Julie has been a teacher, and a teacher of teachers, for almost 25 years, but it wasn’t until she became a mom of two very active and intelligent boys that she came to fully understand the importance of having movement, discovery, play, touch, interaction, creativity, enjoyment, curiosity, and collaboration be a part of learning, and how dance was the perfect partner to facilitate this. At the heart of Wiggle Genius is a desire to bring movement into every K12 classroom in big ways and small, and to equip every educator (you!) with the basic skills, knowledge, and resources needed to immediately and effectively accomplish this!
Julie White (B.F.A, M.F.A) is an Associate Professor and a K12 Licensure Supervisor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her areas of research are arts assessment, curriculum development, outreach and community work, and “teaching teachers how to teach” in K12, higher education, and integrated and dance education classrooms and programs. She has been repeatedly invited to present her work nationally at NDEO Conferences, regionally at ACDA conferences, and statewide as a curriculum track leader in dance at the Mississippi Gifted Child (MGAC), Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC), and Whole Schools Initiative Conferences (WSI). She has worked extensively as an independent artist-in-residence in K12 schools throughout the Gulf South. White is a dedicated advocate for the importance of movement in learning and the essential inclusion of artful instruction in education. In 2016, she was appointed to the esteemed MAC Teaching Artist Roster, and was selected for a third year as a Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education granted artist-in-residence. White is co-founder and education director for the Mississippi Dance Festival, co-founder and co-director of Camp Create, and the creator of “Wiggle Genius” – a website for K12 classroom teachers that disseminates the many approaches to teaching academics artfully with dance. In 2013, White was awarded the Southern Miss College of Arts & Letters “Teacher of the Year Award” and the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education “Excellence in Higher Education Award” for her contributions to, and accomplishments in, dance and education statewide and nationally.
Wiggle Genius is a comprehensive resource that provides you with everything you need to establish movement as a part of your classroom. Including dance in instruction, and specifically through creative movement, is nothing new. It was defined and included in K12 instruction since the 1960’s and 1970’s by dance specialists, and in recent years, has once again been shared well in published articles, books, arts and education organization websites and teaching seminars both nationally and internationally.
So what makes Wiggle Genius unique? First and foremost, it is FREE and widely accessible through this website and the accompanying online video tutorials. The goal is to create a “one stop location” for all things “dance in the academic classroom” so that educators can quickly and easily learn the benefits of dance in instruction and how to integrate it into instruction.
As importantly, the lesson plans and supporting resources offered in Wiggle Genius were also created in response to and in collaboration with a varied and large collective of K12 colleagues in a diversity of learning populations and distinct school districts over an extended period of time. Through a diverse group of collaborators, Wiggle Genius offers the perspectives, expertise, and experiences of hundreds of master teachers. Because of this, these approaches, strategies, and ideas are “tried and true” and serve as a trusted guide as you consider making dance a part of your teaching. Above all, Wiggle Genius is a starting point for becoming a true artist educator in your classroom – a teacher who remains dedicated to learning and who strives to empower as much as educate – a Wiggle Genius!
"The website contains a wealth of valuable material including lesson plans, assessment
tools, class management tips, movement vocabulary, and instructional videos. The lessons, which have been tested in classrooms, are easy to follow and seamlessly integrate academic curriculum with supportive movement activities."
Anne Green Gilbert, Author/Educator
"The website, Wiggle Genius: Dance, was built as an interactive resource for
anyone working with children to teach dance artfully as an integral curricular and instructional design component. It is written intentionally in non-jargon user-friendly language making it accessible and inspirational. There is a plethora of lesson and unit plans, videotapes, planning and assessment instruments at the ready."
Loren E. Bucek, PhD
Full Professor, Department of Dance
University of Southern Mississippi
Mississippi Arts Commission Teaching Artist
Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education Teaching Artist
Mississippi Dance Festival Co-Founder & Education Director
Camp Create Co-Founder & Co-Director
University K12 Licensure Supervisor