Dance education

Ballet Hispánico appoints Chell Parkins as its first Dance Education Scholar-in-Residence

Hispanic Balletthe renowned Latinx dance organization recognized as one of America’s cultural treasures, has appointed Chell Parkins as the first scholar-in-residence in dance education as part of its Community Arts Partnerships (CAP) collaboration with Teachers College, Columbia University on behalf of their Doctor of Dance Education program and the Arnold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy and Leadership. This one-of-a-kind partnership between organizations aims to increase the reach and influence of culturally relevant dance education and strengthen community engagement.

Chell Parkins is a doctoral student and program assistant in Teachers College’s Dance Education Program, the nation’s only doctoral program focused on educational research in dance. Parkins’ research explores the experiences of Latinx youth engaged in culturally relevant dance-making practices. As Scholar-in-Residence, Parkins will serve as an on-site educational consultant, providing educational mentoring, program design, tailored professional development opportunities, program review, and conducting relevant research. She was selected from a group of qualified dance education doctoral students from Teachers College who are committed to Latinx culture and the mission of Ballet Hispánico.

“This role is incredibly fortuitous: my own research focuses on culturally relevant dance practices with Latin populations, so I hope to take my experience and the knowledge I gain through the Doctor of Dance Education program at Teachers College , and use it to overwhelm myself within Ballet Hispánico, marrying my skills to the needs of the organization,” Parkins said. “Ballet Hispánico has done much-needed work for 50 years, and I hope to grow even further. its visibility and impact across the country. My goal is to create something lasting that can continue to be developed and built to further the mission of Ballet Hispánico.”

During her tenure, Parkins will document the values ​​of Ballet Hispánico’s culturally relevant and student-centered educational model, develop surveys to assess the impact of CAP in accordance with CAP curriculum and values, compile a database of the repertoire of the Ballet Hispánico to use as a reference for the creation of educational manuscripts and study guides, and facilitate a workshop for CAP employees to discuss and discuss the values ​​of the educational model.

Through this partnership, the two organizations seek to:

  • Provide cross-community opportunities such as symposia, colloquia, roundtables, workshops, and community learning projects

  • Produce mutually beneficial research initiatives, publications, as well as the exchange of experts such as leaders, artists, arts administrators, educators, scholars and researchers

  • Collaborate on grant and foundation funding initiatives to support ongoing partnership initiatives

  • Strengthen professional development for every organization

  • Share event calendars and provide marketing opportunities to each institution

Community Arts Partnerships engage and enrich communities by providing educational programs that celebrate the authenticity of Latinx heritage, culture and traditions.

“Ballet Hispánico is committed to engaging with all the local communities we reach to bring the joy of dance and showcase the power of Latino culture, especially now as we return to the stage after a long absence” , said Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director. and CEO, Ballet Hispánico. “Arts education is a transformative experience. When we reach out to underserved communities, we provide opportunities for those who may never have dreamed of or seen dance as an art. They have the opportunity to consider a different perspective and maybe develop an aesthetic.”

“Teachers College is thrilled to enter into this historic partnership with one of the nation’s most renowned Latinx dance and culture organizations,” said Stephanie Rowley, vice president, dean, and vice president of academic affairs at Teachers College. from Columbia University. “Hispanic Ballet brings the best and richest expression of Latinx culture to our communities. Through our groundbreaking Doctoral Program in Dance Education and the Arnold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy and Leadership, TC brings its deep expertise in research, teaching and learning to this cultural enterprise. And both organizations have a long history of working in our communities to educate and advocate for a more diverse, equal and inclusive society.”

For more information on Ballet Hispánico’s community arts partnerships, visit

About Chell Parkins

Chell Parkins is a doctoral student and program assistant in the Dance Education Program at Teachers College, where her research explores the experiences of Latinx youth engaged in culturally relevant dance-making practices. Throughout her 28-year career as a dance educator, lawyer, performer and choreographer, she has taught music, theater and dance in the private and public sectors, from preschool to college. As a teaching artist with Creative Action in Austin, TX, Parkins used theater of the oppressed strategies to promote social change, then led the dance and exercise team program at Manor High School. Her publication “Dance Media Collaborations: Engaging At-Risk Youth” details how her students have used choreographic methods, technology and social media to explore cultural identity and social issues. Parkins currently lectures and works as a freelance consultant while attending school full-time. Recent projects include consulting the Community Outreach Coordinator for Ballet Hispánico, participating as a panelist at the Shirley Hall Bass Educators Forum, and teaching ongoing workshops to Oregon Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows. Health and Science University. For more information about Chell Parkins, visit

About Community Arts Partnerships

Community Arts Partnerships (CAPs) engage and enrich communities by providing educational programs that celebrate the authenticity of Latinx heritage, culture and traditions. Ballet Hispánico has developed engaging new virtual programs to share the vibrancy of Latinx dance and culture with communities spanning all locations, age groups and abilities. During this time of social distancing, we have expanded our creativity to connect with the community on a new level. Social distancing does not necessarily mean emotional distancing. We have more information about our virtual programming at or visit our website

About Ballet Hispánico For more than 50 years, Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice that intersects artistic excellence and advocacy and is now the largest Latinx cultural organization in the United States. Ballet Hispánico provides the physical home and cultural heart of Latinx dance in the United States by bringing communities together to celebrate and explore Latin American cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training, and lasting life experiences. community engagement. From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community performing arts troupe, Ballet Hispánico has been a catalyst for social change. Ballet Hispánico has developed a strong public presence through its three main programs: its company, its school of dance and its community arts partnerships. Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement efforts, Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies underrepresented voices in the field. Looking to the next fifty years and beyond, Ballet Hispánico seeks to empower and give agency to the Latinx experience and the individuals within it.

About Teachers College, Columbia University Founded in 1887, Teachers College, Columbia University, the first and largest graduate school in the United States, is consistently ranked among the best in the country. The mission of Teachers College is to create a smarter, healthier, more equitable and more peaceful world. Teachers College engages in research and prepares professionals in its three main areas of expertise – education, health and psychology – to work with public and private entities in local, national and global communities and to inform public policy. Students choose from 150 distinct programs to earn graduate degrees, which are conferred by Columbia University. Although closely affiliated with Columbia University and collaborating with it on many programs, the College is an independent and self-governing institution with a separate and independent Board of Trustees, President, and financial endowment. the Arnold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy and Leadership at Teachers College conducts dance education research and advocates for public policies that eliminate disparities in access to high-quality PK-12 dance education for children, families, and communities. The college one doctoral program in dance education prepares teacher educators and leaders to forge new paths in dance education that are accessible, inclusive, equitable, and excellent for all learners, and researchers who study educational issues affecting underrepresented sectors in teaching dance.