Award-winning Zenon Dance Company artist finds new career through C&I’s dance education program

Mary Ann BradleyMary Ann Bradley is ready to start a new chapter of her life. As a member of the prestigious Zenon Dance Company for 12 years, a two-time recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for dancers, and one of Dance magazines “25 to watch” in 2014, Bradley has been a luminary of the Twin Cities’ dance scene for over a decade. She is now focusing on bringing her considerable talents to the classroom. Bradley began the M.Ed. and Initial Teaching license program in Arts in Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction this past summer and is finishing up her final season with the Zenon Dance Company.

Zenon’s artistic director, Linda Andrews, said that Bradley “excelled in teaching troubled and disadvantaged youth” as part of the company’s outreach program. “She gave them her full attention and care.”

The award-winning dancer chose to earn her teaching license in dance education to offer more students the opportunity to experience dance as an art form. “The public schools are the most effective way to reach students who might not otherwise have access. Obtaining my teaching license was a practical necessity towards this goal,” said Bradley, adding that “the fact that the program was able to be completed in one year was also appealing.”


Bradley found out about the program after attending a talk by program faculty, Betsy Maloney. She was impressed by Maloney’s “candid personal storytelling and thoughtful approach to dance education.” Additionally, Bradley felt the program aligned with her belief in “the capacity of dance to offer direct experience with collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.”

While she still hopes to continue her work with the Zenon Dance Company on a project basis, Bradley’s career goals have shifted. She now is focused on sharing her love of the art form by “teaching students the joy of moving freely and expressing themselves through dance.”

Learn more about the teacher licensure programs offered in dance, theatre, and the arts.

Using Art Curriculum in Mainstreaming Special Education Students

Sara Strother, M.Ed. in Arts in Education candidate (2017) writes in the CEHD Vision 2020 blog about the important role arts education can play in the academic and social development of special education students.

She writes that, “research has shown that the practice of “mainstreaming” special education students (placing them in general education classrooms with an inclusive curriculum) can be beneficial to their academic and social development.” Strother notes that this is particularly true in arts education.

As part of her M.Ed. coursework, Strother is developing an art curriculum that benefits both special education students and their general education peers while building a mutual understanding and trust among classmates. Read the full article.

Learn more about Arts in Education programs offered in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


New U.S. Bank Stadium Features Artwork by Students Co-Taught by C&I Grad

Jenna Hubert and Andrea Greamba pose for a photo before their students’ artwork on display in the new Vikings stadium.

Andrea Greamba, who graduated in 2014 with an M.Ed. in Arts in Education, was part of the opening celebration at the new U.S. Bank Stadium featuring artwork from Minnesota natives. Greamba co-lead an art project as a student-teacher with Jenna Hubert of Waite Park Community School in Minneapolis. The project the students created was chosen as part of the permanent collection for the new stadium out of over 1,100 entries.

“I have always been impressed with the quality of art student-teachers that I receive from the U,” says Visual Specialist Hubert. “I tell everyone I know, that I will only take them if they are from the U of M.” Hubert has been working with the Department of Curriculum & Instruction’s Teacher Education program for several years and has had 15 students in the M.Ed. program teach in her classroom.

The co-teaching model is a unique aspect of the graduate teaching program that offers hands-on teaching and classroom experience designed to prepare graduates to hit the ground running once they receive their teaching license. Teacher candidates are paired with experienced, practicing teachers in the Twin Cities metro where they can put their coursework into action.

Well prepared by her classroom experience at Waite Elementary, Greamba has since joined Sky Oaks Elementary in Burnsville as an art teacher.

To learn more about the M.Ed.—Initial Licensure program in Arts in Education or other teacher licensure programs visit the Curriculum & Instruction department website. The priority deadline to apply for 2017 is December 15, 2016.