Click on each staff member’s name to read their bio.
Mila Parrish is the Director of Dance Education. Parrish joined the faculty of the UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts in August 2012 and in that short time she has established instructional initiatives including, Dancers Connect a free community dance program, iDance NC a curriculum of dance instruction using videoconferencing and interactive technologies, reconstruction initiatives and community service programs.
Parrish is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in pedagogy and interdisciplinary instruction giving numerous professional development workshops, and over 70 national and international conference sessions, panels and presentations thought the US and in Canada, China, Finland, Brazil, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands including the Keynote Address on Dance and Technology at the Taipei Dance Education Research Consortium in Taipei, Taiwan. Her pedagogy and community scholarship has been celebrated in Dance Magazine and Dancer Teacher Now publications.
She has served on the Executive Board of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) as the Director of Technology, Dance and the Child International (daCi) as the Newsletter Editor, the Dance Notation Bureau (DNB) and the Journal for Learning in the Arts (JLTA). Her scholarship and publications have established new trends in dance technology, integrated curriculum and teacher training in the digital arena. Parrish has published in a wide range of journals, including Journal of Dance Education, Journal of Learning in the Arts, and the International Journal of Dance Education and is the recipient of grant support exceeding $1.1M for her own work and has served as PI and as a collaborator on NSF, USDOE, AZDOE, ASU VP of Research grant support exceeding $2.1M. Of her many honors include the 2011 Advocacy Award for leadership in dance education from the SCDA. The award is granted to individuals who have made sustained contributions dance in the areas of advocacy, innovation in pedagogy, quality of community initiatives and personal leadership and integrity.
Dr. Parrish is the 2018-2019 recipient of the Outstanding Dance Educator Award from the National Dance Education Organization. This award identifies a leading educator who has made vital contributions to the dance education field, who inspires and motivates their students and who have made a significant impact in their school community.
Melinda Waegerle is an Assistant Professor of Dance Education and the Coordinator for Undergraduate Dance Education at UNCG. Her work focuses on dance and interdisciplinary work across the curriculum. She is a Senior Fellow for the A+ Schools Program (a nationally recognized school reform effort). She has taught in a variety of public school settings across the nation and is currently teaching dance at Jesse Wharton Elementary as part of her research. Her work has appeared in several publications including Dance Teacher Magazine. Her joy is in helping others discover the power of dance to express the internal to the outside world. Other interests include science, the great outdoors and reading mysteries.
Magalli Morana is a senior at UNCG pursuing her BFA in Dance with K-12 Licensure and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is from Gibsonville, North Carolina and has danced all her life, cultivating a passion for performing, choreographing, and sharing the joys of dance with others through teaching. After graduation, she hopes to teach dance in the NC public school system, continue nonprofit work, and eventually pursue graduate school. Magalli is very excited to be involved with Dancers Connect again this semester and can’t wait to share her love of dance with the students!
Yahira is working towards her Dance Education degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The Greensboro native joined Dancers Connect as a student at the age of 12, this eventually inspired her to join her middle school’s dance team, so she could dance more than only on Saturdays. Once in high school, she participated in her school’s performing arts club, where she acted, sung, and danced. These experiences have given her the passion for dance and she hopes to one day travel and teach dance to children.
Kahlila Brown (Durham, North Carolina) is currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is studying to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a K-12 licensure and her favorite style of dance is contemporary. After graduating from college Kahlila aspires dance professionally. Kahlila’s favorite aspect of Dancers Connect is watching all the classes come together with their own interpretation of the overall semester theme.
Kate Gupton is a senior at UNCG pursuing her degree in dance choreography with a k-12 teaching license. Kate’s favorite style of dance is modern which she has studied for 10 years. After graduating Kate hopes to publish dance writings, create her own works, and teach students of all ages and abilities how awesome dance can be! Kate’s classes focus on cultivating students’ own creativity within a collaborative and fun environment.
Emma Higgins is a senior here at UNCG going for her BFA along with her K-12 teaching license. She has been dancing since the age of 4. She spent most of her time on a competition team at Center Stage Dance and Theater School in New Jersey. Emma studied dance for 2 years at Miller Street Dance Academy. She has helped out with assisting and co-teaching dances to students and loves watching them grow with great success. Emma is ready to help young dancers and make them love dance as much as she does.
Morgan Jones, native of Jamestown, NC, is currently a Junior at UNCG. She is majoring in Dance Performance and Choreography with a K-12 Teacher Licensure. She is a Dean’s List and Chancellor’s List student who is a member in the honors fraternity of Alpha Lamda Delta, Prime Movers Dance Club, and Minority Dance Collective. She is classically trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary/modern, and West African dance styles. Morgan loves Dancer’s Connect because she was a volunteer for Dancer’s Connect when she was in high school and still cherishes that teaching experience.
Dionna Becton is from Raleigh, North Carolina and is a current sophomore at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is studying in Kinesiology with a minor in Dance. Dionna started dancing at the age of 3 becoming a well-rounded dancer in all styles including Tap, ballet, Hip-hop, lyrical, modern and her favorite jazz. After graduation, Dionna plans on attending a physician assistant program and having a side job as a dance teacher at a local studio near her in the future. Dionna is very happy about being a part of Dancers Connect this semester and can’t wait to learn and grow with the dancers.