Before you ask your adjuncts to teach online this fall, prepare to pay them this summer

By on April 15, 2020

Universities’ quick action—abruptly closing campuses in March as a necessary response to COVID-19’s rapid spread across the United States—understandably resulted in a sloppy transition to distance learning. Most faculty had less than three weeks to get up and running and reimagine their courses online. The standard right now is not how to do this well, […]

Life after Scantron: On practical and oral assessment in higher education

By on October 14, 2017

Note: This post is not about dance, but easily could be. Assessment and measuring achievement in college and high school dance programs can be tricky business, and in my “day job” teaching health sciences courses at a university we face similar challenges. Here I lay out some reasons why I’ve found oral and practical assessment […]

A Case for Case-Based Learning

By on April 20, 2015

In my “day job,” I teach health science students. In my humble opinion (IMHO), if health sciences instructors aren’t using case studies, then what the heck are we doing? Ultimately our students’ careers will be a series of continuous case studies. So, while they can look up vocabulary words in books and manuals and on […]

If everyone was like me…

By on March 10, 2015

…that’s a horrifying thought. After taking the learning styles inventory, I discovered that I am a visual learner. Duh. I was that kid who stood at the ballet barre picking her nose (not really) watching the teacher demonstrate exercises before we were required to do them ourselves. I was also that kid who stood on […]

Lizzie MacKenzie Pontarelli voted Chicago’s Top Dance Teacher!

By on April 29, 2013

Happy National Dance Week! I have a big week planned on the blog in celebration of National Dance Week and the close of Chicago Dance Month.  A few weeks ago I asked readers to tell me who your favorite dancer teachers are and why, and I was awesomely surprised to receive nearly 150 nominations!  Of […]

Nominate Chicago’s Best Dance Teachers

By on April 5, 2013

With all the great performances going on during Chicago Dance Month, it’s hard not to notice the wealth of good dance and dancers available in our city. But where did we learn this stuff from?! For me, saddling up to the barre every once in awhile (though not as often as I should) is grounding […]

Nobody puts baby in a corner… The Politics of Pregnancy

By on January 5, 2011

  Deep in preparations for her Cecchetti Grade II teacher's exam, my friend and colleague Enid Smith got news that she wasn't allowed to take the exam.  The reason? She's pregnant with her second child.   We in the scientific community are pretty solid on the idea that dancing, or exercise in general is safe […]