Summer Institutes

Summer Institute 2018, July 13-20, 9am-5:30pm, Mills College, Oakland

Required follow-up dates: Midyear Meeting, January 20, 2019 and Gallery Walk, May 18, 2019

Submission deadline extended to April 23.

Dance teaching artists are too often isolated in their teaching settings. Whether as the only “dance specialist” at a school site or bouncing between multiple school sites in a single day or week, dance teaching artists often feel an absence of professional support. Unsure how to access a sense of a larger community of colleagues and unable to feel comfortable as representative experts of their discipline within their teaching settings, too often dance artists feel burned-out, uninspired,  or even driven to leave the profession entirely.

Luna’s Summer Institute (SI) was created to support dance teaching artists to develop their craft. Learning in a collegial group of diverse educators, SI participants improve teaching practice, gain confidence as professionals and develop long-lasting systems of support.

Each year 6 dancers and 6 education practitioners (classroom teachers, social workers, ECE professionals, PE or music specialists) come together for 6 days of intensive study in the dance discipline. During the intensive week, they explore:

  • the elements of dance (H’Doubler and Laban)
  • creating & implementing standards-based dance lessons
  • human development zero to 24 years
  • learning theories, in particular critical pedagogy and constructivism
  • observation skills…and more

SI participants then receive follow-up services including coaching & consultation, opportunities for advanced study and collegial exchange for the entire Academic Year.

Email to request an application. 

Application fee of $25, payable online, or by sending check made out to Luna Dance Institute with application. If the application fee is a hardship, please email Jochelle,

Pay application fee

No fee for participation once selected (though employers are asked to make a small contribution toward follow-up where possible.)

Applicants are selected from a competitive pool. Participants must be teaching in the 2018-19 year.

How can the SI support you in your career development? Find out as you read selected profiles of our SI alumni here.

To date, Luna’s SIs have been funded by the NEA, Clif Bar Family Foundation and Clarence E. Heller Charitable Trust.

Leadership Institute

Application by invitation only

For the past 15 years, dance educators from across the state and nation have come to Luna Dance Institute’s workshops and Summer Institutes (SI) or participated in our free learning-community activities such as consultations or lesson studies.  Those that “dig in” to their relationship with us through SI coaching or our School and Community Alliances (SCA) work know that we continue to find ways to address the long list of needs of dance educators resulting from working in a lonely profession that has been misunderstood and undervalued for more than four decades.

In 2013 Luna offered our first Dance Education Leadership Institute to work deeply with individuals on issues specific to their teaching situations and provide a forum wherein leadership skills can be developed and employed with one-on-one support. The goal was to increase dance teacher confidence to shape high quality dance programs in their communities and to make significant impact in the areas they are passionate about.

We selected seven extraordinary dance educators—each confident in her masterful teaching, but wanting support to actualize wider, longer-term or deeper dreams. The pilot was extremely successful. Participants identified goals, met with individual mentors each month, conversed about general concerns of leadership, then convened for 3-days at the end for group learning from Luna faculty and guest facilitators. Here are a few comments from participants:

“I have not changed very much in the clarity of my vision and purposes; but what has changed greatly for me is my perception of myself as able to effect change and bring about my visions.”

“I have [learned] to not worry so much if my vision was what others wanted, but to work on shaping my vision and allowing others to follow.”

 “I found my voice as an advocate for dance education and regained confidence as a professional in my teaching community.”

 “I was afraid to be great—to be too big. I am here [now] to honor all that I am.”

 “I was greatly influenced by the sphere of influence discussion regarding how to nurture your core supporters and what to do about outliers.”

Now, with a generous grant from the Clarence E. Heller Foundation, Luna has the opportunity to do this project again, incorporating what we learned from the pilot into a slightly extended COHORT 2.  The goal of this project is to be flexible in our responsiveness to individual dance education leaders in order to expand access through the development of exemplary dance education programs throughout California. We will be identifying and inviting potential Leadership Institute cohort members to apply during Summer 2016.


Luna’s Family Dance Training Institute 

The Family Dance Institute provides time and space to investigate the relationship-building capacity of dance. Social justice workers, early education teachers, therapists, dance teachers and parents study attachment and play theories, neuroscience and early movement patterns and explore how to create engaging dance curriculum to build trust and connection.

Next offered January 4-6, 2018. No application necessary.

More information here.