Dance education

New documentary on dance education PS DANCE! Reveals the transformative power of dance in public schools

Paul L King, Executive Director of the New York City Department of Education’s Office of the Arts notes, “We are thrilled to support this excellent profile of dance education at New York City Schools. The story of the growth of dance programs is a testament to the value of arts education for all students and the commitment of the DOE and its dedicated partners to providing these learning experiences. Dance learning provides a creative outlet for expressing students’ voices, for understanding culture and societies, and for true collaboration through kinesthetic learning. And we are honored to see the expert practice of some of our dance teachers shared in this innovative film.”

Two years of preparation, of the dance ambassador Jody Gottfried Arnold, produced and directed by an award-winning dance filmmaker Nel Shelbyin collaboration with Joan Finkelstein, former NYCDOE Dance Director 2004-2014, this film illustrates how dance can affect the developmental trajectory of students. The film captures a typical day in the classrooms of five extraordinary master dance educators—Catherine Gallant (Pre-K-5), PS 89 from Battery Park City; Ana Nery Fragoso (K-5), the current NYCDOE Dance Director, PS 315 in Midwood; Michael Kerr (6-8), from Brooklyn New Voices School of Academic and Creative Arts; Patricia Dyeing (9-12), Science Skills Center High School for Science, Technology and the Creative Arts in Downtown Brooklyn; and Ani Udovicki (9-12), Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, in City of Long Island.

“This eye-opening film shows dance education at its best and it takes place in New York City public schools,” explains Jody Gottfried Arnoldwho helped facilitate these programs by the New York one public schools since 2004. “The sets depicted in this film are neither rehearsed nor scripted. Hear directly as children explain what dance has meant to them in their upbringing.”

Along with the film, Arnhold, Shelby and Finkelstein launch the Dance for every kid move. Dance education enthusiasts can submit their contact information to and join the plea for more dance in schools. The movement will enable the implementation of quality dance programs in schools across the country. Dance for Every Child will provide teaching resources developed by the NYC Department of Education (Dance Education for Diverse Learners and the NYCDOE Dance Blueprint), Dance Education Laboratory 92Y, Lincoln Center Education and the National Dance Education Organization. Additionally, PS DANCE! will also provide a list of colleges and universities that offer dance training with teacher certification.

PS DANCE! will be available on DVD, distributed by First Run Features – all proceeds from the sale of the film will go to the Public Schools Fund for dance education programs in New York public schools. The website will also provide a link to donate directly to the Public School Fund for those interested in expanding the reach of dance education in New York City.


To visit join the movement to bring dance to every child.

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