In 2008 the NDA Scholar/Artist award was given to Wendy Oliver, Professor of Dance and Women's Studies at Providence College ( Providence, RI). Wendy delivered her lecture on the quality of dance education in our society and was honored for her many years of scholarship, creative works and service to the profession at the AAHPERD National Convention ( April 8-12, 2008) in Fort Worth, Texas.
Wendy serves as Chair of the dance program under the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film. She teaches technique, education, women's studies and directs the College Dance Company (CDC). Although the main style of CDC is modern, both jazz and ballet are explored for "intellectual inquisitiveness and openness to new interpretations of dance." She directs the Children's Creative Dance Program and, within Rhode Island high schools, implements protocols for dance proficiency.
Wendy describes dance as a "kinesthetic art form that involves sensory awareness, discipline and creativity… with its own history, theory and criticism." A prolific and accomplished writer, she focuses her research on pertinent performance, pedagogical and historical questions driving the development of dance education. Among her published works are articles in peer reviewed publication such as JOPERD, Dance Research Journal, Impulse and Kinesiology for Dance. She co-edited Women Making Art: Women in the Visual, Literary and Performing Arts Since 1960 and Focus on Dance XII: Dance in Higher Education. She edited and was a contributing author for Dance and Culture: A Primary Reader and Choreographers and Dance, Looking and Learning, both textbooks designed for grades 6-12 (scheduled for NDA publication). Wendy has presented at many national conferences, including our pedagogy conference in Saratoga Spring, NY (2007) and in Dallas, TX (2004).
In addition to her scholarship, Wendy has contributed to at least two professional associations. She has served on the Board of Directors for both NDA and the Congress on Research in Dance. A former dancer and still an active choreographer, Wendy was honored in 1998 as the College/University Dance Educator of the Year by the Rhode Island Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She holds an MFA from Temple University and an EdD from Columbia University Teachers College.
The Scholar/Artist is chosen annually from a list of distinguished dance educators who have an extensive record of creative work for at least ten years. To nominate a colleague, contact Janice LaPointe-Crump.