Linda Jasper MBE, MA, Cert Education
Linda Jasper’s work in dance encompasses a wide range of contexts. Trained originally as a dancer and then as a teacher of dance, she has worked as a performer, choreographer, school teacher, youth dance practitioner, dance development worker, academic and director. She is driven by the desire to widen access to dance for all and, in particular, to improve the dance education available to young people.
Linda Jasper started Youth Dance England (YDE) in February 2004, the national development organisation to champion dance for all young people. As Director of the organisation she created a national network for children and young people’s dance in and beyond schools. One of the major initiatives was the instigation of School Dance Coordinator posts to work as advisory teachers to increase skill and confidence in non specialist teachers to teach dance. She coordinated, with members of the Dance Education Programme Board, (that includes NDTA, Association for Physical Education, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and Youth Sport Trust) the production of A Ten Year Vision 2010-20 for the development of dance for Children and Young People in England. As part of her work she has commissioned and contributed to publications to support dance educationalists advocate and develop their work including: Dance in and Beyond Schools (Jeanette Siddall, 2010) and a Framework for Teaching Dance 3 – 19 years (2010) As Director of YDE she has led, on behalf of the Dance Training and Accreditation Partnership working with Trinity College London, the creation of a new qualification the Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning (Children and Young People) The Diploma provides a qualification for dance practitioners who work with, or wish to work with, children and young people beyond statutory education.
Previously she was Director of South East Dance, the lead dance development agency for the SE region creating dance programmes for and with professional artists, practitioners, local authorities, education and community sectors and venues. South East Dance established a national and international profile for dance film and video. Previously Senior Professional Training Tutor at the University of Surrey’s Dance department (1990 - 1998), she established courses to educate and train students for careers in dance. For eight years she initiated and managed a county wide youth dance programme through Berkshire County Council’s Youth and Community Department (1982 - 1990), establishing an inclusive and progressive programme. She was Vice Chair of Culture South East (2003-2009), elected Chair of the Foundation for Community Dance and served on many Advisory Panels of the Arts Council.
Veronica was recently elected as an Honorary Member of the NDTA after she stood down after an incredible 20 years as Chair of NDTA. Veronica has been instrumental in the development of NDTA from very small beginnings to the thriving organisation that it is today.
Veronica is Head of Professional and Community Development at Laban where she directs the Education and Community Programme and lectures in Dance Education. She originally trained as a specialist dance teacher at London College of Dance and Drama before teaching for over 7 years at a large London comprehensive school in South London. Following a year studying for an MA at Laban, she became an advisory teacher with the ILEA PE Inspectorate, working in schools across London. She then became Co-ordinator for Performing Arts at City and Islington College, Sixth Form Centre teaching a range of courses including GCSE, A Level and BTEC, before moving to Laban in 1996. Veronica has taken an active interest in promoting and developing dance in schools throughout her career and was instrumental in the formation of the National Dance Teachers’ Association in 1988, of which she is currently Chairperson. She regularly writes for dance and arts journals and presents at conferences in the UK and abroad, serving on a number of dance, arts and education panels and working groups concerned with youth dance and dance in the curriculum.
Mollie Davies PhD, MBE, FRAD
Throughout her professional life, Mollie Davies has pursued two major interests; the education of young people, and dance. The twinning of these two strands has greatly influenced her teaching and research activities and it is for her contribution to dance education that the NDTA awarded her honorary membership. Mollie’s early years of teaching were spent in the state and public sectors where she taught dance as part of a physical education programme to young people aged between four and eighteen years. Subsequently she interrupted her teaching to spend two years at the Art of Movement Studio in Addlestone working with Rudolf Laban, Lisa Ullman, Marion North, Valerie Preston, Geraldine Stephenson et al. It was here that she discovered her interest in movement observation, which was to become a key feature of her work. On completion of her Laban Studies Mollie was appointed to the Froebel College and later to Roehampton Institute where she played a variety of roles including Head of Dance Studies, Dean of Students, Chair of the Board of Undergraduate Studies and a member of Senate. She created a B.Hum. in Dance Studies validated by London University and later a BA (Hons) in Dance Studies validated by Surrey University.
While at Roehampton Mollie pursued a number of academic and artistic activities. For ten years, in association with Mary Wilkinson, she co-directed the Orchesis Group, a collective of dancers who toured schools and colleges in the UK and which, it was often claimed, was the first ‘dance in education’ outreach group of its kind. In 1976, she obtained a PhD from London University as a result of an investigation into movement related to cognition in young children. At a time when dance was appearing in degree programmes for the first time she operated as external examiner at a number of Universities and Colleges throughout the UK. In 1985, Mollie founded the UK chapter of Dance and the Child International (daCi UK), which she chaired for ten years; she became international chair from 1994 - 1997. daCi UK and the NDTA jointly organised and hosted several courses and conferences. Both organisations enjoyed these collaborative occasions and Mollie remains in admiration of NDTA’s continuing contribution to the growth of dance education in the UK. In 1990, she was awarded an MBE for her services to dance in education.
Upon her retirement from Roehampton Mollie became academic consultant to the Royal Academy of Dancing (now Dance) where she worked with Dr Susan Danby to create a BA (Hons) in The Art and Teaching of Classical Ballet and a B.Phil (Hons) in Ballet and Contextual Studies both validated by Durham University. In recognition of her contribution, she was made a fellow of the Royal Academy (FRAD). For several years, she enjoyed contact with Sutton Young Dancemakers where, as well as following their performances in the UK and abroad, she chaired the Trustees Committee. During this time, the Lisa Ullman Travelling Scholarship Fund was formed and Mollie became a founder member of the committee. Since 1994 Mollie has been academic consultant to the Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts taking responsibility for setting up an undergraduate programme in Dance and Theatre Performance validated by Greenwich University. She serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the subcommittee on Staffing and Curriculum Development. Currently Mollie continues to tutor Ph.D. students and her latest book, Movement and Dance in Early Childhood, was published in 2003.
Gordon Curl’s election as an Honorary member of the NDTA arose from his extensive involvement in the original negotiations with the DES for the recognition of dance in the National Curriculum. As the Chairman of the NATFHE Dance Section he became the Chairman and spokesman of a Consortium of National bodies which included the NDTA, CDET, SCODHE and NATFHE and with this influential coalition he was, with his colleagues, able to gain access to the sanctum sanctorum of the DES National Curriculum Planners. There is little doubt that the pressure brought to bear at Government level by this Consoritum influenced the eventual acceptance of dance – even if its complete autonomy was not achieved.
After war service in the Royal Navy, followed by teacher-training in Combined Arts, Gordon taught in Oxfordshire and then spent six years on the staff of Bretton Hall College of Music Art and Drama in Yorkshire where he introduced men students to the mysteries of creative dance – coupled with forays into the aesthetics of dance. Fascinated by the influence of Rudolf Laban (then widespread in the West Riding) he undertook master’s research into Laban’s theories – which, when published, caused not a little stir. Gordon was appointed as Principal Lecturer and Head of Combined Arts at Chelsea College Eastbourne and during the sixties brought Kurt Jooss and his Company from Germany to the Congress Theatre to provide a lecture-demonstration to over 2000 students and college staff, followed by an evening performance of The Green Table.
During the seventies Gordon took an MA with distinction in philosophy at London University and became tutor in charge of degree studies at Nonington College, Chairman of the Movement Board of Studies at London University, CNAA validator to many dance courses in Colleges and Polytechnics and was involved in the validation of both BEd and MA degrees in Movements Studies. It was during this time that he assisted with the NDTA negotiations for dance on the National Curriculum. His twenty years’ Chairmanship of the NATFHE Dance Section led to large-scale conferences with many professional artists, including: Alwin Nikolais at Warwick University, Martha Graham at Covent Garden and Robert Cohan’s LCDT at London University. The published Reports of these conferences (which he edited and for which he wrote many articles) are still in demand. Gordon latterly became MA External Examiner in Dance for Sussex and De Montfort Universities and the B.Phil of the Royal Academy of Dance, Durham University.
Following the closure of Nonington, Gordon became Artistic Director of Shepway Youth Opera directing productions in the Canterbury Festival and Canterbury Cathedral. He continued teaching aesthetics of dance on the MA in Expressive Arts at Christ Church University College and has just completed six years as Chairman of the Laban Guild. He has a great admiration for the work of the NDTA, which has provided such invaluable service to schools, colleges, and its members, through its excellent courses and publications.
David Henshaw NDTA National Dance Teachers Association
David Henshaw was first employed as a ballroom dance demonstrator, having been advised at school that he was too slow at study to contemplate the theatre, teaching or an academic career. He worked in childrens' theatre under the pioneering Caryl Jenner, in weekly repertory, Indian dance, pantomime and sleazy seven-times-daily clubland revue. He danced with International Ballet, Cosmopolitan Ballet, the Legat Ballet and Carlton Ballet. He was asked to help out for a term teaching at the Legat School, and remained in teaching for twenty five years. The Royal Army Education Corps had, during National Service, deemed him unsuitable for the teaching profession on account of the incisiveness of his performance in drag revue. Bretton Hall dismissed him similarly through prejudice and ignorance about gay sexuality, but with the indomitable support of Margaret Dunn and a one-man sit-in at the Ministry of Education he became a qualified teacher.
He met Rudolf Laban and trained at the Art of Movement Studio under Lisa Ullmann. He has taught in infant, junior and secondary schools, in further and higher education and at Trinity College of Music. He was Head of the School of Dance at Middlesex Polytechnic (now University) where he planned and launched the first BA course in performing arts in Europe, at which time he became Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
He gained an MA, Phi Kappa Phi, from American University, Washington DC. He has gathered knowledge of Indian dance in Britain and in India and has taught at the University of Ghana in West Africa. He was Chair of the Management Committee of the Academy of Indian Dance and on the board of directors of Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble. He served on the dance panel of the Arts Council and the dance and performing arts panels of the CNAA. He was an adviser and Council member of Greater London Arts, and was the first chair of the Standing Conference on Dance in Higher Education. He has failed Labanotation examinations more than most, and has acquaintance knowledge of Benesh Notation and several other systems.
He has planned and co-ordinated courses in South Asian, African and Caribbean dance at the University of Surrey. For its first sixteen years, he was Chief Examiner for Advanced Level and Advanced Supplementary dance examinations. He has, until recently, served as the first Chair of the South Asian Dance Faculty of the ISTD, setting up a programme of dance examinations in Kathak and Bharatanatyam, from those for young children to teaching qualifications, and shepherding these through QCA validation to become part of the nationally validated raft of public examinations.
Jacqueline Smith-Autard PHD, MA
Jacqueline Smith-Autard was a founder member of the NDTA and was the Association’s first Vice Chair. She has taught in schools and higher education for forty-four years and through her lecturing and teaching, and leading of developments within the institutions in which she has worked, she has made significant contributions, to the general development in dance in education in the UK and abroad. Her designation as an Honorary Member was a recognition of the contribution that she has made.
Jacqueline was a founding author and external examiner of the ‘O’ Level Dance examination, later to become the GCSE and for ten years was Chief Examiner responsible for performance and composition papers. She was a consultant for the Department for Education’s Teacher Training Agency between 1998 and 2001 and is a recognised trainer for teachers in use of ICT to deliver dance in education. Her international consultancy work has taken her Australia in 1994 and 2000, Spain 1995, Finland 1997, Sweden, Canada and the USA in 2000 and to Holland in 2002 and 2003, to promote and extend dance education pedagogy especially in relation to use of multimedia.
Jacqueline has written two seminal books in the field of dance education. The first, Dance Composition published 1976 and re-printed and published in four further editions (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004), continues to sell widely across the world. The Art of Dance in Education published in 1994, with a second edition in 2002, provided teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary education with theoretical bases for teaching the art of dance through performing, composing and appreciating dances with an emphasis on use of professional dance works to support students’ learning and to develop their understanding of dance as an art form. The resource-based teaching approach developed by Jacqueline and described in the book, is now a valued methodology. In addition, she has written, or co-written many journal articles and other materials including videos, such as Sports Bank (for the BBC) and Dance in the Primary School (with the NDTA) advocating dance curriculum changes across the sectors. She is also co-author of several seminal articles and proceedings on dance pedagogy and multimedia technology.
Since the formation of Bedford Interactive Jacqueline has, in partnership with Jim Schofield, researched, developed and published several ground breaking multimedia resources for dance in education including the award winning first interactive video laser disc for dance in 1989. This was followed in 1999 by Wild Child, a dance work presented by the Ludus Dance Company, in a compact digital interactive format accompanied by a comprehensive resource book for teachers. This has been re-released as a CD ROM resource pack. Recent interactive resources include Graham Technique-analysis of 10 basic exercises and Motifs for a Solo Dancer- improving dance performance.
Jacqueline retired from full-time lecturing in September 1996. She currently works part-time at the University of Leeds, Bretton Hall Campus and supervises PhD students at Bretton and at De Montfort University. Her main work is with Bedford Interactive Research where she continues her partnership with Jim Schofield to research applications of multimedia to dance.
Judy Smith B Ed. M Ed.
Dance has always played a very important role in Judy’s professional and private life. Her own secondary education was in a very forward thinking school where everyone, all 900 pupils, danced every year. This was followed by three years teacher training at Lady Mabel College of Physical Education where there was a specialist dance route in the second and third years; it was here that she was initiated into the work of Laban. After several years of teaching all aspects of Physical Education she resumed her Laban studies at Addlestone and was fortunate to work with Lisa Ullmann, Vera Maletic, and Roderyk Lange amongst many other dedicated and inspirational teachers. As a result of these experiences she was appointed to the Dance Department of I. M. Marsh College where she remained for the next twenty-six years, for many of which she was head of department. During this time, she saw dance education transformed, the college hosted the first London Contemporary Dance Theatre residency, certificates became degrees, dance as part of physical education expanded and dance study became recognised as worthy of degree status in its own right.
Opportunities at I. M. Marsh abounded, her work with ITT students took her regularly into schools, soon she became involved with INSET both regionally and nationally, and she became External Examiner at De Montfort University and the University of Derby. Importantly she was encouraged to develop a specialist interest in early Dance especially that of Elizabethan and Stuart England obtaining a M Ed degree, by thesis, from Manchester University. Thus began many years of collaboration with adult community dance groups and the re-creation of dance from past eras.
Judy’s involvement with dance examinations has made a considerable national impact. 1976 saw the beginning of a long-standing commitment to the provision of appropriate dance challenges for year eleven pupils in the public sector of schooling. Judy became a moderator for the Dance Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) of the North West Regional Examinations Board. She was instrumental in the design and implementation of the new GCSE dance syllabus for the Northern Examinations and Assessment Board (NEAB) and later as their Chief Moderator played a significant role when the syllabi of the different Boards merged and the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) took over responsibility for dance examinations nation-wide. She was appointed as Chief Examiner, a role she maintained until her retirement in 2004, she is however still very active within the GCSE team. In the last eight years she has seen the number of candidates grow from 2,000 to 17,000 and feels very privileged to have worked with the very many dedicated teachers who have made this possible.