Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Kay Gayner

Associate Artistic Director | National Dance Institute

Kay Gayner is the Associate Artistic Director of NDI and currently serves as Artistic Director for the NDI/China Project in Shanghai and the NDI/Lebanon Project in Beirut, training teachers in the NDI pedagogy and overseeing the development of NDI’s partner programs in both countries. Kay is an NDI Master Teaching Artist and was named the 2009 Teacher of the Year. With Agnes McConlogue Ferro, Kay serves as co-creator and co-director of the NDI DREAM Project (Dancers Realize Excellence through Arts and Movement): an inclusion-based dance program that focuses on augmenting movement potential through partnerships, collaboration and choreography.

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

Equitable & Culturally-Relevant Dance Education

How do we create art with our students that is culturally relevant, joyful, celebrates their identities, and encourages rigorous learning through an equity lens? Through an interactive, inquiry-based format, participants will engage in an exploration of what culturally responsive and equitable pedagogy can look like for arts organizations. We’ll share some of our practices at National Dance Institute (NDI) around building an equitable classroom culture while creating evocative dance narratives in ways that both honor those whose stories we're telling and ensure cultural relevance for our students. NDI runs programs in elementary schools across NYC, programs for children with disabilities and international programs in China and Lebanon. We will share some of our learnings from working with these diverse communities and how we set up our classrooms so that students of all races, genders, abilities, and other identities feel seen and celebrated. After leading you in a sample NDI dance class for all bodies and abilities, we will discuss how we connect the dance narratives we tell to our students’ lives. Through small group work we will have an opportunity to design mini lessons around a theme, bringing in some of the tools practiced in this workshop and brainstorming ways to create culturally relevant and responsible connections for our students.

Speakers: Calia Marshall, Kay Gayner, Yakir Ben-Hur