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Pink Tutu Flu 2017 Summary

13th Annual Pink Tutu Flu Summary- January 20, 2017

Chandler-Gilbert Community College- Host, Cheri McDowell

This was the first year in AzDEO history that the Annual Pink Tutu Flu was held at a college: Chandler Gilbert Community College.  AzDEO would like to give a huge thanks to our host, Cheri McDowell.  58 dance educators, ranging from elementary to higher education, studio teachers/owners, and freelance artists attended. Also attending were several student teachers, dance majors from CGCC, and Robert Waller, the ADE’s Arts Education Specialist.  A wonderful mix.

This year’s Pink Tutu Flu was all about Advocacy and sharing lesson plans around the Connecting and Responding standards of the newly revised AZ Dance Standards!

After Kelli Abramovich (President) led introductions, Amy Crow kicked off the day by introducing a lesson plan that she presented at the 2016 NDEO Conference. ‘Pic N’ Play’ involves utilizing technology in the dance class to engage students while continuing to teach technique and compositional strategies.

Tracey Holberg taught the first movement class of the day: Contact Improv! Utilizing the process she learned at the 2016 NDEO Conference, teachers were able to explore new techniques for starting the improv process for students. Many teachers found that they moved in new, innovative ways through Tracey’s directions and guidance.

The next session was a sharing of lessons and ideas. In small groups, teachers discussed and shared ideas and  lesson plans for the Connecting and Responding  AZ Dance standards. Some groups created lessons, some discussed ideas. Each group then shared out with everyone. Lynn will be compiling the materials to put on the AzDEO website and email to everyone.  (I will nag you for them so get them emailed to me. Consider this your first nag).

Because the day is so jammed pack, during lunch, information, updates and upcoming deadlines were given.

  • Lynn shared information on the new ESSA (Every Child Succeeds Act), and how it can be used for advocating for dance education. ESSA now contains explicit information that can help you advocate for and possible funding for your program. It emphasizes a well-rounded education including the arts. Many administrators might not even know the new guidelines so this is a chance for you to educate them.  The Power Point will be included in materials sent. Robert Waller added additional important information on ESSA. He gave insight on the new letter grade reports for each school which will give a more complete picture, and how dance is now on the same level as General Education subjects like English and Math. He shared some advocacy tips:
  1. Join your school’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment Committee. This committee controls what your school needs.
  2. Show off your Dancer’s test scores in comparison to the other students at your school to show how dance helps students excel academically.
  3. Become friends with your Title I Director as they will do a lot to help you with finding funding from appropriate resources.
  • Lynn gave an update on the SLO and student authentic performance assessments our dance educators have created. In the second year, the teachers are implementing the baseline and summative assessments and gathering data. The assessments are now posted on the ADE’s website at http://www.azed.gov/hetl/resources/sloauthenticassessment/.
  • The annual meeting this year will be held sometime at the beginning of the school year and will be a day full of technique classes along with the actual meeting being held at lunch time thanks to the fantastic vision of Kelli Abramovich and Alyssa McMichael.
  • Kelli announced that the next Dance Teacher Happy Hour will be February 3rd.
  • Katie Staszkow is registered as a substitute in several districts in the area, and shared she is looking for sub work. Lynn thought that maybe AzDEO needed to create a sub list, even though you have to register with each district.
  • Rachel Wight announced that the AZ Dance West Festival is March 17th and 18th at Glendale Community College.
  • InspireED Arts will give AzDEO members a 20% discount on their curriculum materials. A flyer will be included in the email with the PTF summary. Kelli explained a little about the resource and also about  com, both of which she uses in her classroom.

After lunch, Lynn led a discussion on the ongoing issue of stipends, and advocating for an increase of stipends for dance teachers. A few years ago, AzDEO did a survey and complied information from teachers on the situation. It revealed nothing we didn’t know. Dance teachers receive less in stipends than sports, band, drama etc. And the situation has not changed. From the information compiled a few years ago, the gathering of data to support your case was most important.  Gather data about how many performances your program has, how many students are involved, hours after the work day you spend working/rehearsing, etc. Rachel Wight gave additional tips by reminding teachers to only compare this data with your school’s Music and/or Drama programs because these are school courses whereas athletics are done a little differently.

Cheri McDowell then led a panel discussion on how to adequately prepare students for college and life. Past and present students from CGCC spoke about the things they wish they knew or had before entering a college dance program.  Cheri said that she teaches students the difference between being a ‘victim’ and being a ‘creator’. She also likes to remind students that frustration and confusion is just a normal part of a dance class. Teachers were reminded to let students, admin, and parents know how dance will help them in the real world. Some examples are Discipline, Passion, Time management, and Accepting feedback. Lastly, she advises teachers to let them know your story and how you got to where you are so that students can relate to you.

Steve Conrad ended the day with an exhilarating Swing class, focused primarily on the Lindy Hop and Charleston. Not only did he talk about the great Frankie Manning, but had the teachers performing a small combination to one of his most famous numbers in the movie “Hell’s Poppin’”. You can contact Steve or book him as a guest artist by visiting AZLindy.com

If you could not attend, and for those who like to keep documents digitally, the materials from the day will be sent electronically (including the Power Points) and many will be posted on our website.

Other info:

  1. Certificate of hours will be sent to you after the Flu by Lynn
  2. AZ Dance Standards can be found on http://azartsstandards.org/, and a link is on azdeo.org under resources.
  3. Lesson ideas shared will be posted at www.azdeo.org under Resources and then Curriculum.


***If you are interested in hosting next year’s Pink Tutu Flu, please contact Lynn Monson. We are looking for a school or college somewhere in the central valley since this past year’s was in the East and last year’s was in the west.