This is an archive. I have retired, and is no longer being actively updated. If you have questions about old posts or dance education, please contact me via email.


make your day dance


I’m a full-time dance specialist in a public elementary school. This Seattle school has wonderful kids from the US & all over the world, whose families care passionately about their success.  The majority of my students (98%) are members of a “minority.” Two-thirds qualify for free-and-reduced lunches; two-thirds are bilingual. Languages include English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cham, Tagalog, Amharic, Somalian, Cambodian, Mien, Toishanese, Laotian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Swahili, and Ilokano. They provide me with daily laughs, troubles, frustrations, stories, and joys.

Dance education is scarce and oft misunderstood, with a meager foothold in education. The life of a dance educator can be both exhilarating and lonely… working, puzzling, reflecting, and rejoicing in isolation. It’s thrilling when students are ignited by their own ideas or caught by momentum. Thought-provoking when it all comes together — or doesn’t. Consuming, as we struggle alone to assess, teach, reflect, and improve…

I take my dancepulse daily, thinking where I’ve been and where I’m going. This blog exists to create a place for communicating with others about dance in the classroom — certainly not daily, but when I get a chance. Perhaps you’d like to share stories, ideas, inspirations, frustrations, reflections, and camaraderie?  Please join the conversation –

Meg Mahoney         


27 Comments so far ↓

  • danceadvantage

    Just discovered your blog! Thanks so much for adding me to your blogroll. I will return the favor. I look forward to reading more about your experiences in the classroom. Your unique perspective is a great addition to the blogosphere!

  • megrm

    Thanks for finding me! I haven’t let very many people know I’m here yet. I certainly enjoy your thoughts, when I happen by!

  • danceadvantage

    Just wanted to suggest Google Reader for keeping track of any blogs (or websites) you like to read via an RSS feed. It really helps me out, it’s free, and I don’t miss the good stuff- like your blog! :) Feel free to contact me if you’re not sure how it works.

  • Catherine L. Tully

    I really love your site! Very interesting perspective and I look forward to reading more!

  • David Hunter

    Great site! I am in a graduate teaching program currently (at Evergreen State). I’m also a dancer and will start teaching beginner ballet classes for boys next month at a studio. I have started a website to help males overcome the stigma of expressing themselves through dance. I’m hoping to add a dance endorsement and teach dance in public schools as well as the Social Studies and English Language Arts endorsements I’m currently working on. This site is very helpful. Thanks!

  • megrm

    Thanks for stopping by! I’m thrilled that you’re planning on a dance endorsement — there are so few certificated teachers with dance qualifications in Washington. I enjoyed your website — I subscribed, and you can look for it on my links. Keep in touch!

  • sionan

    what a wonderful find ;) Thanks Nichelle for the link.. I’m a ballet teacher. Spent many years in Seattle studying with PNB and getting a master’s in Physiology; sadly the Dance Kinesiology program folded in ’82. But now located in Portland, looking for venues to share my passion for ballet. Glad to find you here.

  • megrm

    Thanks for reading and commenting! Best wishes for finding your niche in Portland!

  • David

    I just came across your blog and wish that I could have met you a month ago. I produce an event called the World of Dance Tour. We just completed our Seattle event July 24th, 2010. I would have loved to donate tickets on your behalf to some of your students.

    take a look at my sites.

    maybe there are ways to work together in the future?

  • megrm

    Some of my kids would love to see your shows & donated tickets would certainly be a way for them. Thanks for the thought!

  • Dalienne Majors

    Thank you Meg for your encouraging insight and well documented experiences in teaching and knee repair. I’ve been teaching and chairing dance K-12 at a private school in Brooklyn, NY. We’re currently polishing our curriculum in the sense of “bringing more rigor” to the school’s overall arts programs. I’m impressed with your blog and thinking of doing one myself. How did you get started?

    PS I may be coming to the Dance Critics Association Conference to be held in Seattle in June. Maybe you’ll be around?

  • megrm

    Thanks for visiting! I only wish I had less insight into knee repair, but nonetheless I’m on the up-side of that process now.
    As for blogging, I had a HUGE amount of support from my daughter. She got me started on wordpress, and then as a birthday present last year she moved me to my current situation, in which she hosts my site herself. Nonetheless, I think a reasonably savvy person can do the wordpress thing on their own, cause so many people do!
    In June, I’ll likely be around & still teaching — possibly into July if we have too many snow days this years! :) I’d be glad to meet — or confer twixt now and then if you do start blogging. I started the blog thing cause it’s a way to be less isolated, but what I’ve found so far is that dance educators in studios are far better networked than those of us in the public sector!

  • cait

    I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog – I can’t wait to keep reading!

  • megrm

    I’m glad you did too, however it happened! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Malke Rosenfeld

    I was so excited to find your blog this morning that I made new post about it in my blog. I integrate percussive dance with elementary math. I look forward to digging in and reading some more soon!

  • megrm

    And I enjoyed visiting your blog, Malke. I’m so glad to make the connection!

  • Malke Rosenfeld

    Me too, Meg! I’m going to ask this question here because I don’t know how else to get in touch with you — any chance you could share a picture or two with me of how you use tape in your classroom? (an accompanying paragraph or two on how you use tape and why would be ideal, but no pressure). I’m going to start a section on my blog called Tape Tales that shows different uses for tape to inspire movement, exploration of space and creations of all kinds. I’m so glad to ‘meet’ a sister in tape! :) Thanks for the consideration.

  • Malke Rosenfeld

    Oh, and you can contact me directly from my website if you like. If not, I’ll check back here to see your response.

  • Diana Domoracki-Kisto

    Meg, I am truely impressed with your site; lovely, simple, well-informed. I will recommend wherever I go. Thanks! Diana Domoracki-Kisto Staten Island, NY.

  • megrm

    Thank you, Diana! That means a lot! Meg

  • Ken Cliffer

    I found your ‘blog when seeking to refresh my memory on names for my Carleton bio, by googling “Choreogram.” Nice! It’s nice to see how (and that) dance has been (in) your life. I haven’t been doing much lately dance-wise (the knee makes it hard), but retain my appreciation for it and what I was able to do in the past – it contributed greatly to my approach to life and work. Maybe we’ll see you at reunion (presuming I’ll make it)?

  • megrm

    Hi Ken — Good to hear from you. Indeed, dance & I never let go. Sorry to hear about your knee — I’m about 15 months into a new one myself, and it’s been fabulous. Like being reborn. And indeed, I’m considering the reunion — must check the dates against the end of the school year! It would be good to see folks after all this time. I’ll hope so… Best, Meg

  • Philo Hagen

    Hello Meg, I love this post. Would it be possible to repost it on to share with the hooping community? It’s wonderful.

  • megrm

    Yes, of course! Maybe I’ll show my students the Finland Christmas hooping video! Thanks for visiting!

  • Amy

    We would love to see you and your colleagues from the dance education community in Seattle at the 2012 American Youth Circus Organization Educators Conference at the School for New Acrobatics and Circus Arts in Seattle August 31- sept 3! Thanks for your blog, it’s fabulous!

  • Jess

    Yes to Amy’s comment! We would love for you to attend and/or present at our Educators Conference. This year we are focusing on adaptive circus arts. As you know, circus arts are perfectly positioned to serve youth with very wide ranging needs. This includes diverse social, emotional, developmental, physical, and therapeutic needs. We will be gathering pioneering practioners from across the US to progress ideas in this rapidly developing field. The conference will be hosted by the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts in Seattle, WA from August 31 to September 3. Please email me to express your interest or for more info!

  • Ken

    keep the faith! it sounds like you are speaking the only language all those kids might have in common.