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  • Writer's pictureJohn Habron

Thank you Joan Pope!

With just one month to go before the deadline for proposals, it’s time to prepare for the submissions by clearing my desk of unfinished bits of business.

Dr. Joan Pope

One of these is to thank Dr Joan Pope, who, like her compatriot Dr Sandra Nash, served on the Scientific Committee for the first two conferences and has now decided to step down. I acknowledged Sandra in an email to the conference mailing list last year, but Joan stayed on for slightly longer to advise us during the post-conference phase after ICDS2 in Vienna.

Not only did Joan serve on the committee, but made two stellar contributions to the first conference. She joined with Selma Odom to give a memorable keynote presentation in Coventry in 2013. This can be seen below:

Together, these two pioneers in the historical study of Dalcroze Eurhythmics also wrote a small but wonderful book, published during the conference and entitled Practical Idealists: Founders of the London School of Dalcroze Eurhythmics (Coventry University, 2013).

We managed to pay Joan a small fee for her work on this publication, but she generously returned it to go toward a bursary for future ICDS delegates in financial need. Joan has also contributed to ICDS with posters, papers, workshops and a Getting Started seminar in Vienna, co-presented with Sandra and Selma.

Dr. Joan Pope teaching at ICDS2

For those unfamiliar with her pedigree, Joan is President of Dalcroze Australia and was awarded the Diplôme Superieur Jaques-Dalcroze honoris causa in 1999. She is an active researcher and continues to publish in the field of historical Dalcroze Studies. Indeed, her research is both inspirational and award-winning. Her thesis, Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Australasia: the first generation from 1918 (Pope 2008), gained the ASME (Australian Society for Music Education) Sir Frank Callaway Award. She also holds the Centenary of Federation Medal (2006), the Chancellor’s Medal of the University of Western Australia and the OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia).

If these accolades weren’t enough recognition of her achievements, Joan was awarded – just last month – an Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance Education. Described as “teacher, Dalcroze Eurhythmics educator & researcher, community activist”, Joan received the award, “for more than 50 years of inspired and passionate leadership, for her commitment to education through dance and music and for a lasting impact on generations of young artists and communities.” See the Ausdance news page for a photo and more details, and the Dalcroze Australia website for a version of Joan’s story in her own words (Smith & Pope 2015).

The work of the ICDS Scientific Committee is extensive, requiring a high level of commitment during a repeating, two-year cycle of envisioning, planning, preparation, delivery, evaluation and reflection.

On its behalf, thank you Joan for your part in helping ICDS to find its feet.


Pope, J. (2008) Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Australasia: the first generation from 1918. Unpublished PhD thesis, Monash University, Victoria. Smith, K. & Pope, J. (2015) Demystifying Dalcroze: Part Two Early Childhood Teaching – an interview with Dr Joan Pope OAM. Available online [accessed 30 September 2016]


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