KidsDODance! is The Yard’s five-week summer creative dance and choreography program for children ages 11 to 14 week one and 6 to 11 weeks two - five Participants have the opportunity to build dance skills and technique, nurture their creative voices through group choreography studies, and develop connections to the professional dancers in residence at The Yard and the Martha’s Vineyard community.
Meet the Teachers!
Director of KidsDoDance
Lead teacher weeks two-five
Deborah Damast (BFA Dance: SUNY Purchase, MA Dance Education: NYU, EdD Dance Education in progress: Columbia Teachers College) has been teaching in the Dance Education program at NYU since 2002. She has taught technique, pedagogy, creative movement, production, and choreography, is the Program Director and Artistic Advisor of the Dance Education program where she also directs the dance concerts and Kaleidoscope Dancers . She founded and directs a study abroad program to Uganda each January since 2007 and has brought several Ugandan artists to the U.S as well as over 180 NYU students to Uganda. She has participated in motion capture studies, Internet Arts Collaborations, and in spring of 2019 received a collaborative Faculty Challenge Grant with Yoav Bergner and Allegra Romita for the 2019-2020 year to begin research on data and dance literacy. Deborah is currently on the faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory, LREI, The Yard, and the NYC DOE DELTA leadership team, has taught and directed programs at Peridance Center, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Harvey School, Dance in Education Fund, and has taught for New York City Ballet, the 92nd St. Y, Temple Habonim, Harkness Dance Center, Innovative Learning Centers, and others. She has created creative dance videos for children, Move N Groove Kids.
Deborah's choreography has been shown in numerous venues in NYC including World Financial Center, Riverside Church, 92nd and 14th Street Ys, Judson Church, Peridance, St. Marks Church, Context, RAPP Arts Center, Gowanus Arts Exchange, Cooper Union, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Skirball Theater, Frederick Loewe Theater, and many others, Nationally and Internationally in Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has taught and presented at conferences through National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) annually since 2004, New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA), CUNY, ACDFA, NYU, Kyambogo Music Education Conference 2018 in Uganda, and was the Keynote Speaker at the Utah Dance Education Organization conference in 2019. She conducts professional development for the New York City Dept. of Education Office of Arts and Special Projects and DEL/92Y, and has written curriculum for New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Education Department, the Revised Blueprint for the Arts-Dance for the NYC DOE and continues to enjoy working with the Making It Team of the Yard on Education Initiatives and Community Engagement. Deborah serves on the Board of Directors of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and the Dance Education in Practice Journal Editorial Board, has served on the Boards of NDEO and NYSDEA, the latter where she served as President. Deborah was a 2008 recipient of the GSO Star Faculty Award at NYU, the 2010 Outstanding Educator Award from the National Dance Education Organization, and the 2017 NYU Steinhardt Excellence in Teaching award. She enjoys teaching across the lifespan, creating, questioning and investigating, and her research interests are community engagement and academic service learning.
Lead Teacher of Week One
Kate Diaz hols a BFA in Dance Choreography from Arizona State University and an MA in Dance Education from New York University. At NYU she was recognized and awarded for outstanding achievement in dance education. For the past ten years Kate has been teaching dance full-time in NYC. She holds dual New York State PreK-12 certification in Dance and Physical Education. She created and developed two separate dance programs for Bronx Preparatory Charter School and New Explorers High School. She is currently on faculty at the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) in Manhattan where she teaches dance, movement, and yoga for both middle and high school programs. In addition, Kate holds a 300hr Mind Body Dancer yoga teaching license from the Perri Institute, founded by TaraMarie Perri and has taught for Namaste New York, Steps on Broadway, and SOMA Health Club Williamsburg. Kate continues to be an active performer with Deborah Damast and Dancers. This will be Kate's 7th summer at the Yard working with the KidsDoDance program.