2022 Dance Educators Award Nominees - Part 1

The Dance Educators Committee is pleased to announce the 2022 nominees for the Dance Educators Award. Each year, the committee is overwhelmed by the nominations of dance educators working tirelessly across the globe to nurture dancers of all ages and backgrounds, sharing their knowledge and passion, and utilizing dance science knowledge to inspire future generations of dancers and dance teachers. 

Past recipients of the award include Edel Quin, Karen Clippinger, Janice Plastino, Janet Karin, Emma Redding, and Nico Kolokythas. The winner of the Dance Educators award will be announced at the IADMS 32nd Annual Conference in Limerick, Ireland. 

In this blog post we learn a little about the wonderful work of the first half of the nominees for this years’ award. Be sure to also check out part 2, to learn about the rest of the nominees. 

N.B Nominees are listed in no particular order

Luis Gadea Mateos - nominated by Maite Villanueva and others

Luis is a dance educator and physiotherapist working with dancers including teaching anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, and Pilates. For Luis, the most important thing is that the dancer understands their needs, shortcomings, and understands the deadlines and recovery times. To make them understand that their body is the most precious tool and they must learn to take care of it. 





Jennifer Milner - nominated by Kathleen McGuire Gaines

Jennifer is a dance and Pilates teacher working with pre-professional and professional dancers via one-on-one coaching, group classes, private conditioning, and teaching workshops. As a dance educator, Jennifer wants to help evolve the dance world into a place that supports healthy dancers; physically and mentally. She believes that dance science at its best supports and encourages dancers, enabling them to do the near-impossible. Jennifer also works with a dance health podcast that focuses on issues like hypermobility, disordered eating, dancers’ mental health, and other co-morbidities.




Maddelena Sara - nominated by Anna Saccone

Maddelena is dance educator and artist. Understanding the functioning mechanisms of the body allows Maddelena to adapt her teaching style to each student, creating exercises and training routines that are optimal for each individual. Maddelena has created an online programme to help share dance science information, collaborating with professionals from other fields such as psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, and orthopaedists. It is her goal to continue studying and researching the themes of dance medicine and helping the new generation of dancers to grow consciously in the world of dance.




Sofia Martins - nominated by Beth Irish

Sofia is a dance and science teacher with a focus on neuroscience in dance. She believes that understanding the brain mechanisms in dance can improve performance, make classes more inclusive, prevent injury, and optimize both learning and teaching. Sofia’s focus is to use the body as a tool of learning and give the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ in a practical and interesting way. Her work includes sessions on dealing with injuries, neurological recovery, overcoming struggles (memory, equilibrium, learning difficulties), improving dance environments and teaching techniques, improving mental well-being, improving dance skills, and using dance for healing purposes.




Anabella Lenzu - nominated by Anabella Lenzu 

Anabella is an educator, scholar, artist and advocate of dance education, interested in researching different methodologies and pedagogies and their application in the areas of Dance Composition and Pedagogy. She believes that the art of teaching is about contemplation, appreciation, reflection, exchange, detailed observance, assimilation, and developing a deeper human consciousness. To this end she aims to integrate mind, body, and spirit in her work. She teaches with a human and comprehensive pedagogy in which creativity, ethics and aesthetics are intertwined.




Scott Sinclair - nominated by Austin Lui

Scott is a lecturer and laboratory technician working with undergraduate and postgraduate dance science students, specializing in exercise physiology.  Scott has a holistic approach to wellbeing, with due respect for the social, emotional and cognitive wellbeing of each learner. He is committed to knowledge exchange with others in the field of dance medicine and science and has a passion to thrive and succeed in this field. 




Kendall Baab - nominated by Amelia Millward

Kendall is a dance educator and Pilates instructor. She believes that dancers’ mental and physical wellbeing is just as important as their training and that incorporating all of these aspects into training sessions contributes to the increased confidence, increased body awareness, and enhanced performance of the dancers. It is Kendall’s belief that dancers should train like athletes and be treated as humans before dancers.




Sarah Peachey - nominated by Emma Bulloch

Sarah is a dance teacher whose teaching philosophy is based firmly in the principles of community arts – inclusion, equality, and empowerment. Through establishing the Young Artist Development Programme in Scotland her main goal is to equip dancers with the knowledge and skills required to advocate for themselves in the wider dance world. Sarah and her colleagues encourage individuality and removing barriers to participation in dance classes. 




Jessica Santer - nominated by Emily Foxcroft

Jessica is Head of Creative learning with a passionate belief that everyone has the right to high quality arts and culture. As well as being something to enjoy and enhance our day to day lives, she believe the arts are essential to our development, sense of self, and health and wellbeing from childhood to older age. Through her work Jessica shares her knowledge in arts and health, and the importance of supporting and evidencing the development of this area through research. Jessica’s approach to teaching is rooted in the same values as the projects she designs and delivers; prioritizing access and inclusion.