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    Choreographing 'joy’: Milton Myers and the life matters of a Black man in dance. An oral history and choreographic analysis
    (December 2022) Johnson, Iquail Shaheed; Candelario, Rosemary; CANDELARIO, ROSEMARY; FRAZIER, JAMES; AKINLEYE , ADESOLA; WILLIFORD-SHADE, MARY
    This study centers the New York City-based dance educator and choreographer, Milton Myers’ life as a Black male dancer to examine his choreographic and pedagogical activities, in addition to his mentorship of other dance directors and educators. It is theorized that Myers’ work is underpinned by Black joy, influenced by the significant investments he received from his highly prominent mentors which he carries forward through his work. Furthermore, Black joy is used as a theoretical framework to examine the Myers's teaching, choreography, and mentorship. The research was conducted using an oral history methodology with 21 participants representing a variety of perspectives on Myers’ work. Additionally, documents (mostly newspaper reviews and articles accompany the oral history interviews and a choreographic analysis of Myers’ work with Philadanco. Through the lens of Myers’s work, this study found that the Black artists, particularly at Philadanco, used Black joy as a mechanism to understand themselves and to overcomes life’s oppressive forces. The study argues that Black joy has been an effective conduit for communication through choreography and pedagogy.
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    Happy, healthy, and making new friends: Guangchangwu and the lived relationships of participants
    (August 2022) Keller, Tanya; Candelario, Rosemary; Williford-Shade, Mary; Akinleye, Adesola
    Guangchangwu 广场舞, or square dancing, is a mass dance practice performed in public squares that has become extremely popular among the middle-aged and elderly in China, especially women. The narrative surrounding guangchangwu online and in media presents the participants as cranky, outdated, belligerent troublemakers. But after participating with a group of guangchangwu dancers who met every evening in the park located in my apartment complex in Shenzhen, I understood this representation to be undeserved. Noting that the voices of the participants were largely missing from the narrative, this dissertation shares the voices of guangchangwu participants in Shenzhen, China, as they describe their experiences of dancing in large groups in public spaces. This ethnographic study explores the practice of guangchangwu, describing how participants use the practice to stay “happy, healthy, and making new friends.” It examines embodiment within the practice of guangchangwu and how this relates to the role of dance in China and what it means to be Chinese; the distinct Chinese experience of public space and how guangchangwu participants subvert said places for their own personal and group needs; and how the experiences of the guangchangwu participants influence their engagement, exploration, and performance of the aging female body. My findings suggest that contrary to the negative representation of guangchangwu I had initially found online, my participants were warm, welcoming women craving camaraderie, health, and happiness within a community of their own creation. This research is important because it puts into conversation the often-neglected voices of the dance participants with the voices of journalists and researchers observing and writing about the dancing event.
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    From Bal Anat to Hahbi'Ru: An oral history of John Compton, American male belly dancer
    (May 2023) von Trapp, Draconis G. 05/09/1992-; Candelario, Rosemary; Bones, Paul; Mejia, Donna
    John Compton is one of the earliest formative male figures in the history of fusion belly dance in the United States. Using oral history methodology, multiple masculinities theory, and relevant historical context, this thesis uses John’s story to analyze the cultural shifts in fusion belly dance in the US from the early 1970s to 2012. By analyzing interview data, performance videos, extant published interviews, and archival research on belly dance, this thesis evinces a myriad of John’s influences as a male belly dancer on the discourses around gender, masculinity, and Orientalism. These influences include movement stylization of early fusion belly dance, attitudes towards male belly dancers, and the embracing of culturally appropriative practices. This thesis concludes that John’s story presents an interesting inconvenience to narratives around belly dance history and masculinity at large, and serves as a foundation for interrogating the broader issues of gender and masculinity in belly dance.
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    Genealogies and legacies: A postcolonial historiography of Mohiniyattam
    (August 2023) Rajesh, Anisha; Candelario, Rosemary; Fuchs, Jordan; Morgan, Ilana
    This dissertation develops an alternate history of the classical dance form Mohiniyattam native to the state of Kerala in India to acknowledge the amalgamation of the kinesthetic contributions of different practitioners in Mohiniyattam. I explore how the identities of the indigenous Mohiniyattam dancers shifted as they became implicated in the changing discourses of colonialism and nationalism and how they became the subjects in larger debates about sexuality, womanhood, and the nation. In this project, I situate Mohiniyattam in the larger context of nationalist movements in the late 1800s and the early 1900s, which paved the way to the independence of India in 1947 and connect it with the notion of Victorian morality, which seeped into the social ethos of the nation during the colonial period. I also focus on the shift of a major community in Kerala society from matriarchy to patriarchy as well as on the division of India into various states on the basis of regional languages after independence; I explore how these socio-political issues are all intertwined with the history of bodies in Mohiniyattam as well as the reconstruction of the form. In this dissertation, I pay attention to the choreographies, dance pieces, and movement vocabularies of various dancers whose contributions are considered as invaluable to the development of Mohiniyattam. My research mainly relied on oral histories and archival research to develop a qualitative study of four practitioners who were identified as pioneer contributors to the field of Mohiniyattam in the postcolonial era: Kalyanikuttyamma, Kalamandalam Satyabhama, Kanak Rele, and Bharathi Shivaji. Though the reconstruction of Mohiniyattam in the 1950s parallels the renaissance and reincarnation of many classical dance forms in India, I argue that the historical, cultural, and geographic elements of Mohiniyattam are specific to the form.
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    Dancing woman(ist)/black feminist aesthetics: An embodied epistemology of sweat and spirit
    (August 2023) Woods Valdés, Andrea Ellen 6/16/1964-; Candelario, Rosemary; Wells, Charmian; Akinleye, Adesola
    ABSTRACT ANDREA E. WOODS VALDES DANCING WOMANIST/BLACK FEMINIST AESTHETICS: AN EMBODIED EPISTEMOLOGY OF SWEAT AND SPIRIT DECEMBER 2023 This qualitative narrative study explores Black aesthetics as embodied affirmation of Black life through the performative work of three women choreographers in dialogue with me as a dance artist and researcher. The participants are Michelle N. Gibson, Michelle Grant Murray, and Dr. L’Antoinette Stines. In this dissertation, I posit that centering Black women’s spirit experiences and the rigors of creativity, or what I refer to as sweat, enable us to theorize embodied Black aesthetics not only as a concept but as an activity that manifests knowledge. I relate to dance scholar Luana’s definition of Black aesthetics as sensibilities that inform Black art creation; however, I center art creation as dynamic and embodied cultural production through sweat and the presence of spirit. I contend that attention to sweat and spirit as generative Black aesthetics opens up attention to Black women’s embodied work and their inner landscapes, including their self-perceptions, values, and beliefs. Moreover, through aesthetic risk and aesthetic agency, the participants’ distinct sweat and spirit work shapes Black experience as critical embodied cultural production. I examine the participants’ lives and teaching, performing, and choreographing through interviews and videos of their work. Our creative and life experiences generate theories and discourse from the fields of Black aesthetics, Black performance, womanism, and Black feminism. I engage in this study to amplify Black aesthetic discourse with Black women’s presence as dynamic and integral to Black experience.
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    Experiences of precarity: Oral histories of K12 dance teachers in Delhi
    (August 2023) Kaktikar, Aadya 1977-; Candelario, Rosemary; De La Rosa, Elisa; Morgan, Ilana
    The experiences of dance teachers in K12 schools in Delhi of negotiating the contemporary education space; navigating the tension between artistic aspirations and making a livelihood through dance; of dealing with questions of class, caste, language, religion, ageing, and gender are vital to generating a multidimensional narrative of dance in India. K12 dance teachers are the fulcrum on which dance and educational discourse in India engage with each other. Yet the K12 dance teacher, who they are and what they do, is all but missing from the literature in both dance and education. This dissertation project takes an oral history approach to collect and analyze the oral histories of ten full time K12 dance teachers working in CBSE-affiliated schools in Delhi. The aim is to create a nuanced understanding of dance in India with an intentional focus on the intersectional identities of the participants, made visible through the lived experiences of making a living through dance in contemporary times. Discussing experiences of economic, pedagogical, social, and personal precarity emerging from these narratives, this dissertation argues that these experiences illuminate aspects of the socio-political history of dance from the perspective of an invisibilized community within the dance ecosystem. Inspite of its invisibilization, this dissertation positions the pedagogical labor of the K12 dance teacher as the site from which an emancipatory model for dance education in India can emerge.
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    The impact of an after-school garden enhanced nutrition education (gene) program on skin carotenoids as a measure of vegetable consumption on diverse, low-income children
    (2022-12-01T06:00:00.000Z) Khalil, Mona 1988-; Moore, Carolyn; Warren , Cynthia; Davis , Kathleen; Everts, Helen B; Jayna Dave
    This non-randomized controlled trial was designed to evaluate the impact of the LGEG curriculum on vegetable likeability, skin carotenoid scores, and anthropometric changes among school-aged children participating in the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. Two locations of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston were chosen: Havard and Morefield. Children participated in 10 weekly sessions of the Learn, Grow, Eat and Go! curriculum which consisted of gardening, classroom nutrition activities, and sampling of vegetables at each site between Fall of 2021 and Spring of 2022. Vegetable preferences were measured using pre and post questionnaires. A total of 72 of children, 6-13 years old, completed a survey on fruit and vegetable likeability and knowledge of vegetables. Measurement of fruit and vegetable intake was assessed non-invasively via skin carotenoids using the Veggie Meter. Children’s parents were also surveyed about their own perceptions of consuming fruits and vegetables. Crosstabulations using Pearson’s chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests were conducted to compare percentage of each category at baseline and at post-test along with McNemar tests to compare binary variable differences. Repeated measures ANOVAs were then performed to compare carotenoid score and likeability between the groups over time. No significant results (p > 0.05) were noted for changes in fruit and vegetable likeability, skin carotenoid changes, or ability to recognize and identify vegetables as a measure of vegetable knowledge. There were no v differences in BMI between groups. In contrast, significant changes (p=0.03) were seen in the parent’s perception of fruits and vegetables positively impacting health. In conclusion, findings suggest the carry over effect of the GENE Program with school-aged can positively change parental fruit and vegetables perceptions.
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    The development of four dance compositions suitable for presentation in stadiums and filmed as audio-visual aids
    (1958-08) Holm, Mary Beth; Duggan, Anne; Murphy, Mary; Dillon, Evelyn; deColigny, Marion
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    The rhizo-somatic spiral: Potentialities and themes in Eastwest Shin Somatics
    (2022-05-31) Purvis, Denise; Candelario, Rosemary
    This research explores Eastwest Shin Somatics within its current embodied philosophical context in two global locations and suggests that a shift in philosophical approach may open the practice to new possibilities. It engages a theoretical framework and case study methodology, modified to accommodate the COVID 19 pandemic, to discover how skilled practitioners understand and embody key somatic concepts. Participant interviews and document analysis provide insight into what Shin Somatics is and what it means to those within the practice. An examination of the current philosophical undergirding of Shin Somatics provides a starting point to challenge what I perceive as reliance on concepts of self and other within the practice, albeit one that seeks to discover and reinforce inter-relationship of these concepts. Post-structuralist philosophy, particularly that of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari is suggested as a line of flight that both acknowledges Shin Somatics’ current valuation of the individual in community with others and presses it beyond the subject/object turn to the point where somatic practice is an exercise in subjectivation. The purpose of this research is to press against the current philosophical undergirding of Eastwest Shin Somatics to shift beyond a focus on self in interrelationship with others and the world to self as forming and in-formed by the world, thereby expanding current literature on somatics. Additionally, the research increases understanding of a global somatic practice within specific geographic and socio-historical context and adds to the literature by moving beyond the first-person narrative of innovators within the field. While a great deal of literature explores the philosophical underpinnings of somatic practice and exhorts its benefits in well-being, somatics scholars cite a preponderance of first-person narratives from a homogenous group of somatic innovators (white, Western, and often male) with little quantitative and/or qualitative research to support these narratives (De Giorgi 2015, Gilbert 2014, Ginot 2010). This indicates a gap in the research that critics suggest gives rise to a somatic “doctrine” that privileges the white Western body as a universal entity. Through examining Eastwest Shin Somatics in Mexico and the United States, this research clarifies a specific somatic modality and provides additional first-person narratives that add to the literature. As participants are all women, and almost half identify as Mexican Latin-American, their voices offer much-needed insight about somatic practice. I engage post-structuralist and process philosophy to suggest that Shin Somatics is rhizo-somatic—an embodied practice that is rhizomatic in nature, and its engagement of intuition as a philosophical method might press current understanding within the practice to become, thereby allowing the Shin Somatics community to let go of a sense of self as subject to attend to the process of subjectivation. I further argue that this process of subjectivation is one that privileges difference within the community and might allow the minor, or that which is not in the forefront of attention, to be foregrounded. I suggest that Eastwest Shin Somatics offers a model of a rhizomatic practice that allows becoming through dancing with each other and nature, respecting individual difference with an attitude of affirmation.
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    Noticing and naming: Making visible the invisible space and voices of women of colors leading dance within higher education
    (8/13/2021) Wiltshire, Lyn C; Candelario, Rosemary
    ABSTRACT LYN C. WILTSHIRE NOTICING AND NAMING: MAKING VISIBLE THE INVISIBLE SPACE AND VOICES OF WOMEN OF COLORS LEADING DANCE WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION JULY 2021 This research project examines the experiences of four women of colors in dance leadership in the United States currently, and the problematic patterns of system-wide issues in higher education that affect their lives. To develop that understanding, this study drew upon portraiture methodology to amplify the voices of these women of colors by establishing historical and institutional contexts, by collecting their narrations and experiences, building relationships, searching for emergent themes, and finally composing a narrative as a stimulating whole. The portraits present the experiences as lived to draw attention to stereotypical and discriminatory understandings of women of colors. This study employs the theoretical framework of Black Feminist Thought and Critical Race Theory to guide and enable the many ways to analyze the experiences of marginalized groups, and the importance of the theoretical stance to focus on the different ways of accounting for these experiences. The argument of this study is the culture of leading in dance can be dehumanizing, disempowering, and marginalizing, can cause isolation, silence one’s voice from discourse, and symbolically stigmatize groups. The purpose of this project is to expand leadership literature, and dance literature to include women of colors and to bring visibility to their contributions to leadership studies. This study illuminated indicators of the profound obstacles women of colors face in leadership roles in higher education in dance in relation to embodied experiences, marginalization, and isolation as foundational to the structural inequalities and racialized policies that perpetuate issues of race, gender, and class. In this dissertation, I pay particular attention to the relationship of the narrators’ body, mind, and consciousness, their perspectives of living in a racialized body, and women of colors as embodied knowledge producers. Few researchers have addressed embodiment and leadership, and the literature has failed to address how thought and the sense of being cannot be removed from bodily habits in relation to social environments. The study suggests the following implications: that studies of leadership should embrace, the body as a site in the construction of identity in cultural and social practices, the corporeal materiality in the performance of gender, and the embodiment of race in the lived experiences of women of colors in dance leadership.
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    Handle With Care: A Pedagogical Theory of Touch in Teaching Dance Technique Based on Four Case Studies
    (2002-12) Collen, Robin Latshaw; Hanstein, Penelope; Kashka, Maisie; Williford-Shade, Mary
    The purpose of this study was to investigate how human touch may be used within a modern dance technique class to facilitate effective teaching and learning. This inquiry was based on two initial assumptions: (a) touch is an effective teaching and learning tool for modern dance, and (b) a modern dance technique class defines its own culture within which pedagogical touch can be a natural and integral experience. Two qualitative traditions of inquiry were used: the phenomenological study and the multiple case study. Fieldwork took place at four different institutions of higher education. The primary methodological strategies centered on (a) interviews with four modern dance teachers and twenty-one of their students, (b) forty hours of participant observation of the teachers' classes, and (c) questionnaires from forty-six students. Memos were written from transcribed interviews, questionnaires, and videotaped observations. A list of relevant coding categories of emergent themes was developed. Nel Noddings' theory of care in moral education was used as an initial framework for a theory models approach to analysis and interpretation of the data. Laban Movement Analysis was also used as an analytical tool. Written documents—including articles and books on the topics of dance pedagogy, education, somatics, and touch—served to verify data gathered through interviews, observations, and questionnaires. A pedagogical theory of touch was developed. Three of the theory's core constructs are: (a) the inside/outside nature of dancing, and of learning movement, (b) the importance of student histories, and (c) the significance of intentional touch. The necessity for teachers to account for these foundational elements to insure the effective use of touch, was stressed. The findings supported the notion of "meta-dance practice"—a teaching and learning framework which resides within the paradigm of constructivist learning, and which is closely related to themes of moral education. "Meta-dance practice”—a term which the author created in this study—describes everything besides dance technique which can be learned through touch.
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    Dancing dolls and extended bodies: A posthuman exploration of lively objects in twentieth and twenty-first century ballets
    (4/27/2020) Bennett, Mara Patricia Mandradjieff; Candelario, Rosemary
    This dissertation investigates the on-going theme of dolls and doll-like characters in Western ballets starting in nineteenth century France. It specifically analyzes French choreographer Maguy Marin’s Cendrillon (1985), Groosland (1989), and Coppélia (1994), Dutch choreographer Ted Brandsen’s Coppélia (2008), and Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s Dark Matters (2009). These twentieth and twenty-first century works present the contemporary applications and continued relevancy of doll ballets in current Western culture, while sparking conversations around objects and object-centered practices that transform and extend the human body, such as costuming or the act of puppetry. With the research methodology of choreographic analysis and a posthuman, feminist philosophical framework, I examine ways these ballets explore notions of what constitutes human, nonhuman, subject, and object through movement, narrative, and costume. I unpack the complex becoming co-construction of the material and semiotic actualizing on and off stage and claim these pieces dismantle human-nonhuman, subject-object, and lively-dead binaries by highlighting matter as, to use philosopher Karen Barad’s terms, agential and intra-active. This dissertation reveals how doll ballets position both the human and nonhuman as uncanny lively objects and provide a posthuman perspective towards bodies and understandings of objectification in ballet.
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    The Yamuleé Effect: Social dance, pedagogy, and performance of an Afro-Diasporic salsa dance company in the Bronx and beyond
    (8/3/2020) Thigpen, Mila; Candelario, Rosemary
    Popularized commercial representations of salsa have shaped familiar stereotypes of this Latin dance form as well as of the people who participate in it. In doing so, these commercial representations of salsa often erase the Africanist roots of salsa. However, there is a realm of salsa dance with its own history, culture, and practice that is understudied in the literature, which disproportionately focuses on salsa as experienced through Anglo-American bodies. In this dissertation, I address this gap by highlighting the overlooked practices of New York-style salsa in its cultural context. To do this, I examine Yamuleé Dance Company, a Latinx dance company based in the Bronx. Through an ethnographic study, I reveal how Yamuleé continues to preserve salsa’s African roots, while also locating the Bronx as a global mecca for salsa dance innovation. I argue that this dance company has had such a profound impact--which can be called "the Yamuleé Effect"--because it connects pedagogy, performance, and social dancing, thus recognizing African and Latin roots, as well as creating an essential communal space for Dominican cultural affirmation. Yamuleé utilizes multiple dance modalities that centers the narratives of New York-style salsa’s social and African genealogies, creating a dynamic archive of Africanist aesthetics. Through specific pedagogical and performance strategies, the company also invites personal dance style development for salsa dancers. All of these factors have allowed Yamuleé to develop an exceptional extended community grounded in a shared history and dance vocabulary. Yamuleé has created a unique, self-sustaining dancing community that not only develops individuals' dance skills, but deepens members' social bonds and cultural wealth. Because of this holistic and unique approach, Yamuleé Dance Company is important, not only because of its respect for salsa history, but also because of its role as a significant innovator of salsa.
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    The pleasure of enactment: Eclectic artist practices of dancers and dance makers following the Judson era
    (1/27/2020) Livingston, Loretta; Candelario, Rosemary
    ABSTRACT LORETTA LIVINGSTON THE PLEASURE OF ENACTMENT: ECLECTIC ARTIST PRACTICES OF DANCERS AND DANCE MAKERS FOLLOWING THE JUDSON ERA MAY 2020 The territory of this dissertation and the inquiries that drive it reside in features and meaningfulness of practice for a purposeful sample of nine experimental dance artists who began their dance careers in the eighties and nineties and who have links to avant-garde mentors who came to prominence in the sixties and seventies, during what has come to be known in the professional concert dance world as the Judson era. Following the groundbreaking Judson era, concert dance making and performance practices opened to broad eclecticisms, inviting emergent dance artists to shape their practices in individualistic and innovative ways, mixing and intersecting multiple approaches to dance embodiment through somatic studies, improvisation techniques, martial and contemplative arts, other arts disciplines, and interactions with nature. In this artist-based qualitative study, the purpose is to listen to artist-participants describe what it feels like to be inside one’s practice, and how having a practice supports their lives. The focus of the inquiry is on the subjective experience and personal value of each artist’s practice. The artists included in the study through open-ended conversational interviews are Claire Filmon, Kathleen Fisher, K.J. Holmes, Luis Lara Malvacías, Kara Jhalak Miller, Melinda Ring, Melanie Ríos Glaser, Michael Sakamoto, and Roxanne Steinberg. As the researcher, I find affinities between my dance making practice and qualitative inquiry that support the dissertation study. I devise a writing style that features a choreographed mix of the nine artist-participants’ voices, my informative and creative voices, and the voices of experts and scholars in other disciplines. I invent and employ a fictitious character who brings the total of research participants to nine, plus one. Using the Nine Plus One Voice throughout the dissertation, I offer movement scenes as interludes that invite the reader to experience movement in everyday adventures. I aim for the entire text to embody a sense of rhythm and motion, acknowledging dance and dance-like words as vehicles for knowledge of self and world. While honoring the uniqueness of each artist-participant’s experience of one’s self in practice, I acknowledge a deep spirit of adventuresome experimental dance that unites them.
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    Knowing in the body: A dancer's emergent epistemology
    (2007-05) Wilson, Margaret A.; Hanstein, Penelope; Caldwell, Linda Almar; Gamblin, Sarah; Kwon, Young-Hoo
    The purpose of this study was to explore how knowing in the body develops when dancers translate and integrate detail and sensory information about the structure and function of their bodies, both through movement exploration, and in their dancing. In this research I asked how the body both can be a site of knowledge and how this knowledge develops and emerges. I reflect on the implications of this research as it pertains to pedagogy, and throughout this document I describe a pedagogy that puts the body (back) at the center of teaching in dance. Four courses which blended anatomic information with experiential application, both in terms of improvisation and exploration and within a structured dance technique class, and two biomechanical studies generated data for analysis. The data collected reflects different research and pedagogical approaches which provided multiple sources of information. A case study methodology allowed me to look in depth at each group and grounded theory methodology allowed me to integrate multiple sources of data for analysis. Framing the data within a larger milieu, created through a review of literature in ecological affordance, embodied cognition, phenomenology and embodiment, I detail how dancers are Bodies-in-the-World, who through research, exploration and integration of information about all bodies, explore more deeply their understandings of their own bodies. When dancers integrate knowledge of the body with knowledge of their dancing, this knowledge acts as an attractor that leads to the development of an individual physical knowledge—a knowing in the body. Each dancer has an individual epistemology that develops from her experiences and her expectations. This epistemology, knowing in the body, develops in action and is influenced by many different sources. Understanding how dancers develop knowing in the body presents a new paradigm for pedagogy. Placing the body back at the center of dance, a bodily centered pedagogy creates a different paradigm for teaching dance. In addition to learning about movement, a bodily centered pedagogy teaches dancers how to access a knowing in their bodies when they are dancing.