Dance Instructor & Education Specialist in Dance, High School/Outreach
Mary Harding has been head of the dance program at the arts high school since 1990. She created the curriculum for the current program and teaches the dance majors as well as elective courses. She has also worked on the Minnesota FACS (Framework for Arts Curriculum) project, the Minnesota Arts Standards and has presented at the Minnesota Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development conference, Minnesota DAPE conference, national and state AAPHERD conventions and at the Minnesota Dance Educator’s Coalition workshops.
In her dance career she has performed professionally with ballet, jazz and modern companies in repertory ranging from Pas de Quatre to works by Bebe Miller. While a member of the Zenon Dance Company, Harding taught master classes and dance residencies in schools across the nation. In addition to her work at the arts high school, she continues to freelance as a choreographer, performer and teacher in the Twin Cities.
She received the SURDNA Arts Teachers Fellowship for 2002 and studied at Bates Dance Festival as a result of this fellowship. The National Dance Association and Sportime named her the National Dance Teacher of the Year for 2002 and she was a featured teacher in the Annenberg Foundation’s video series “The Art of Teaching the Arts” which premiered in 2005.
She received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the College of St. Catherine. Her research, “Peer Coaching in the Arts Classroom,” received the Sister Ann Harvey Action Research Award in 2008 and was published in the June 2009 edition of Journal of Dance Education. Her article, “Assessment in the High School Technique Class: Creating Thinking Dancers,” was published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Dance Education.