LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College’s Christa Davis, an assistant professor in kinesiology, has been honored with the 2017 National Dance Society’s College/University Master Dance Educator Award.
The award recognizes excellence of dance professors employed in higher education. The nominee may demonstrate distinction in any of the following areas: curriculum design, teaching methodology, choreography, understanding cultural heritage, role modeling, student dance appreciation, student performance, or professional leadership. The award is sponsored by the National Dance Society, a non-profit organization that envisions every individual being provided a wide range of quality dance education and performances throughout life.
Davis, who has taught at LCSC for four years, was nominated by her mentor, Fran Meyer, who is President and Executive Director of the Board of Directors for the National Dance Society.
After being nominated, Davis had to submit essays on her teaching methods and curriculum as well as how she uses dance in her classes. She also had to submit a video of her teaching dance.
Davis said her video showed how she uses dance to teach academic content to elementary school children. For example, math can be taught with movement so she teaches her students at LCSC how movement is important in the classroom.
“Studies show students do better in school when there is active learning,” Davis said.
Davis has been involved with bringing dancers who specialize in Krump dancing, a form of hip-hop, to Lewiston from Los Angeles where they not only interact with LCSC students, but also with students from the Northwest Children’s Home. She wants to show the students the importance of physical activity that dance can provide. She points outs that studies have found that those who regularly dance have a 35 percent less rate of Alzheimer’s Disease than the general public that doesn’t dance regularly.
Davis spent 20 years teaching in K-12 education before she received her doctorate from the University of Idaho in 2013. She then started teaching at LCSC that fall.
Davis will receive her award at the National Dance Society’s annual conference, which will be held Aug. 3-6 at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va.
The mission of the National Dance Society is to provide leadership in promoting research in, advocating for, and using best practices in the delivery of dance and dance education that furthers dance as an art form, as a support for academic success, and as a process for improving individuals’ health and wellness in a multicultural society.