Phone: 973-669-5301 x31583
Degrees and Certifications:
Masters of Education in Dance from Rutgers University (Magna Cum Laude) Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Montclair State University (Cum Laude) Dance Standard Teaching Certificate (NJ) Dance Career and Technical Education Certificate (NJ) Dance Professional Teaching Certificate (NYC) Little Flower Yoga Teacher Training for Children and Teens
About Ms. Sande
The 2023-2024 school year will mark Ms. Sande's 8th year in the district and 11th year total teaching dance in public schools. In the Fall of 2016, Ms. Sande founded and established the WOHS Dance program, creating classes, writing curriculum, and working with students to produce live annual dance concerts even during the virtual school year. Ms. Sande has served as choreographer in the WOHS musical productions of The Little Mermaid, In the Heights, Mamma Mia, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Shows Must Go On, Into the Woods, and Grease. She also served as a member of the district-wide initiative team of teachers who were selected to assist in advancing technology in their buildings, known as the Spark Team. In the fall of 2017, she presented at the National Dance Education Organization's annual conference in San Antonio, Texas on the topic of Social Emotional Learning in the Dance Classroom. In January of 2024, Ms. Sande is expected to complete her 200HR Yoga Teaching Certification. Ms. Sande continues studying salsa dancing at MDN Latin Dance Studio in Belleville, NJ.
Before joining the WOHS Team, she was the founding dance educator and founding staff member of Citizens of the World Charter Schools in New York. In her first year of teaching, Ms. Sande was part of the team that opened two separate schools in Crown Heights and Williamsburg. She worked between both schools during the week, building two separate dance programs. During her time at Citizens, Ms. Sande developed a progressive dance curriculum for Kindergarten through Third grade students guided by New York City's Dance Blueprint Standards and the National Core Arts Standards. During her time at Citizens, she also completed the week-long Little Flower Yoga Teacher Training Workshop, which certified her through the Yoga Alliance to teach Yoga to children and teenagers.
In May of 2013, she graduated with Magna Cum Laude with a Masters degree in Dance Education from Rutgers University. During her time at Rutgers, she completed a semester as a full-time Dance Education intern at Speedway Elementary School in Newark, NJ under the guidance of Janelle Smith-Reed. As a result of her work at this time, she was nominated as a finalist for the New Jersey Department of Education's Distinguished Student Teacher Award as a result of her work. Through the Graduate School of Education and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, Ms. Sande was also fortunate enough to participate in the 11th annual South Africa Initiative Study Abroad Tour course in July of 2012, which encouraged her to travel to South Africa to learn about the country, experience the current education system, and have the opportunity to teach dance to students of surrounding township schools.
In 2011, Melissa graduated Cum Laude from Montclair State University (MSU) with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Dance, as well as completing a second major concentration in English. During her time at MSU, she performed the works of Earl Mosley, Maxine Steinman, and Lonne Moretton. She has had the privilege of dancing at different venues, like Elon University in North Carolina and (for Judith Jamison) at The Ailey Studios in New York City. Most recently Ms. Sande danced at the George Street Playhouse in Elizabeth Zwierzynski's piece "Keep Calm and 20 On."
Ms. Sande is a member for the National Dance Education Organization, Dance New Jersey, and the Rutgers Alumni Organization.
Website: WOHS Dance