Professional Learning

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Professional Learning (PL) at Luna is a conduit for action in the creation, expansion, and improvement of high-quality dance programs for all children. Viewing pedagogy and practice as a continual learning loop for teachers throughout their careers, PL services include entry-level through continuing education courses, Summer and Winter institutes, Practitioner Exchanges, coaching, internships, curriculum guides, and an extensive resource library. Offsite, we offer professional development workshops at schools and community organizations, and through our Building Cultures of Dance Initiative, we provide consultation to arts leaders who seek to develop or assess dance programs. PL fulfills our mission of bringing dance to all children by providing comprehensive education and support to all who teach. Each year, 250+ artists and educators participate in turn bringing powerful dance instruction to 20,000-25,000 students.

There is a place in Luna’s PL for experts in many disciplines: dance teaching artists, performers, and dance specialists; physical education, music and visual arts teachers; classroom teachers (k-12), special education teachers, paraprofessionals, and early childhood educators; college professors; school and arts leaders; therapists, and social workers. In partnership, we shift the field as we deepen the knowledge and practice of dance learning for ourselves, our peers, and our communities of practice. 

The Movement to Inspire Change begins each year at our “back-to-school Teacher Launch. Click here to see photos from this year’s event.

Workshops and Summer Institutes
Luna provides many opportunities for dance teaching artists, classroom teachers, and other practitioners to engage in useful inquiry into the art of teaching dance. Our workshops and seminars combine theory and practice in a practical manner that activates the imagination to improve teaching and create change. Entry level workshops, a 4-partfoundational course of study, topic workshops, and continuing education seminars available. The more intense immersion of our institutes (Family Dance, Summer, and Leadership) provides individualized coaching and collegial support throughout a yearlong process.
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Creating Communities of Practice
Teaching is often an isolating endeavor, more so for dance teachers who may be insulated in the dance studio or on the periphery as a visiting instructor or prep teacher. Luna provides ample opportunities for dance professionals to develop their own learning communities around topics of relevance to their work. Activities include monthly Practitioner Exchanges, issues of practice/topic seminars, reunions, and happy hours.
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Building Cultures of Dance

bocd_cmykLuna works with leaders from arts, dance, community, education, and social justice organizations to strengthen dance learning everywhere and encourage the courageous infusion of creativity into inclusive dance curriculum. Many agency leaders have called on Luna to help them develop programs that meet the needs of their own community without resorting to “inventing every wheel”. We share our strategies for action research, inquiry, reflection, staff development, curriculum development, assessment, and more through short-term consultations or longer term contracts. Luna provides

  • Needs assessment
  • Program development and strategic growth planning
  • Staff professional development
  • Leadership support and development
  • Curriculum design and implementation coaching

Communities who have hired Luna include

  • Head Start Centers (Alameda Family Services, Berkeley Head Start, Oakland Early Head Start)
  • Arts Providers (AXIS Dance Company, Canyon Dance Center, MOCHA, San Francisco Ballet DISC Program)
  • Education Organizations & Institutions (Alameda County Office of Education, Berkeley Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, Mills College Dance Department, Oakland Unified School District, Palo Alto Unified School District, Santa Cruz Unified School District)
  • Social Justice Organizations (Asian Women’s Shelter, Wooden Floor)

Research
As a learning organization, Luna is committed to ongoing inquiry in the field of dance education. We regularly engage in action research and topic-specific investigations. Past include projects include Engaging Families in Dance: An Investigation of Moving Parents and Children Together; Dance in Middle School; Dance Inclusion. Currently, we are completing a long-term study of Summer Institute participants over 15 years..
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Resources
Monthly free consultations, an extensive library and resource center, and community events such as Dance Education Forum, Dance & Disability Panel, Equity Panel, and more are available to all who teach dance. Teaching practitioners might also wish to purchase Body, Mind & Spirit in Action: a teacher’s guide to creative dance, 2nd ed. ©2015, written by Patricia Reedy, to guide curriculum development and implementation.
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Certification
As we await passage of the California Theater And Dance Act,(SB916) Luna offers a professional certificate that represents completion of a rigorous course of study in creative, standards-based dance education. TADA is a credential at the secondary level. Luna certification offers an opportunity to reveal a “gold standard” of professional study for all educators preK through middle school.
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“It pushed me to take a step outside my box. To question what I thought I knew about education and movement. To find my own truths and struggle to reconcile them with my reality. To open my own body in new and unfamiliar ways. To experience what my students experienced.” – workshop participant