Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Musings from NDEO in Miami

I am nestled into my Hyatt Regency bed (quite comfortable) and thinking it is a good time to check in and share a little about how I got here.

It all boils down to dancers with brains.

And, starting tomorrow I will be conferencing with about 400 of them at the National Dance Educators Organization Conference.  Trust me. . . people who can kick overhead and quote learning theory are intimidating!  This annual event is a chance for dance teachers to come together and share what is working in the field, what is not working, what needs attention and what needs to be forgotten.

The National Dance Educator's Organization is a a large and vibrant community of dance educators from across the country (and beyond), serving the needs of dance education and supporting best practices in the field. This year's conference is on "The Art and Craft of Teaching."

But, this post actually isn't about the wonderful aspects of NDEO. If you are interested in the organization, you should look it up and become a member (plus, if you live in California, you become an automatic member of the CDEA-- of which I am cool enough to be called co-president).

The real reason for this post is . . . Twitter.  Huh? Schwat?  Whatchu talkin' bout?

Tonight I had the pleasure of training two of the smartest, most beautiful, most embodied women I know in the art of microblogging.  And, I realized that they are representative of so many of the dance educators of today.  Yes, I have my working group of dance-twitter-peeps, but as a whole, dance organizations are not so hip to the social media trends.  In other words, our branding and buzz making pretty much sucks.  Over the course of the next few days, information will be flung in heaps across panels, workshops, paper presentations and dance floors. The participants will be saturated from the diversity of ideas being tossed around the hallways, in elevators, over coffee and on the sidewalks.

But, who else will know?  Well, at the rate we are sharing on twitter, about 3 people.

So, I am calling dance educators to the twitter campaign. Tweet and twitter about all the ideas you encounter, ask the questions, share the answers, retreet and favorite until your heart's content!  We need to let the world know how much energy there is in this building. How we see a brighter future for generations through moving, feeling, experiencing, learning, knowing, and embodying.

Other fields have figured this out. They have learned how to create the buzz surrounding what they do and love. We need to give an in road to dance today and social media is the best possible way we can get the word out and reach as many people as possible.  It feels good to be a part of something that is alive with energy of a group that is rich with life and ideas.  Twitter is just one platform for us to create that buzz potential, to create a world that anyone who loves dance can find a home, find kinship and find support.  This is our chance to move the experience we have at the conference beyond the walls of this building and into the world at large.

So, go forth, download the app, set up an account, or revive the one you created and forgot about!  Tweet your love of dance!

. . . and don't forget to hashtag #NDEO2013

and I promise I will follow back @bethmegill


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