I published the first edition of Teaching Dance: The Spectrum of Styles, as Elizabeth Gibbons. The second edition will be published under the name Elizabeth Goodling. Life happens.
I grew up in Durham, NC, the middle of five siblings (shout-out to my parents, Ruth and Richard Goodling, and siblings Rick, Dave, Jim, and Becky). While I remember my mother taking me to dance classes when I was about 6 yrs old, I wasn't able to continue, probably a combination of living way out of town and my mother having 5 children to raise, training to be a Montessori teacher, and undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
When I was about 16 yrs old, my childhood friend Ruthie Young and I started going to dance classes. Getting a drivers' license meant being able to get to and from dance classes. Dance made me feel wild, free, and in control. Eventually I took class with Betsy Blair, who became my mentor and eventually a good friend. She suggested majoring in dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
My teachers at UNC-G included Dr. Lois Andreasen, Dr. Gay Cheney, Joseph Levinoff, Ann Deloria, and Dorothy Silver. I received both the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in dance there.
I started teaching at Edison Johnson Arts and Athletics Center in Durham NC, classes for children ages 3-12 and adult classes in creative dance, ballet, modern, and ballroom dance. I also taught at Arts Together with Betsy Blair in Raleigh, NC, and performed with the New Performing Dance Company. Knowing that I wanted to pursue a college teaching career, I researched universities offering a doctrate in dance, which were few and far between at the time. Texas Woman's University offered me a teaching assistantship, which was invaluable in gaining college teaching experience.
I loved my time at TWU; mentors and professors included Penelope Hanstein, Eileen Lockhart and Jane Mott, Adrienne Fisk, Janice LaPointe-Crump, and Gladys Keeton. Peers included JA Lazarus, Gayle Ziaks Halperin, Jackie Nelson-Paunil, and Lynda Plumlee. I taught ballet, modern, aerobics, jazz, and tap.
After TWU I taught for four years at Washburn University of Topeka, KS, developing an Associate of Arts in Dance which quickly expanded from 5 students to more than 30. In addition to directing the student performing dance company Washburn Dancers, I choreographed and performed every semester and taught a variety of dance classes including ballet, modern, aerobics, ballroom and international dance.
From there I moved to Pennsylvania to teach at East Stroudsburg University. The student club the Contemporary Dancers grew from 4 students to over 70 in about 10 years. This prompted the development of the University Dance Company, which provided students with the choice of a completely student-run organization which produces a recital every spring, and an academically-based, faculty-supervised organization with choreography by students, faculty, and guest artists. In addition the Dance Team and the Warriorettes perform at sports events.
I had the incredible good fortune to work with Suzanne Mueller, who first introduced me to the Spectrum in the context of teaching physical education, and also Muska Mosston who encouraged me to apply the Spectrum to dance pedagogy.
I have been blessed to teach a variety of classes including ballet, modern and modern theory, aerobics, international and world dance, ballroom, creative dance for children, dance appreciation, choreography and improvisation, and others. It was from this pedagogical base that I wrote Teaching Dance: The Spectrum of Styles.