Local dance educator earns national certificate

Published 10:00 pm Monday, February 22, 2016

Sonya Monts teaching her students at The Dancer's Extension. (Photo by Henry Monts)

Sonya Monts teaching her students at The Dancer’s Extension. (Photo by Henry Monts)

The National Dance Education Organization based in Silver Spring, Md., launched the Online Professional Development Institute to offer online dance education courses featuring pedagogy, teaching methods, history, assessments, research and much more to dance educators seeking continuing education.


Local dance instructor and owner of the Dancer’s Extension studio, Sonya Monts, has been a student in the Online Professional Development Institute (OPDI) since its inception in the spring of 2012.

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Through a variety of OPDI courses offered over the past four years, Ms. Monts has now successfully earned her Certificate in Dance Education from the NDEO. The CiDE credential is conferred on a student candidate who successfully completes 33 Continuing Education Units in Dance Education through the NDEO OPDI™.


The CiDE is a personalized program of study designed to help the student become highly qualified in any environment in which he or she teaches – K-12, college or university, private studio or community center, or as a teaching artist. The 33 units consist of a program of OPDI courses uniquely designed for the student based on the student’s prior training and professional experience in light of future career goals.


The CiDE supports all dance educators working in diverse teaching environments, promotes lifelong learning, enhances credentials of the dance educator, and attests to a well-rounded training experience, all of which inevitably benefit the students of the dance educator who earns a CiDE.


Monts believes, “The OPDI has helped me to grow as a dance educator and has greatly broadened my perspectives, goals, and inspirations. I feel that it is tremendously important for my students to witness the quest to continue my education, and to be a part of my learning. The OPDI instructors are role models to me, and I am in turn a role model for my students.”


Ms. Monts, like many other OPDI participants, took the online lessons directly to her own students so that they also could receive the knowledge the OPDI has to offer from nationally recognized leaders in the field of dance education.


“The end result from the OPDI program is stronger education in dance arts for our students,” stated Ms. Monts.


The Dancer’s Extension offers instruction in ballet, pointe, jazz and contemporary dance, and focuses on encouraging healthy and balanced lifestyles through the art of dance.


For more information and to register for classes, please contact the studio at 828-749-9EXT (9398) or www.thedancers-ext.com.


-Submitted by Melissa Greenblatt