Ted Warburton named inaugural Senior Fellow of Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy & Leadership

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Edward (Ted) Warburton, professor of dance and interim dean of the arts at UC Santa Cruz
Edward (Ted) Warburton, professor of dance and interim dean of the arts at UC Santa Cruz, has been named the inaugural Senior Fellow at the Arnhold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy & Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Funded by a recent gift of $6.085 million from the Arnhold Foundation to advance dance education worldwide, the new institute is designed to expand the evidence base in dance education through new research and to reevaluate existing knowledge in the field. The goal is to support public policies that promote opportunities for high quality dance education in schools that are accessible, affordable, and equitable to all students.

A co-author of the proposal, Warburton described the Institute as a “unique and unprecedented opportunity to conduct and translate policy-relevant research on dance to transform educational environments for children, families, and communities.”

He also spoke to the academic value of dance as a physical art form, noting that researchers increasingly find that the process of learning is deeply physical.

“People understand and retain information better when they experience it through the senses—and such ‘embodied learning’ has been shown to be especially powerful for young children,” said Warburton. “Cognitions and emotions are interwoven,” he added. “And that describes the experience of dance.”

Warburton is the recipient of the National Dance Education Organization’s 2016 Outstanding Dance Researcher Award. The biennial honor is awarded for outstanding and sustained contributions to the field of dance through creative and scholarly research. Warburton was recognized for “his rigorous research, national profile, and significant impact internationally.”

A former dancer with American Ballet Theatre, he holds a doctoral degree in human development and psychology from Harvard, as well as a master’s in technology. His research has been published in Dance Research Journal, Leonardo, Art Research Journal, Psychological Science, Journal of Dance Education, International Journal of Education & the Arts, and World Literature Today.

Warburton came to UC Santa Cruz in the summer of 2004 from New York University, where he served as the director of its dance program.