Damast and others will be honored at the September 16 virtual ceremony.

Deborah Damast
Courtesy of Deborah Damast.

NYU Steinhardt clinical assistant professor, dancer, and choreographer Deborah Damast has received a 2020 Dance Teacher Award from Dance Media. The award honors “outstanding educators for their contributions to [the] field.”

Damast earned the honor for her work in higher education, and is named alongside recipients such as Wendy Whelan (New York City Ballet), Stephanie and Bo Spassoff (The Rock School), Kim Black, and Patricia Dye, who is an alumn of NYU Steinhardt's Dance Education program. Damast “leads the next generation of dance educators at NYU Steinhardt,” according to Dance Media.

“I am very honored to receive a 2020 Dance Teacher Award along with such incredible colleagues in the field,” Damast says. “Dance Teacher Magazine and Dance Media have been supporters of and advocates for dance teachers from all sectors of our field for many years and bring best practices of dance teaching to audiences across the globe.”

Damast has been teaching Dance Education at NYU Steinhardt since 2002, and now serves as the program director. She believes in the importance of modeling strength, resilience, and creativity in the classroom, so that her current students go on to teach their future students the importance of those qualities.

“My commitment at NYU is to develop dance educators who will excel in their work as teachers, and who will bring empathy and care to their students, creativity to their artistic work, and social justice to their curriculum,” says Damast. “Through community engagement, cross cultural collaboration, research and performance opportunities and continued professional development, I aim to provide students with a rich, rigorous and multi-dimensional approach to learning.”  

Dance Media’s award ceremony will be livestreamed this year on September 16 at 6 p.m. EST. As part of the ceremony, Whelan will lead a mini dance lesson. Those interested in attending can register and purchase tickets at the 2020 Dance Teacher Award’s website.

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