Fine Arts

About Us

 

Faculty

Mary-Elizabeth Manley

BA (Western), MA (USC)

Associate Professor, Department of Dance

memanley@yorku.ca

Professor Manley has been a faculty member in York's Department of Dance since 1974. She has taught a broad range of courses including studio courses in modern technique, improvisation and composition and lecture courses in pedagogy, education, dance science and community arts practice. She teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level and frequently supervises directed reading courses, major research projects and theses for graduate students.

Professor Manley’s research specialization and publications are in the areas of creative and modern dance pedagogy; dance education in early to middle childhood; choreography and performance for and by young people; and community arts practice. Her publication credits include articles in the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD); ChoreographyChildhood in Canada: Cultural Images and Contemporary Issues; Conference Proceedings of the Society for Canadian Dance Studies, and in the Proceedings of the Dance and the Child International (daCi) Conferences. She edited the dance chapters of The Arts as Meaning Makers, and authored the biography Roots and Wings: Virginia Tanner’s Dance Life and Legacy. Her latest academic project, daCi’s First 30 Years: Rich Returns, an anthology comprising papers from daCi conference proceedings from 1978 to 2009, will be published in July 2012 at the 10th triennial daCi conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

Strongly committed to arts education and community arts practice, Professor Manley developed and directed Artstart, a fine arts program for children and teens, from 1986 to 1996. She recently redesigned the program to meet the needs of the community bordering York University. Now known as ARTStarts Afterschool, the program brings together teacher candidates and artists from the community who organize and lead after-school classes in dance, theatre, visual arts and music in many of the local schools.

As a mentor to the Roots Research and Creation Collective (RRCC), a group of Aboriginal choreographers and young dancers, Professor Manley has shared the work of the RRCC internationally at several World Dance Alliance conferences and at the Dance and the Child International Conference held in Jamaica in 2009. In collaboration with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, she currently co-directs Dancing the Rights of the First Nations Child: Our Dreams Matter Too, a project designed to implement an arts residency with artist-educators in six Aboriginal communities in Canada.

Professor Manley also maintains professional connections in Vancouver and internationally, serving as president of the board of Judith Garay’s company, Dancers Dancing, and as a member-at-large on the board of Dance and the Child International.

Areas of Research and Academic Specialty: Dance Education, Creative and Modern Dance Pedagogy, Children’s Dance, Community Arts Practice for Social Change