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Kelli McGovern

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Kelli McGovern is a Doctoral student in the Ed.D. Dance Education program within the Dept. of Arts and Humanities at Columbia University’s Teachers College and a recipient of the Arnhold Fellowship scholarship. She is a graduate of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with an Ed.M. in Dance Education from the Graduate School of Education and a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts. Kelli is a full time tenured dance educator at Bayonne High School (BHS) where she has created the dance arts curriculum in the district and the BHS Young Dancer Program, a community outreach program designed to offer dance technique training to children with limited access to dance classes. 

Kelli is an owner of Washington Rock Dance (WRD) along with her business partners and collaborators, Cleo Mack and Blair Ritchie. WRD is a private dance school founded in 2015 that is based on developmentally focused training designed to maximize the potential of each student. WRD creates a foundational support structure for the professional dance company, Rock Dance Collective (RDC), a non-profit company of which Kelli is a Founder and Executive Director. RDC has most recently been commissioned by DanceNOW at Joe’s Pub and SteelStacks, the Outlet Dance Project at Grounds for Sculpture, Rutgers Summer Stage, and CoLab Arts. RDC has self produced multiple evening length works in both nontraditional and traditional spaces to create pieces that respond to societal and environmental stimuli through an interdisciplinary collaborative process. 

Ms. McGovern currently serves on the review team to develop the new NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts and has worked previously on the state level to develop the Model Curriculum Dance Assessments that are used as a guide for all dance programs in the state of New Jersey.

She has been selected to present her educational philosophies at the National Dance Education Organization National Conferences in Arizona, Washington, D.C, Miami, and at the NJAHPERD Conference. Kelli is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

Kelli’s intended area of specialization for her doctorate will be in the track of Leadership and Policy. She is interested in developing research on how to further dance implementation in education to districts, administrations, and communities and to find ways to make dance indispensable fixture in every student’s education.

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