Susan Griffin Recognized as National Dance Education Organization 2019 Outstanding Dance Educator (PreK-12)

Published: June 12th, 2019

Today the National Dance Education Organization Announced the 2019 Award Recipients including Arizona’s Susan Griffin from Phoenix Union. Congratulations Susan! Thank you for all you’ve done for Arizona students over the years.

2019 NDEO National Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement – Naima Prevots

Outstanding Dance Educator (PreK-12) – Susan Griffin

Outstanding Leadership – Barry Blumenfeld

Outstanding Dance Education Researcher – Wendy Oliver and Marijeanne Liederbach

NDEO will honor the National Award recipients at the Grand Opening Dinner of the 2019 NDEO National Conference in Miami, Florida in October.

Susan Griffin has taught dance to students at every age and level since she graduated from Rutgers University in 1976. She was an Associate Instructor while she pursued her master’s degree at Indiana University and taught as a member of professional dance companies in Bloomington, IN, and Rochester, NY. She taught dance and created choreography at the University of Rochester and Centre College, and taught at Arizona State University. She was the dance teacher at Mineral Springs Elementary School (NC) before joining the faculty of South Mountain High School in Phoenix, AZ, where she has been teaching since 2003. She is active in developing dance curriculum and assessment both for Phoenix and statewide for Arizona. She has served AzDEO, NDEO’s state affiliate in Arizona, and NDEO in various capacities since 2006 and was president of AzDEO from 2009-2011. AzDEO named her the Katherine Lindholm Lane Dance Educator of the Year in 2014. That same year, Phoenix Union High School District recognized her as the Teacher of the Year for the entire district in all subject areas. Graduates of her program in Phoenix have gone on to become successful teachers and performers, including one student who is dancing with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Excerpt from Student Support Letter:

“She was a mentor, a counselor, a mom, a cheerleader, and so much more. Walking into her class, you knew you were going to learn more than just dance. Her studio was a safe place that fostered teamwork, leadership, creativity, and diversity. Her approach to dance was not one-sided. She encouraged us to use our voices and bodies to express how we felt. She invited individuality while teaching us how to work as a collective. There was always a greater message behind every piece she created for us. From immigration to border patrol and self respect, her choreography was accompanied by research and facts. She took us to see dance outside of the classroom. She welcomed the hard conversations and answered the tough questions. She taught us movements along with the steps.”