquy with the intention to engage new voices…More than a special interest group, these post-secondary dance professionals form a collective of imagination and mindful analysis, to identify the cultural changes that inevitably precipitate new definitions of dance as art in higher education. The goal of this think tank is to disseminate forward thinking, to integrate dance knowledge, technology and diverse body practices, to drive progress and positive change in higher education, not to be reactive to forces outside the field of dance.”
In the webinar, panelists connected the themes and values of the Dance 2050 Vision Document to the current landscape in higher education and the challenges faced in 2020. The discussion offers a stepping-stone of connection to all sectors to help drive progress and positive change in dance education.
In addition to serving as a professor at HWS, Davenport is a performer, writer and choreographer. She received her Doctorate and Master of Education from Temple University and undergraduate degrees in dance and psychology from UMASS-Amherst. She has served four times as Chair of the HWS Dance Department and coordinated Social Justice Studies since its inception. She has also served as Associate Dean of Faculty at HWS and as Dean of Faculty for St. Peters Community Arts Academy in Geneva. She held the John Milton Potter Endowed Professorship from 2013 to 2018. With NDEO, she is a frequent conference presenter, the first Book Review Editor for the Journal of Dance Education and a founding member of its Editorial Board. She co-founded Artists Coalition for Change Together in Rochester, N.Y.