Multiple Integrities in Ballet Education: Practical Responses to an Ever-Changing Educational Climate

Presenter: Molly Faulkner, Professor of Dance Palomar College; Julia Gleich, Instructor Peridance Capezio Center


Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences allows for varied entry points into the learning and teaching process. Should the nature of integrity be allowed the same consideration?

“Integrity is a loyalty to one’s convictions and values; it is the policy of acting in accordance with one’s values, of expressing, upholding and translating them into practical reality” (Rand 345).
Rand is a polarizing figure in American Literature and yet her portrayal of integrity in Atlas Shrugged can be compared to Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin’s idea of “answerability” in art which moves integrity away from morality and places it as a personal responsibility.  Bakhtin questions “what guarantees the inner connection of the constituent elements of a person?” and replies “only the unity of answerability” (Bakhtin 1). Kay Halesek in her book A Pedagogy of Possibility uses this and other Bakhtinian philosophies to outline a triumvirate of interactions between teacher, student, and subject. A dialectic is created among the three and answerability becomes an ethical as well as a practical consideration requiring “reciprocal interaction between and among the elements of construct” (Halesek, p. 178).  

Using traditional scholarship with Halesek’s triumvirate as a basis for creative activities, this idea generating workshop will connect historical, pedagogical, and philosophical research to investigate the implications of multiple integrities in ballet within higher education and pre-professional activities. Participants are welcome to bring their own case studies for discussion. The hope is to broaden the conversation around integrity/ies while advocating for ballet in the ever-changing educational climate.


Molly Faulkner

Molly Faulkner is a Professor of Dance at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. She currently directs the Palomar College Contemporary Dance Ensemble. She has her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University, her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts. from the University of Arizona. She has danced professionally with Ballet Arizona, Arizona Dance Theatre, Empire State Ballet, Tokyo Disneyland, and her students are most impressed that she was the Muppet Grover on an International Tour of Sesame St. Live. She has taught and choreographed across the US, and Sweden and is master teacher and choreographer for Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont, mentoring the Young Choreographers Showcase. Her research on the connections between leadership skills and ballet was chosen for presentation at Corps de Ballet International conference in Baltimore Maryland, and for the Royal Academy of Dance conference in Sydney, Australia. Ms. Faulkner and collaborator Julia Gleich’s research on contemporary ballet first presented for the Society for Dance History Scholars conference in NYC in 2016, “Dancing into the Margins: Karole Armitage, Bronislava Nijinska and Their Philosophies of (A Contemporary) Ballet” has been selected for inclusion in Oxford Handbook for Contemporary Ballet. Her current research with Ms. Gleich, “Should There Be A Female Ballet Canon: Seven Radical Acts of Inclusion” will be part of an anthology for Intellect Books entitled (Re)Claiming Ballet.  


Julia Gleich

Julia K. Gleich is a Brooklyn-based contemporary ballet choreographer and teacher with over 25 years experience in Higher Education Dance starting in the USA at the University of Utah and Manhattanville College, then 15 years in the UK at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and London Studio Centre as Head of Choreography. She was the recipient of an Arts Council England Grant in 2013, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah 2014, a Choreographer Observership with English National Ballet 2016, and produces the annual CounterPointe program for Norte Maar in Brooklyn now in its 8th year. She writes about dance and ballet with colleague Molly Faulkner: forthcoming chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet, and an anthology for Intellect (Re)Claiming Ballet. Julia teaches ballet at Peridance Capezio Center. Julia is a partner with Jason Andrew, in Artist Estate Studio, LLC, managing inventories archives for artist estates and studios including The Elizabeth Murray Trust. Her company, Gleich Dances, has received critical notice in the New York Times, Village Voice, Brooklyn Rail, New Criterion and She has worked across the US, in Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong as a choreographer and teacher.