Dance Instructor & Education Specialist in Dance, High School/Outreach
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Mary Harding is both the Dance Education Specialist (since 2018) and the Arts High School Dance Instructor (since 1990) at Perpich. In her dance career she has performed professionally with ballet, jazz, and modern companies. While a member of the Zenon Dance Company, Harding taught dance residencies in schools across the nation.
In 2002, The National Dance Association and Sportime named her the National Dance Teacher of the Year. In the same year, Mary received the SURDNA Arts Teachers Fellowship. Over the years, she has developed multiple interdisciplinary works with her colleagues and students and has presented this work at national conferences.
Mary received her 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 the Arts Schools Network Research Initiative Award in 2009. The research 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 August 2012 edition of JODE. Harding was a member of the MN Standards writing team in 2008 and 2018. Harding was on the National Core Arts Standards Writing Team in 2012. In 2020, Mary was appointed to the National Dance Education Organization’s Board of Directors. Her interests lie in K-12 dance standards, equity and access in curriculum development, highlighting student voice, and supporting emerging K-12 teachers through professional development.