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Sample Autograph Signature: Alma M. Hawkins

Dancee education innovator, pioneer in dance movement therapy, and author. Hawkins (1904 - 1998) was raised on a dairy farm in Missouri. She earned a B.S. in physical education at the University of Missouri, and then attended Columbia Teachers College in New York City where she developed an her interest in modern dance. She then studied dance at Bennington College in Vermont and Steamboat Springs, Colorado while completing an M.A. and an Ed. D. at Columbia University. Before accepting the chairmanship of the dance program at UCLA in 1953, she taught at Emporia State Teachers' College in Kansas and George Williams College in Chicago. In 1962, she established an autonomous Dance Department in the College of Fine Arts, the first of its kind in the nation. She also developed degrees in dance/movement therapy, theoretical studies in dance history, aesthetics and education, as well as choreography and performance. Hawkins obtained a Rockefeller Foundation grant in the 1970s with which she created the Graduate Dance Center at UCLA, a model for many other dance programs in the U.S. and England. She was also responsible for founding the West Coast Dance Film Archive and the Council of Dance Administrators. Her involvement from 1960 to 1977 as a dance/movement therapist and researcher at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA included the creation of a series of educational research films for the emerging field. In her work with the American Dance Therapy Association, she helped found the council of Graduate Dance/Movement Therapy Educators and served on their committee to evaluate graduate programs. Her program has been a source of dancers, lighting and costume designers, and technical personnel for dance companies across the country, as well as for teachers and those researching and documenting dance. By the end of the 1970s, more than half the chairs of dance departments throughout the country, and some abroad, were graduates of UCLA's Dance Department. After retiring from UCLA in 1977, Hawkins taught for more than 10 years in the Dance Department at Santa Monica College. She was the author of Creating through Dance, Dance: a Projection for the Future", Modern Dance in Higher Education, and Moving from Within: A New Method for Dance Making; and also authored numerous articles on dance. Honors bestowed on Hawkins included UCLA's Distinguished Teaching Award, the California Dance Educators' Award, and the University of Missouri Outstanding Woman of the Year award. Under Hawkins' direction, the Dance Department at UCLA received numerous awards for leadership from organizations such as the American College Dance Festival and California Dance Educators Association.

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Author: Alma M. Hawkins

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