Author: Pamela Sofras, Professor Emirita, UNC Charlotte;
Contributing Writer: Cathy Wright, AIEA Dance Institute Director
Pamela Anderson Sofras, Med. is a Professor Emeritus of dance and dance education and was the first Chair of the Dance Department in the College of Arts and Architecture at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She has 40 years of experience teaching dance at the university level and has taught and developed courses in modern dance technique, composition, dance education methods and student teaching. From 1978 to 1990, she was affiliated with the American Dance festival as a faculty member. She served as assistant, associate dean and founding director of the Young Dancer’s School of the American Dance Festival.
She was part of a team of educators who wrote dance education guidelines for training K-12 dance teachers for the public schools of North Carolina. She has also developed curriculum materials supported by state and national grants, for professional arts organizations located in New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and New York. Sofras has been the recipient of six North Carolina Arts Council grant awards to study the choreographic processes of five separate choreographers as they created works for the Charlotte Ballet a professional dance company. The processes were documented and translated into curriculum materials for teachers and for university classes.
A charter member of the National Dance Organization (NDEO), she has also served as curriculum consultant for the North Carolina Dance Theatre (currently the Charlotte Ballet) and a site evaluator for North Carolina Arts Council grant activities. She has received numerous awards for he contributions to the field of dance education, including the NDEO’s Vision Award, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education , Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) College/University Professor of the Year, and the North Carolina Dance Alliance Award. In addition she received the UNC Charlotte Service Award in 2002 for her sustained service to the public schools. Sofras regularly presents professional development workshops in dance pedagogy for teaching artists and teachers in public and private school settings. Most recently, she has worked with Ballet Met in Columbus Ohio and the Alabama Institute of Education in the Arts. The second edition of her book Dance Composition Basics has just been released with new on-line materials available.
This project has been made possible by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, South Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.