Meri in KingstonWith great sadness, I share the news about the passing of long-time member of daCi community Meri-Helmi Tegelman. She passed away on May 30, 2020 in Kuopio at the age of 82.

Meri was born in Vyborg on July 4, 1937. Vyborg, now part of Russia, was then part of Karelia, Finland. As a child, she experienced two evacuation trips from Karelia. During her school years in Munkkiniemi, Helsinki she developed a great interest in the arts and sports and practiced them, especially modern dance and water skiing, actively.

Meri joined her husband Heikki, an architect, to different cities in Finland and abroad, including Dar-es Salaam and Benghazi. With five children, she still found time to enjoy and practice the arts, especially dance. When the family settled in Kuopio and the children grew independent, Meri founded the Kuopio dance studio and also worked as a county artist in dance. With these activities, she developed the foundation for dance education in the Kuopio area. Internationality was a natural part of her dance school and her professional activities. Among these activities was a collaboration with Russian dance schools, with the aim to support the development of dance education there.  Meri was the founding member of daCi Finland and daCi national representative of Finland for many years. She was the local host of the memorable daCi 1997, “The call of forest and lakes”, and continued to take part in subsequent daCi conferences for many years to come.  

Meri believed in the educational power of art and dance.  For her, the interest of the child, and the student, was always the focus of dance education, and she cherished her students’ creativity.

Meri opened her heart and her home to others. I miss her warm humor and will always remember her deep love for children and dance. She was always an exceptional dance educator and human being who embodied daCi values throughout her life.

Eeva Anttila, daCi past Chair
Photo: DaCi advisory board meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, 2007. Meri is sitting in the center (4th person from left).



It is so painful to express one’s feelings in a foreign language, especially in such a sad occasion. However, I feel that I have to share a few of my thoughts with the daCi family which has meant so much to both Meri and me.

When I think of our dear Meri the photo of the two of us in Den Haag in 2004 (see below) speaks for itself. At that time, although geographically so far away, we somehow created an invisible bond and felt close to each other. (In spite of emails, we had even exchanged postcards occasionally.)  

Thank you, dear Meri, for our laughing together. Thank you for letting me share your warmth and above all to experience how great you were in your modesty.

Ivančica Janković, daCi Croatia

Dr Alfdaniels Mivule Basibye Mabingo
 is a longterm daCi Member who was born in Uganda and is currently teaching East African-style dance at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Recently Mabingo spoke to Radio New Zealand about how he challenges his students to examine their own backgrounds and rationalisation of the world through dance.

Listen to his interview here 

We were very much looking forward to seeing you at the daCi 2021 conference Dancing into Communities, being held at York University, in Toronto, Canada.

Unfortunately, due to the global Covid-19 Pandemic we have taken the difficult decision to postpone our next conference to July 2022

This decision was made by extraordinary Zoom meetings of the daCi Executive Committee, followed by the Advisory Board, in consultation with the conference co-chairs Norma Sue Fisher Stitt and Nancy Francis. 


Please see some important new dates for your diaries.


Conference:   July 10-15, 2022.
Deadline for Proposals:  Friday, January 29, 2021
Notification of Proposal Decision:  June 25, 2021
Registration Opens: October 1, 2021

We have created this long timeline in order to give ample time to create a proposal, then apply for a visa.

Questions can be directed to either of the Dancing into Communities co-chairs This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear daCi Friends,

We are facing global challenges now with the advancement of the coronavirus.  It has presented so many obstacles to everyone that focusing on daCi and our passions sometimes becomes secondary.  The issues and obstacles are constantly changing and shifting depending on where in the world we live and work.

Our first focus at this time is to be well, safe and care for those around us.  For those we don’t know who are suffering in the face of this virus, our thoughts and healing energies go out to everyone.

We certainly expect that with all these challenges, focusing on daCi, membership, gatherings and ideas toward the future are not our highest priorities.  Right now, the 2021 conference application deadline is more than two months away.  So, it could be that everything may begin to return to normal at that time and we can once again focus on daCi.  If for some reason the crisis is still continuing at that time, we will ask the Toronto conference planners to extend the deadlines.  Your health, safety and focus on your home community is our first priority.

So, reach out to our wonderful international dance community for the support and energy we can all share with each other.  Please send us any news items of resilience and hope to support us all through this challenging time. Be well, and take care of each other.

Susan Koff, daCi Chair and Jeff Meiners, Chair-Elect



The new website for our 2021 conference Dancing Into Communities in Toronto, Canada is now live. 

Canadian daCi members and dance supporters look forward to welcoming you to Canada in from Sunday 11 to Friday 16 July 2021. All conference activities will be held in north-west Toronto at York University, Canada’s third largest post-secondary institution with more than 50,000 students.

Registrations are open here and registration fees  are all in Canadian dollars as per the below.

Adults: $475
Students over 18 years and Retired Persons: $225
Children and Youth (18 years and under): $175
Children/Youth Group Chaperones: $125
Daily Rate: $125

Find out more on the website here

Exciting changes have arrived on the daCi global website. Since a new site was launched in 2018 there has been work happening steadily behind the scenes to develop the secure Members’ Area and improve the flow of the site’s navigation. These changes make the site much easier to move around and you should be able to find the information you need in just a few clicks. It also contains more information than ever before to engage prospective new members. A new online membership form is now active which, when completed by prospective new members, will be emailed directly to the appropriate country National Representative to prompt them to process payment. This should hopefully expedite the new member process and ensure the right person is contacted immediately. More information on daCi core initiatives is available on this refreshed site with examples and a greater explanation of key projects such as Twinning and the Rights of the Child to Dance as well as both the Copenhagen and Adelaide Declarations.

Members’ Area updates

The most exciting developments to the site have taken place within the secure Members’ Area. All Members (new and existing) are requested to complete the Member Registration Form via the ‘Become a Member’ button. This will prompt you National Representative to take your 2020 Membership fee but more importantly, it will also set you up with secure access to the Members’ Area. Once you complete the form it will prompt you to log in and from there you are free to access refreshed member resources such as links to journals, videos, and information of interest. There is also a vast amount of archival information previously called the daCiReader and now found in the Members’ Resources section which you can search to discover research, past conference presentations, and other valuable content.

Our final update to the Members’ Area is the introduction of anew secure networking and social platform for Members to interact on a global basis and seek and share opportunities to collaborate. daCi Connect is born out of a desire from Members to understand more about one another - our skills, our experience and our willingness to collaborate. Within daCi Connect you will be asked to edit a profile (similar to a social media profile) where you can upload a picture of yourself as well as a cover picture that demonstrates your areas of interest or work. There is space for a short bio so you can describe who you are, what you do and what, more importantly, you would like to do in the future. You will be asked to nominate your key areas of interest so that other members know whether you have shared interests when they are searching through the Member Directory page. You will be able to post in forums/Groups based on those interest areas to let others know about projects you have completed, are working on, or to seek expressions of interest from potential partners. And finally, you will be able to privately message one another and begin to make our daCi world that much smaller, making valuable connections far and wide. We hope this new platform will encourage you all to step outside of your local and national networks and find a safe and positive space to interact beyond our conferences every three years.

Theresa Purcell Cone smallFrom Susan Koff, daCi Chair: 

"What a phenomenal educator and even more unbelievably inspirational human being! Theresa, your capacity for caring, teaching and leading by example knows no bounds.  You are still caring, teaching and leading by example for all of us who have been truly touched by you and continue to carry you in our hearts.  I was so fortunate to interact with you both in dance education professionally, as well as in our homes and lives.  I will never forget you."

Hartland, VT – If you listen, you will hear children playing in the backyard. She lived her life through dance and movement and shared that love with all she met. Theresa Purcell Cone, 69, died early Friday morning, September 27, 2019 at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. She was born June 30, 1950 in Trenton, NJ the daughter of Mark and Sophia (Sokolowski) Purcell. She and her husband, Stephen L Cone, lived in Hartland, VT.

Theresa grew up in Hamilton, NJ. She continued her education at Trenton State College/The College of New Jersey and Temple University receiving her Ph.D. in 2002. She taught for 44 years in the South Brunswick, NJ schools and at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, where she retired in 2016 as a Professor Emeritus.

Theresa and her husband, Steve, were the perfect, inseparable, pair. They were wife and husband, best friends, professional collaborators, travel companions, parents and grandparents - true soulmates. They wrote, presented and designed books, articles, presentations, art installations, table settings, interior design, and travel itineraries (they visited 87 countries and loved to visit the kids). Professionally, Theresa was president of many organizations including the National Dance Association, where she was the first National Dance Educator of the Year, and received Honor Awards at all levels. She loved teaching dance and did so in elementary schools and at Rowan University (those she taught will remember, “when in doubt, knee bounce”). She also taught for the American Repertory Ballet Company for 20 years.

She is survived by her mother, Sophia Purcell of Hamilton, NJ, her husband Stephen L. Cone of Hartland, VT, three daughters, Amy Glidden (Ryan) of Valrico, FL, Lisa Cone (Corrado) also of Valrico, FL, Meredith Cone of Seattle, WA, son, Timothy Cone (Emily) of Philadelphia, PA, grandson, Mason Glidden of Valrico, FL, sister, Patricia P. Aguilar (Paul) of Bernalillo, NM, nephew Andrew Aguilar of Los Angeles, CA., other dear relatives and countless friends. She was the daughter-in-law of Marjorie and Warren Cone, late of Hartland.

A Celebration of Life will be held next spring. Memorial contributions may be made to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association. Please share a moment at an online guest book at