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Public School Programs

Teaching Excellence® Workshop



Join us for a fun and challenging two-week program for dance education professionals

July 27 - August 7, 2015

Albuquerque, NM

Teaching Excellence® participants are immersed in a highly focused and hands-on training in NDI New Mexico’s methodology, working daily with public school students in 3rd-6th grade. Trainees work closely with NDI New Mexico’s most experienced teachers to learn and practice a broad range of techniques and curriculum with students. Mornings are spent in the public schools, teaching in teams and observing and participating in classes. Afternoons are spent at the Hiland working with our new facility ub Albuquerque, working with master teachers and students from our advanced training teams. The program culminates in an exciting performance where teachers and students alike get to display their accomplishments for an audience of friends and families!


Participants leave the workshop not only with new skills and experience, but also with the Teaching Excellence® manual and curriculum. This 130 page resource will provide years of advice and reference as trainees go on to implement their new skills.

Applying for the Workshop

Applications are considered based on training and experience in dance performance, dance education and/or physical education, experience and desire to work with children. Applicants who are accepted are expected to have read through the training manual prior to the first class, and to be ready to work hard! Our teaching techniques are highly physical and require a fit body. Dance attire consists of sneakers and comfortable clothing.


The cost of the two-week program is $800. A down payment of $400 is necessary to secure a place in the workshop, and the balance of tuition is due on the first day of class. Trainees will be expected to arrange for their own transportation to Albuquerque. NDI New Mexico will provide a list of affordable housing options, and if possible, arrange for donated housing. Donated housing is not guaranteed.

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Teacher Training Staff


Emily Lowman - Santa Fe Outreach Director

Emily, the daughter of a theatre professor, began her career in children’s theatre and continued at the University of New Mexico, studying ballet, flamenco and modern dance including the techniques of Katherine Dunham, Bill Evans, Doris Humphrey and Jose Limón. During college, she traveled overseas with SUNY New Paltz to study the techniques of Martha Graham and Lester Horton and worked with the Readymade Dance Theater and Blythe Eden Dance Company in Albuquerque. After graduating from UNM in 2001 with an honors BA in Theatre and Dance, she danced with Murray Spalding Movement Arts in Santa Fe and apprenticed with NDI-NM’s Santa Fe Summer Institute, later becoming Director of this program. Emily was an Instructor for in-school, after-school and Advanced Training programs in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico before becoming Associate Residency Director, then Residency Director in 2008.


Jackie Oliver, Albuquerque Outreach Artistic Director

Jackie has been dancing, performing, and choreographing throughout the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas for over 19 years. She began her training under Patricia Dickinson and Suzanne Johnston in Albuquerque. Jackie has served on the faculty for the Annual Bill Evans Rhythm Tap Dance Jams and has performed for the Centrum’s Bill Evans Dance Intensive this summer in Port Townsend, WA. She has performed and choreographed for the New Mexico Ballet Company, the Bill Evans Rhythm Tap Ensemble, and the University of New Mexico Dance Department. Jackie has been a member of NDI-NM’s artistic staff since 2000.


Liz Salganek - Artistic Director

Liz Salganek grew up in Santa Fe, where she trained and performed extensively in ballet, jazz, modern dance, and theater. She earned her B.A. in Dance from Barnard College of Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. In New York she joined the faculty of the Barnard Dance Department, and worked as a modern dancer. Liz joined the NDI-NM staff in 2006, and has since taught in every branch of its programming. Her other work experience includes early childhood education, physical therapy, and Pilates.


Gemtria St Clair, Director of Special Projects

Gemtria St Clair began studying ballet at the age of three and danced with the University Civic Ballet Company in El Paso, TX. She attended the University of Texas at El Paso and, later, University of Utah on full ballet scholarships. She began her work with NDI New Mexico in 1998 and spent several years as the North Artistic Director, co-choreographing the End-of-the-Year Event, directing the North Show, overseeing staff, and training apprentices.  In 2002, the Board of Directors appointed Gemtria as Managing Director. Gemtria later spent 9 years away from NDI New Mexico directing a new start-up NDI organization in El Paso, TX and was responsible for all aspects of the budding nonprofit. Gemtria returned to NDI New Mexico in the Spring of 2014 as Director of Special Projects. 


Bert Dalton, Music Director

Bert has been with NDI-NM since 1996 and has served as Music Director since 1998. Bert received his music education at Northern Illinois University and has performed throughout the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. His Latin jazz quartet Yoboso, won the 1995 B.E.T Jazz Discovery Competition and was twice awarded Best Recording of the Year by the New Mexico Music Industry Coalition. He was guest pianist and composer with the Allen Philharmonic Symphony in Allen, Texas, in December 2003, featuring an orchestral suite from "The Shamrock and The Feather," a sound track recording accompanying his wife Dori's novel of the same name.


Brian Bennett, Associate Music Director

Brian Bennett is a composer, pianist, bassist and teacher whose 30-year career in music has encompassed virtually the full gamut of musical experience. A native of Washington, D.C., his compositions have been performed and recorded in North America and Europe. Upon earning his doctorate in composition from UCLA following studies with William Kraft, Lukas Foss and Lawrence Moss, he worked in Lyon, France for five years. In his work as a pianist and bassist he has recorded extensively and performed in nearly every setting with many great musicians, including such world-class greats as John Taylor, Steve Swallow, John Scofield and Joe Diorio. Brian joined NDI-NM in 2003.