Back in October of 2018, Ms. Serene Webber, Notre Dame Preparatory School (NDP) dance teacher, was named the Dance Educator of The Year (K-12) by the Maryland Dance Education Association (MDEA). At the award event, Ms. Webber was recognized for “consistently demonstrate[ing] her commitment to dance education, to both her personal and professional growth, and to fostering dance education both in and out of the classroom for students.”
“Serene’s commitment to dance education has elevated our program here at Notre Dame Prep,” says Sister Patricia McCarron, SSND, Ph.D., headmistress. “Her skill, passion, talent, commitment and dedication have had a significant impact on our girls and our community. We are proud of Serene, and thank MDEA for this recognition.”
Since joining NDP’s faculty in fall 2016, Ms. Webber has expanded the dance program to include three performances a year, a partnership with Towson University’s Dance Department, fieldtrips to Broadway performances in Washington D.C. and New York City, and the development of the Independent Dance Network Festival. In addition, she has coordinated several off-campus dance experiences, including meeting and dancing for the world’s oldest-living Rockette. In the community, Ms. Webber often combines dance with service; last year she launched a statewide campaign called the Tutu Mission which raised money for AileyCamp Baltimore, benefitting young dancers from Baltimore County and Baltimore City.
“What I want most for my students is to provide them with experiences rich in research, history, culture, and social justice,” said Ms. Webber in her artist’s statement. “With an emphasis on teaching ‘process,’ I aim to support students in identifying their individual patterns, biases, perceptions, and values to, in turn, enable them to create dance and respond with empathy for others as well as for themselves.”
Prior to joining Notre Dame Prep, Ms. Webber taught at Seton-Keough High School and served as a guest choreographer for Anne Arundel County Schools. She received her B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Towson University, and is currently pursuing a M.A. there in Interdisciplinary Arts Infusion. She is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis, a system used to describe movement, observe movement, and identify patterns. Various applications include choreography, dance therapy, computer animation, engineering, education, dance ethnography, among others.
Founded in 1873, Notre Dame Preparatory School is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for approximately 800 girls in grades 6-12. The School Sisters of Notre Dame sponsor and operate the school, which is dedicated to educating young women to transform the world.