VBCPS - Charting the Course
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rosemary Gladden
Date: 04/26/16 Phone: 757.263.1229
News Release No. 067 Fax: 757.263.1010
Email: rosemary.gladden@vbschools.com

Virginia Beach teacher named Master Dance Educator of the Year

Valerie Winborne, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) gifted dance program chairperson, has been named the Pre-kindergarten-12th grade (P-12) Master Dance Educator of the Year for 2016. Presented annually by the National Dance Society, the award recognizes excellence in dance education in school divisions.

Winborne has taught in the division's Gifted Dance Education Program at Kemps Landing/Old Donation School for eight years. The program serves more than 350 students and includes instruction in modern, ballet and creative dance techniques as well as the history and theory of dance. Hip-hop/street master classes with various guest artists are offered occasionally.

"We are so fortunate that VBCPS offers such high-quality fine arts programs to students and to have such talented educators like Valerie engaging our students every day," said VBCPS Superintendent Aaron Spence. "I congratulate her on this notable achievement and thank her for sharing the gift of the performing arts with students."

Prior to her teaching career, Winborne lived in New York where she toured nationally and internationally as the principal dancer for the award-winning dance company Urban Bush Women. She was in the dance theatre company of Marlies Yearby, the choreographer of the Broadway show "Rent," and was the principal dancer in the off-Broadway production "Story of Josephine," which inspired an Emmy award-winning HBO movie.

Off-stage in New York, Winborne expanded outreach for performing arts organizations in New York, including Harlem Stage, the neighborhood's principal performing arts center. As a registered dance/movement therapist and a member of the American Dance Therapy Association, Winborne worked with Dance Umbrella and the City of Boston to develop a series of commissioned workshops that helped homeless women, teens at risk of suicide and cancer survivors, among others in need.

Winborne continues her community service efforts in Hampton Roads. She founded V2W Experience Dance Theater Company, an empowerment initiative for at-risk teens offering creative movement and dance, specifically hip-hop. She also was the concept creator for sold-out shows of an urban interpretation of "The Nutcracker," performed in 2011 at Norfolk's historic Attucks Theatre.

Winborne holds a bachelor's degree in dance and psychology from Sweet Briar College and a master's degree in dance/movement therapy with a concentration in stress management from New York University.

The National Dance Society will host an awards ceremony Aug. 5, at Texas A&M University, where Winborne will receive her award.

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Department of Media and Communications, vbcpsweb@vbschools.com

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