Associate professor of dance, Heidi Echols, was named College Dance Educator of the Year by the North Carolina Alliance of Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The alliance, a professional organization representing educators in motion, chooses one dance educator from the state each year for the honor. Echols received the award at the association’s annual convention, which was held in November in Winston-Salem.
Echols is in charge of the dance minor program at Salem. The dance minor is special to her because it brings the liberal arts focus of breadth and depth of knowledge. She teaches courses such as ballet, jazz, modern, dance history, choreography, as well as special topics such as “Dance for Everyone” and “West African Dance.” Besides teaching, she serves as the faculty adviser for the Salem College Dance Company.
Echols also directs the Center for Teaching Excellence at Salem. In that role, she organizes workshops, discussions and guest speakers to assist faculty with building innovative teaching. Other community involvements include the NC Dance Alliance. In terms of research, Echols is interested in how dance defines gender roles, focusing on how dance creates and maintains social constructs.