Poverty of Culturally Diverse Dance Resources: Its Impact in Our Classrooms and Beyond

Nyama McCarthy-Brown
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How important are culturally diverse readings in dance curricula? This paper presents an examination of three dance departments in higher education, each with a stated value of cultural diversity in their mission statement, and how culturally diverse readings were treated within each department. Although dance as a discipline was not formally established in higher education until 1926, the discipline was shaped by Western philosophies of education, just as American higher education. Thus, have the selected dance departments managed to diversify their curriculum in a meaningful manner within a Western oriented and privileged institutional framework. Culturally relevant pedagogy is nothing new to the field of education. The contributions pioneers such as Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Lisa Delpit are staples in education. However, crossing this teaching methodology into dance has been a challenge. Through an analysis of mission statements, required readings lists, sequential curriculum, and student and faculty questionnaires, I examine the extent to which culturally diverse readings are utilized and benefit dance departments committed to values of cultural diversity. Voices from the field are presented to support my argument and issues of social justice in Dance Education underpin the discussion throughout.


McCarthy-Brown, Nyama. "Poverty of Culturally Diverse Dance Resources: Its Impact in Our Classrooms and Beyond," Arts Education Policy Review 116.1 (2015): 30-42.