Dance Professionals' Summit

June 2-4 at Middle Tennessee State University

Summit Schedule


Please note there has been a minor change to the Summit schedule. Packet pick up and on site registration will take place Friday night from 5:30-6:00PM. Our scheduled events will begin at 6:00PM.

Friday evening and Saturday morning events will take place at the McWherter Learning Resource Center on MTSU Campus in the Room 101. The most accessible parking will be available in the Davis Science Lot, however you may park anywhere on campus after 5 on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. Saturday afternoon we will reconvene after lunch in the Murphy Center. 


Master Faculty

Dr. Tina Curran

Tina Curran, MFA, Ph.D is the director of the BFA Dance: UTeach Dance program at the University of Texas at Austin in the College of Fine Arts, Department of Theater and Dance.  She oversees the preparation and professional mentorship of students pursuing their Texas dance teacher certification, acts as a liaison with the College of Education, and oversees educational initiatives within the program and in the dance education community. Her areas of research explore dance literacy, living dance legacy, and teacher preparation and professional development. Dr. Curran is a cofounder, with Ann Hutchison Guest, of the Language of Dance Center (USA).  She conducts LOD certification courses and workshops nationally and internationally. She is a faculty member of the Dance Education Laboratory at the Harkness Dance Center in New York City where she offered courses in the Language of Dance, Dancing History/Living Legacy, topics in dance pedagogy, and transformational teaching. She has facilitated training, presented workshops and given interactive keynotes at numerous locations including: University of California Santa Barbara, Brigham Young University, New York University, Royal Academy of Dance and Roehampton University in the United Kingdom, Taipei National University of the Arts, El Centro Nationale des les Arts in Mexico City, New York City Department of Education, National Dance Education Organization, dance and the Child International, International Council of Kinetography Laban, Dance History Scholars, Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts, Texas Dance Educators Association.

She has presented over 50 papers, workshops, and panels at regional, national, and international conferences. Her presentations include:

  •  Workshop. Picnic with the Standards: National Core Dance Standards and TEKS Dance. Texas Dance Education Association. Houston, TX.
  • Keynote. Developing Dance Literacy within Artistic Processes through the Language of Dance Approach. Utah Dance Education Organization. Salt Lake City, UT.
  •  Panel. Examining Laban Studies as a Pedagogical Practice. International Council of Kinetography Laban conference, Tours, France.
  • Co-presenter Workshop. Me, You, Us: Cultivating Global Identities Using LMA & LOD. Child international Conference,  Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Co-presenter Paper. Creating a Mosaic of Curricular Transformation Through Language of Dance. National Dance Education Organization, Chicago, IL
  •  Workshop. Dancing History; Living Legacy: A Framework for Creative Process, Collaboration & Critical Inquiry: Pina Bausch. National Dance Education Organization. Chicago, IL

As a consultant to the New York City Department of Education Project Arts Office, Tina first participated in the writing of the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance PreK-12 and afterward delivering professional development workshops for certified dance specialists.As a certified Director from Score for dances documented in Labanoation, Curran has staged works from the ballet and modern dance repertoire including: L'Après Midi d'un Faune by Vaslav Nijinsky; How Long, Brethren? by Helen Tamiris; Desperate Heart by Valerie Bettis; and both Gossip and Life Continues by Maggie Grippenberg. Her book credits include: Your Move: The Language of Dance Approach to the Study of Movement and Dance, 2nd ed. co-author with Ann Hutchinson Guest, George Balanchine Critical Editions: Concerto Barocco co-authored with Christian Matjias and The Experience of Staging Vaslav Nijinky’s L’Apres-midi d’un Faune in Higher Education.

Curran received a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School, a MFA in Choreographic Theory and Practice from Southern Methodist University and a Ph.D in Teaching and Administration from New York University. Her certification include: Language of Dance Certification Specialist, Teacher of Labanotation, American Ballet National Training Curriculum. 

Patricia Cohen

Patricia Cohen, MA, RDE, a Master Registered Dance Educator, is on faculty of the Dance Education Program at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, where she is the Academic Advisor for the ABT/NYU Masters Degree program with a focus in ABT Ballet Pedagogy. She created the syllabus for, and teaches Jazz Dance: Culture and Pedagogy, a jazz dance course that is contextualized in history and culture. Arts Resources for Dance Education orients students to major artistic, research and education venues in New York City. In addition, she teaches a broad spectrum of undergraduate dance courses at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. Her Masters degree in Dance Education is from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she taught modern and jazz dance. Professor Cohen’s research on dance issues in the private sector and higher education has been published in the Journal of Dance Education, the peer review journal of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). She has presented workshops and papers at several NDEO conferences, at Dance and the Child International (daCi) conferences in The Hague and Taiwan, and at daCi USA gatherings.

A founding member of the National Dance Education Organization, Cohen has served as Director for Awards and Student Scholarship, and is currently NDEO’s Treasurer. She is also Immediate Past President of NYSDEA, the New York State affiliate of NDEO. She was the site coordinator for NDEO’s 2009 Annual Conference in New York City, and coordinates NYSDEA’s annual workshops, which are hosted by the NYU/Steinhardt dance education program. She is the 2011 recipient of the National Dance Education Organization’s prestigious Leadership Award.

Professor Cohen is active in several dance organizations, including UNITY Inc., an organization comprised of multi-sector member organizations, which provides a forum for open dialogue among dance educators and dance-related groups.


With Offerings from


Laura Foutz the STOTT PILATES® method while dancing with the California Ballet in San Diego, CA.  As a professional dancer, Laura has always been drawn to movement, so pilates seemed to be the natural fit.  It was the anatomy and science behind the method that really got her hooked.  Laura received her Level 1 certification and training in 2005 at the STOTT PILATES® Licensed Training Center in San Diego.  In 2006 Laura moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she became an instructor for Inspire Health.  In 2007 she received her Level 2 certification.  While working at Inspire Health, Laura had the unique opportunity of working closely with physical therapists using the STOTT PILATES® method in the rehab and post rehab setting. This broad experience lends her the ability to work with people at any end of the spectrum, whether it be recovering from injury, managing pain, athletic training or anything in between.  In 2008 Laura became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor Trainer and is now qualified to teach certification courses for Injuries and Special Populations, Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels.  Laura instructs STOTT PILATES® certification courses throughout the southeast.  In April of 2010 Laura and her family moved to Franklin, TN.  Laura is excited to be a part of building a STOTT PILATES community of clients and Instructors in the Nashville area.

Chell Parkins, MFA is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of Dance. Her career as a choreographer, performer, advocate and educator has spanned over 20 years. Her graduate research investigated disembodied and embodied choreographic techniques, integrating technology in the choreographic process. Parkins has taught music, theatre and dance in the private and public from preschool through college. She was influenced by her work with Creative Action using Theatre of the Oppressed as a framework for promoting social change within an "at risk" population. Parkins spent three years as the director of dance, drill team and pom squad at Manor High School where she taughtdance as a vehicle for empowerment before becoming Full Time Lecturer at Middle Tennessee State University where she teaches Jazz, Stage Movement, Modern, Dance Appreciation, Creative Movement and Theory and Practice. She also serves as Dance and Movement Consultant for the Tennessee Arts Academy.