Faculty and students from Debra Collier’s School of Dance in Warsaw attended the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters’ annual Ballet Forum, Dance and More, Training School and Convention, held at the Doubletree Chicago in Oak Brook, Ill.
Studio owner and CNADM President, Debra Collier, MDE, all of her faculty members, and students ranging from novice to advanced, attended the various workshops to improve their skills in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and modern dance. The attendees received instruction from a faculty of renowned dance professionals.
CNADM provides three levels of certifications where a teacher’s knowledge and competence as a dance educator are measured and qualified. To gain membership, teachers must successfully complete written and demonstrative testing in various disciplines of dance. Teachers may then apply to become a Certified Dance Educator by completing 240 hours of teacher training, passing written and oral testing and submitting a DVD of themselves teaching. Master Dance Educator (MDE) certification may be acquired by an additional 160 hours of training and submission of a Teaching Portfolio.
“Teacher certification is important in our industry,” explains Collier. “Many times you will see a dancer that is a talented and beautiful performer, but they do not have the training to break elements down and teach them to students. The CNADM certification program is a standard in our industry to assess teachers’ skills and abilities.”
DCSD instructors Nicole Eby and Grace Robison were recognized during the CNADM Annual Awards Banquet as they were accepted into membership. Instructors Amy Clay and Tammy Seibold were also recognized as they received MDE certification, as well was Deb Collier for 25 years of membership. Sarah Mills, who was selected as the recipient of the CNADM College Scholarship, was also recognized. Sarah is a DCSD graduate pursuing a degree in dance from Western Michigan University where she was recently selected to join the prestigious Bachelor of Fine Arts program.
The banquet is a highlight of the organization’s summer events. Over 300 teachers and students joined together as they honored their peers and celebrated the spirit of dance. The event opened with a performance by the students of the CNADM Dance and More program, including two DCSD graduates. At each year’s banquet, CNADM presents the Artistic Achievement Award to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the dance community.
Previous recipients of this award include Gene Kelly, Randy Duncan, Gelsey Kirkland and many others. Collier was honored to present this year’s award to DCSD alumni Jeremy Plummer. Plummer is an accomplished director, choreographer and aerial creator/choreographer. He has been a member of River North Chicago Dance Company and is the founder of C5, an aerial-dance company. He is a choreographer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and a master teacher for numerous national dance organizations.
DCSD students also attended the CNADM Ballet Forum where they were honored to work with former Joffrey Ballet dancers Juan Sanchez and Laura Gates. The students presented newly commissioned pieces at the Ballet Gala. Students also attended the Student Sessions, where DCSD student MaKenna Leek received a Merit Scholarship based on her abilities and performance during the workshop.
Debra Collier’s School of Dance provides the area’s most highly trained team of instructors teaching in a state-of-the-art facility. With a passion for developing students as people not just dancers, along with a deep and long-term commitment to the Warsaw community, Debra Collier’s truly believe it’s about more than dance. For more information, please contact the studio at 574-267-7055 or [email protected].