Step inside the halls of five NYC public schools and celebrate dance! Hosted by veteran TV journalist Paula Zahn, PS DANCE! is the new documentary that captures what happens when students have dance in their curriculum. The journey is one of imagination, curiosity, hard work and discipline. In these studios, dance is for every child.
PS DANCE!, two years in the making, interviews 16 kids and captures more than 100 students, who joyfully share the influence of dance on their daily learning. Created by today’s guests; award-winning dance filmmaker Nel Shelby, dance ambassador Jody Gottfried Arnhold, and dance education consultant Joan Finkelstein, PS DANCE! shows that dance can be viewed as core curriculum at all levels PreK-12. Currently, there are close to 400 dance teachers serving New York City’s 1,800 public schools, 192 of whom hold a New York State dance teacher license. With a significant new education budget allocation to support arts in schools, this is a definitive moment in New York City arts education history. Dance teachers are now listed as a high-need subject area, and this film shows us why!
Jody Gottfried Arnhold, dance educator/advocate and founder of 92Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), taught dance in NYC public schools for over 20 years. She serves on the Advisory Committee for Arts Education at NYCDOE and Co-Chair of the Committee that created the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, PreK-12. She is on the Board at 92Y, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Hunter College and Chair of its Dance Advisory Committee, Honorary Chair at Ballet Hispanico, and on Dance/NYC’s Advisory Committee. Jody has received National Dance Education Organization’s Visionary Award, Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Award, and was honored by the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an M.A. in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is a Certified Movement Analyst.
PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR OF PS DANCE!
Nel Shelby preserves and promotes dance by filming performances and creating marketing videos and original films. Nel Shelby Productions, based in NYC, boasts a diverse list of dance clients in New York and beyond. Nel serves as Festival Videographer for Jacob’s Pillow Dance and is Resident Videographer at the Vail International Dance Festival (VIDF). Her documentary about choreographer Nejla Y. Yatkin will premiere in 2015, and past films include The Altitude of Dance, a documentary on VIDF, which debuted on Rocky Mountain PBS; four short films for Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature; and a short created with Adam Barruch that screened at NYC’s Dance on Camera Festival and San Francisco Dance Film Festival. She holds degrees in broadcast video and dance.
DANCE EDUCATION CONSULTANT
Joan Finkelstein, Executive Director of the Harkness Foundation for Dance, performed professionally in dance companies and in RAGS on Broadway, choreographed for the Atlanta Ballet and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and taught children and adults across the nation. She directed the 92Y Harkness Dance Center from 1992-2004, overseeing classes, the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) teacher-training program, performances, workshops, lectures, and social dances. As Director of Dance for the New York City Department of Education from 2004-2014, she spearheaded the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, PreK-12 and professional development for dance teachers. She is a writer of the new National Core Arts Standards in Dance.