Audrey Baran, visiting assistant professor of dance and an alumna of UNC Charlotte (B.A. Dance, 2003), has published an article in the Journal of Dance Education. The article, "Sneaking Meditation," offers practical and experiential methods of incorporating meditative practices into a contemporary or modern dance course while maintaining the energetic rigor that university dance students expect in a dance class.
"Contemporary dance and meditative practices are increasingly intertwining in both academic and professional settings as the wide range of current mind/body modalities infiltrate the already vast landscape of modern dance," Baran writes in her abstract. "While the value of emphasizing mindful movement in dance cannot be understated, focusing solely on the slower, sensorial experience generally linked with meditative practices can dampen the “danceyness” of the experience itself."
Baran, who has taught dance and yoga at Open Door Studios, Charlotte Ballet Academy, and Okra, founded the local company Baran Dance, which also mentors young dancers with its apprentice program, BD2. In 2019, Baran received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Dance from the College of Arts + Architecture.
The current issue of Journal of Dance Education also include an article by another UNC Charlotte dance alumna, Ali Duffy: "Teaching Dance Techniques in an Aging Body: Perspectives and Recommendations from Dance Educators." Duffy received her B.A. in Dance in 2001 and teaches at Texas Tech University.