The National Dance Association nominated Mary Ann Laverty as the 2009 K-12 National Dance Educator of the Year (DEOY).
Dr. Laverty is Director of Dance at Woodside High School, Magnet Dance Program at the Center for Communication and Arts in Newport News, VA. Prior to this appointment, she was a full-time Assistant Professor at Hampton University in dance where she directed the Community Children's Dance Program. She also held an Adjunct position at Christopher Newport University for four years. Dr. Laverty received her Ph.D. from New York University in Anthropology of Human Movement.
While a student at NYU, Dr. Laverty served first as a Teaching Fellow and later Adjunct Professor. Her MA was earned from Mills College in Oakland, CA and her undergraduate degree in Dance and Teaching Certification are from San Francisco State University. Aside from teaching the modern techniques of Graham, Limón and Dunham, Dr. Laverty has a strong interest in World dance, primarily in the African Diaspora and has studied Haitian, African, Balinese, Bharata Natyam, Flamenco and Middle Eastern dance. She has served both as Vice- President Elect for Dance Performance and Vice-President for Dance Education for the National Dance Association. She has been instrumental in writing the National Dance Standards and is a contributing author on the upcoming publication entitled, Implementing the National Dance Education Standards (Human Kinetics).
The K-12 Dance Educator of the Year will be presenting the session "Haiku as Poetic Dance: An Interdisciplinary Learning Experience" at the AAHPERD National Convention & Exposition (March 16-20, 2010) in Indianapolis.
Session Description: Create dances inspired by Haiku, with an emphasis on weight, rhythm, cadence and imagery. Using beautifully pure prose, this session details the process of instructing students to apply their imaginations, encouraging them to expand this process with their own poetry. The session further explores choreographing one large group piece.
Program Objectives: This movement session begins by participants selecting or writing a Haiku. We will then create movement phrases inspired by the poetry, based on weight, rhythm/cadence and imagery invoked from the poetry by abstracting the movement rather than a literal translation of the words. Upon completion of individual movement phrases, the participants will be grouped into small groups of no more than four, divided by similarity by contrasting movement, or similarity or contrasting poetry. The session will culminate in a large, group work and draws from several of the National Dance Standards.