Harding Hosts “Teachers Teaching Teachers” for Dance Educators
July 18, 2023
Mary Harding, Perpich Dance Instructor and Dance Education Specialist, hosted a group of dance teachers for the July 17th workshop “Teachers Teaching Teachers”. The presenters covered a wide set of topics. Amy Kienberger discussed burnout. Dr. Betsy Maloney Leaf spoke on building resiliency. Suzette Jornae Gilreath presented on mental, physical, and spiritual health. “They supported us with strategies to help handle burnout as well as a reframe to bring new energy into our classrooms,” said Harding. “This presentation supported teachers in the classroom and supported teachers as leaders in the field.” All participants received three professional development clock hours for attending the workshop.
Amy Kienberger has a B.S. in Dance Education and Business Education from the University of Illinois. She also received a
M.Ed in Technology Integration from St. Catherine University and a M.Ed in Professional Studies in Arts Education from The
University of Minnesota. In 2019, Amy started a new dance program at Farmington High School where, for 9 years, has
taught business classes, choreographed theater productions, and is an active member of the Equity Leadership Team. Amy
also teaches a variety of dance classes at Northfield Dance Academy for ages 6 to adult for the last 9 years. In her free
time she enjoys camping and traveling to different national parks.
Betsy Maloney Leaf, PhD, MFA, teaches in the Arts in Education program at the University of Minnesota. She works with the
interarts (dance, theatre arts, visual art) initial license program and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the
department of Curriculum & Instruction. Prior to teaching at the University, Maloney Leaf taught dance at Main Street
School of Performing Arts, a public performing arts high school in suburban Twin Cities, for 10 years. She was also Visiting
Professor in dance at Gustavus Adolphus College. She holds a Minnesota K-12 Dance and Theatre teaching license. In
2017-2018, Maloney Leaf served on the Minnesota State Arts Standards Review committee as chair of both the dance and
theatre subcommittees. Currently, she serves on the Minnesota State Arts Standards implementation committee
(2019-2021). Maloney Leaf’s research examines the intersection between arts education, culturally relevant pedagogy, and
educational policy. She has presented her research at several regional and national conferences, including AERA, NDEO,
AATE, AESA, NAEA, DEC, CTAM and CAPHERD. Her work has been published in Research in Dance Education, Youth Theatre
Journal, Journal of Dance Education, Review of Research in Education, the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education
& Advancement, and Arts Education Policy Review. Maloney Leaf earned her PhD in curriculum and instruction from the
University of Minnesota, her MFA in dance performance and choreography from the University of Colorado, and her BA in
dance and English from Gustavus Adolphus College. Maloney Leaf resides in the Twin Cities with her family.
Suzette Jornae Gilreath is the founder and president of Jornae LLC. Jornae LLC was founded in 2020 for the active practice of enhancing the world through art. Jornae LLC specializes in various services and products, including and not limited to, dance classes, movement workshop residencies, live performances, healing engagements, and transformational-based meetings. The activities, products, and services are designed to enhance Mental, Physical, Emotional, Financial, and Spiritual Well Being. At Jornae LLC, they serve a wide range of clients from families to professional working adults. The main goal is to provide healing through an internal engagement of the mind, body, and spirit.
Mary Harding has been head of the dance program at Perpich 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.