Portrait Photograph of Karen McShane-Hellenbrand

Karen McShane-Hellenbrand

Faculty Associate

School of Education | Department of Dance

Karen, who has a BS in Dance Education and an MFA, is a performer, choreographer, teacher, artist-in-residence. She regularly presents for continuing/teacher education programs on using movement as a tool to teach across the curriculum, teaching educators to use movement and a creative methodology in the classroom. Her goals are to promote access to dance education and to embody professionalism keeping dance from being an elitist art form. Karen is Wisconsin’s statewide coordinator for National Water Dance and serves as an ambassador for the organization. She is interested in integrating Environmental Education and Dance particularly surrounding water ecology.


  • This talk reveals how dance is used as a methodology to teach in all disciplines.
  • Utilizing a thematic umbrella, an original, water-themed curriculum model (Phase ONE & Phase TWO) will be presented as an example of Arts Integration framework for interdisciplinary curriculum. Dance is embodied as an innovative teaching methodology to address art, academic, and environmental standards. Participants will experience a sample lesson from the curriculum model, receive a tutorial for creating a like framework, and view documentation of student work.
  • Descriptions and examples of cross-training methods used to train athletes will be presented. Training focuses on quickness, agility, and strength training using dance and the body without equipment.
  • Dance as a Creative Methodology for Use in the Classroom
  • Design Models for Successful Artist-In-Residence Programs
  • Creative Dance for Children
  • Dance in K–12 Schools