Susan Woodham


Spartanburg County, SC


  • Dance

Geographical Availability

  • Upstate



I was dance specialist for Pine Street Elementary School for over 20 years. I am currently outreach coordinator and ballet instructor for Ballet Spartanburg. I have been an integral part of the dance faculty at Center for Dance Education since 1991. I earned my BA in Psychology and my M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Converse College-20 years apart! I worked as a social worker in Child Protective Services for eight years. I am certified in elementary education and in dance. I served as facilitator for Curriculum Leadership Institute in the Arts for over 10 years and on the team to rewrite the SC College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency three times. I served as president on the board for the SC Dance Association twice and served in numerous capacities for SCDA for over 15 years. I developed and coordinated Ballet Spartanburg’s Art in Motion—a summer dance, music and visual art program—for inner city students for over 20 years. I was thrilled to be named SC Dance Association’s Dance Educator of the Year for 2000/2001 and Teacher of the Year for Pine Street Elementary School in 2013. In addition, I was honored with a Career Achievement award from Converse College and the Ray Doughty Arts Integration Award in 2017. I am a member of SC Dance Association, Ballet Spartanburg, PSAE, and the National Dance Education Organization. Though no longer teaching or performing full time, I love sharing dance with anyone and everyone!


Some folks would say I am obsessed! I dance for fun, I dance for work and I just dance to dance. Dance has always been my thing. One of my earliest memories is tap dancing in a bumblebee costume, and I still love performing and being front and center. My positive first hand experiences in dance impact my life daily, as I have chosen the arts as my profession. I believe with all my heart that we are all dancers, artists and musicians. We just need encouragement to tap into that inner creativity so that we can develop our artistry. Providing ways for students to connect with their creativity is essential as we invest in our young artists. It has always been my conscious choice to develop dance literacy in my students and not to teach a “routine” or a dance “number.” In order to grow students who are educated in dance, they must experience it physically, intellectually and intentionally. Students must learn to: use the correct vocabulary; explore the Dance Elements (Body, Energy, Space, Time and Relationships); create unique pieces focused on the standards-based concept being explored; respond to the dance using correct vocabulary; connect to the dance through personal meaning, another subject or another art form. Using a masterwork or specific choreographer helps establish historical perspective and leads to a holistic approach within the art form. Students create, perform and respond using a variety of concepts, contexts, historical periods and genres. By using a substantive, standards-based approach, the student experiences dance from a broad perspective that enhances the ability to make dance, perform dance, respond to dance and connect to dance. The Profile of the SC Graduate is a framework that is informally addressed as students create, cooperate, collaborate and use critical thinking to make artistic choices. As artists, students make their own creative selections while working collaboratively defining dance as an art form that has meaning, context and structure. Sharing the joy of movement is my artistic endeavor, and I am very honored to have been able to directly impact the development of young dance artists in our community for over 30 years.