Loyola University Chicago


Department of Fine and Performing Arts


Deborah Goodman: Pedagogy that’s Inspiring (Com)passion for the Arts

Deborah Goodman: Pedagogy that’s Inspiring (Com)passion for the Arts

Debroah Goodman with Loyola Dance Honor Society Students volunteering at MOMENTA Dance Company’s annual physically-integrated, inclusive Counterbalance performance.

Cura Personalis, or care for the whole person, is a hallmark of Loyola University Chicago’s Ignatian mission, and Deborah Goodman, Lecturer in Dance, generously demonstrates this core value through her teaching practice. Goodman’s undeniable passion for dance fosters an environment of curiosity and optimism where students thrive. Senior Dance and Exercise Science Double Major, Megan Clifford, explains how Goodman continuously roots for each student's success and improvement, providing “various modes of feedback to help each student succeed.” 

Deborah Goodman speaking at the 2018 Fall Dance Informance 

When the opportunity arose to bring on an additional full-time faculty member in the Dance Sandra Kaufmann, Director and Associate Professor of Dance, instantly considered Goodman as a candidate. Kaufmann praises her “16-year track record of superb, caring teaching in a diverse range [of styles]” and depth of embodied Modern Dance knowledge in both Humphrey/Weidman and Graham techniques. As a scholarship student to the Martha Graham School in NYC, Goodman was selected by Yuriko to be a demonstrator, training meticulously in the early technique and repertory of Martha Graham. Since leaving NYC, Goodman has worked extensively in the Chicagoland area as the Rehearsal Director for Winifred Haunn & Dancers, the founder and curator of the Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival, a collaborator with MOMENTA Dance Company, and a part-time Dance faculty member at Loyola University Chicago. As of 2022, Goodman is now a full-time Loyola faculty member teaching modern, ballet, and leading the Teaching Artist minor. 


Debroah Goodman with Loyola Dance Honor Society Students volunteering at MOMENTA Dance Company’s annual physically-integrated, inclusive Counterbalance performance. 

Goodman views teaching as a treasured opportunity for mentorship, artistic collaboration, and the preservation of culture; the Teaching Artist minor prioritizes similar values by preparing students through a transdisciplinary curriculum. Students in this non-credentialing minor engage in experiential learning in local schools and arts organizations to create developmentally appropriate arts-based pedagogy in the spirit of social justice. The Teaching Artist minor can serve students of all majors by providing them with valuable community engagement and a holistic view of education. Anna Labriola, a junior Dance and Excersise Science double major, affirms that one of Goodman’s greatest strengths is the “abundance of compassion she has for her students.” Regardless of prior experience in the arts, shefinds a way of meeting people where they’re at and bringing her excellence to it in a way that’s very inclusive,” says Kaufmann.  


Modern dance students performing in Loyola’s Dance Informance 

Goodman’s dedication to her students cultivates an empowering educational environment where excellence is abundant. She states that “the brightness and openness of the students are her favorite part” of teaching at Loyola and she is deeply interested in “allowing young people to access themselves through mentorship” and elevating dance as scholarship. Each semester, the technical knowledge and passionate artistry Deborah instills in her students culminate in the Dance Informance. For the Fall 2023 Dance Informance, audiences can look forward to a dynamic piece inspired by Martha Graham’s Night Journey (1947) in addition to original ballet and modern choreography by Goodman.