Dancing Mind, Minding Dance : Socially Relevant and Personally Resonant Dance Education book cover
1st Edition

Dancing Mind, Minding Dance
Socially Relevant and Personally Resonant Dance Education

  • Available for pre-order on May 15, 2023. Item will ship after June 5, 2023
ISBN 9781032382081
June 5, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
264 Pages

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

Dancing Mind, Minding Dance encompasses a collection of pivotal texts published by scholar and researcher Doug Risner, whose work over the past three decades has emphasized the significance of social relevance and personal resonance in dance education. Drawing upon Risner’s breakthrough research and visionary scholarship, the book contextualizes critical issues of dance making in the rehearsal process, dance curriculum and pedagogy in 21st century postsecondary dance education, the role of dance teaching artists in schools and community environments, and dance, gender and sexual identity, especially the feminization of dance and the marginalization of males who dance.

The book concludes with Risner’s prophetic vision for employing reflective practice in order to address social justice, inclusion, and humanizing pedagogies in dance and dance education throughout all sectors of dance training and preparation. Beginning with his first book, Stigma and Perseverance in the Lives of Boys Who Dance (2009), Risner has distinguished himself as the leading education researcher, scholar, and practitioner to improve young dancers’ education and training and in humanistic ways. The book will appeal to dance educators and teachers, dance education scholars and researchers, choreographers, parents and care-givers of dance students, and those whose work as teaching artists, arts administrators, private sector dance studio directors and teachers, as well as arts education researchers and scholars broadly. The chapters in this book, except for few, were originally published in various Taylor & Francis journals.


Table of Contents


Susan W. Stinson


Jennifer McNamara and Doug Risner

Part I: Dance Making Pedagogies in the Rehearsal Process


1. Exploring Dance Rehearsal: The Neglected Issues Revealed

Doug Risner

2. Voices Seldom Heard: The Dancer's Experience of the Choreographic Process

Doug Risner

3. Making Dance, Making Sense: Epistemology & Choreography

Doug Risner

Part II: Curriculum and Pedagogy in 21st Century Postsecondary Dance


4. Dance Education Matters: Rebuilding Postsecondary Dance Education for Twenty-first Century Relevance and Resonance

Doug Risner

5. Weaving Social Foundations in Dance Pedagogy: A Pedagogy of Uncovering

Sherrie Barr and Doug Risner

6. Troubling Methods-Centered "Teacher Production": Social Foundations in Dance Education Teacher Preparation

Doug Risner and Sherrie Barr

7. Leadership Narratives in Postsecondary Dance Leadership: Voices, Values and Gender Variations

Doug Risner and Pamela Musil

Part III: The Role of Dance Teaching Artists in Dance Education


8. Hybrid Lives of Teaching Artistry: A Survey of Teaching Artists in Dance

Doug Risner

9. The Credential Question: Attitudes of Dance and Theatre Teaching Artists

Doug Risner and Mary Elizabeth Anderson

10. Preparation, Policy and Workplace Challenges of Dance Teaching Artists in P-12 Schools: Perspectives from the Field

Doug Risner, Sam Horning, and Bryant Henderson Shea

Part IV: Dance, Gender, and Sexual Identity


11. Rehearsing Masculinity: Challenging the "Boy Code" in Dance Education

Doug Risner

12. Bullying Victimization and Social Support of Adolescent Male Dance Students

Doug Risner

13. Gender Problems in Western Theatrical Dance: Little Girls, Big Sissies and the "Baryshnikov Complex"

Doug Risner

14. Men in Dance, Bridging the Gap Symposium: Gender Inequities in Dance Education: Asking New Questions

Doug Risner

Part V: Reflective Practice, Social Justice, and Humanizing Dance Pedagogy


15. Motion and Marking in Reflective Practice: Artifacts, Autobiographical Narrative, and Sexuality

Doug Risner

16. Moving Social Justice in Dance Pedagogy: Possibilities, Fears and Challenges

Doug Risner and Susan W. Stinson

17. Activities for Humanizing Dance Pedagogy: Immersive Learning in Practice

Doug Risner


Nyama McCarthy Brown

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Doug Risner (PhD, MFA) is Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Professor of Dance, and directs the MA in Theatre and Dance: Teaching Artistry program in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University. He conducts research in the sociology of dance training and education, gender in dance, curriculum theory and policy, social foundations of dance pedagogy, online learning, and web-based curriculum design. His books include Stigma and Perseverance in the Lives of Boys Who Dance (2009); Hybrid Lives of Teaching Artists in Dance and Theatre Arts: A Critical Reader (2014); Gender, Sexuality and Identity: Critical Issues in Dance Education (2015): Dance and Gender: An Evidence-Based Approach (2017); Dance, Professional Practice, and the Workplace (2020); and Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education: Case Studies on Humanizing Dance Pedagogy (2020), which received the 2021 NDEO Ruth Lovell Murray Award for Dance Education and the 2021 Susan W. Stinson Book Award. His most recent edited volumes include Dancing Across the Lifespan: Negotiating Age, Place and Purpose (2022) with Pam Musil and Karen Schupp, and Masculinity, Intersectionality & Identity: Why Boys (Don’t) Dance (2022) with Beccy Watson.

Jennifer McNamara (MFA) is Assistant Professor of Dance at Mercyhurst University. Following a twenty-year career as a ballet dancer, she was an adjunct professor at Middle Tennessee State University and taught for New Dialect and the School of Nashville Ballet. A certified Pilates instructor, Jennifer explores the relationships between foundational and aesthetic movement choices; she is also an advocate for justice in dance education. She is a past recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship (Dance) from the Tennessee Arts Commission, has designed and built costumes, and has been published in Arts Education Policy Review and Masculinity, Intersectionality & Identity: Why Boys (Don’t) Dance, edited by Doug Risner and Beccy Watson. Jennifer earned her MFA in Dance from Hollins University.