About

DELving into Dance History

Sunday, May 16 & Sunday, May 23, 2021 | 2:30-5:30pm Eastern
Facilitated by Ann Biddle and Felice Santorelli, with guest artist Dian Dong of Chen Dance Center

Designed to re-envision teaching dance history as an inquiry-based and embodied practice, DELving into Dance History is for K-12 dance educators, college-level dance educators, and dance history enthusiasts to enhance remote and in-person teaching and discovery.

In celebration of Asian-Pacific Heritage month, join us as we DELve into discovering the rich history of Asian and Asian American dance artists from the 20th century  to the present. Learn about their contributions to a broad canon of works in early modern dance and explore distinctly Asian forms of dance presented at the Pillow throughout history.

This virtual workshop is offered through Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at Jacob’s Pillow with Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow Ann Biddle and DEL Facilitator Felice Santorelli. Pulling from a recently-created Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage playlist curated by Director of Preservation Norton Owen on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive site, as well as a growing online collection of dance videos and multimedia essays contextualized by leading dance scholars and thought-leaders, participants will uncover an often hidden and marginalized dance history representing Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Island-based artists. Special guest artist Dian Dong of Chen Dance Center will visit the course to share her expertise in Chinese American history and share the work of contemporary choreographer H.T. Chen.  

Open to all levels and those interested in embodied dance education practices. No previous dance experience required.

This workshop runs on two consecutive weekends.
Fee: $99 per course (includes workshop materials, training, and Certificate of Completion)
Scholarship support available


Join Ann Biddle (Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow) and Felice Santorelli (DEL Facilitator) in this online workshop series highlighting the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive site. Bring history to life as you re-envision how to teach dance history as an inquiry-based and embodied practice. Using the extensive video and multimedia resources of the Jacob’s Pillow Archives as entry points, DELving into Dance History explores the lives and work of diverse dance artists from the past to the present through examining multiple contextual lenses.

Courses in this ongoing series are designed for K-12 and college level dance educators who are interested in learning new instructional practices to enhance remote and in-person teaching. In addition, participants receive extensive curricular support materials and resources via Google classroom as part of each course. Guest artists linked to specific dance traditions are invited to share their expertise in many of the DELving courses.

Stay tuned for upcoming DEL opportunities and workshops, or contact [email protected] to join the mailing list and receive announcements.


“I used to think teaching dance was mostly about movement and technique. Now I think there is so much more to discover, explore and research.”
– DELving into Dance History Participant


About the Program

DELving into Dance History provides an opportunity to design dynamic and meaningful dance learning activities for students. Together we will explore diverse dance artists, genres and eras with a critical understanding that dance exists in a cultural, historic, and social context. 

During this unprecedented time, dance educators are seeking new ways to connect with their students through digital and remote learning. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive documents hundreds of artists who have appeared at the Pillow from the 1930s to the present day and is an invaluable resource for dance educators seeking to expand their video and multimedia resources for remote and in-person teaching. 

During sessions, participants will DELve into the rich materials archived on Dance Interactive and explore a wide range of innovative and multi-modal teaching strategies including LMA analysis, re-construction practices, embodied research, and collaborative dance making. In addition, Norton Owen, Director of Preservation, will guide us on a personalized virtual tour of the Pillow Interactive site.

Learning will occur via Zoom, independent and collaborative work, video viewing, access to online materials and resources, group discussion and feedback, curriculum design activities, independent research and one-on-one mentoring. Participants will walk away with concrete tools and resources in order to utilize the extensive collection of catalogued dance videos, podcasts and lectures/articles to design lesson plans for elementary through college level learners.

Event Dates

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DELving into Dance History

At Zoom.com: May 16 - May 23