Professor of Dance Doug Risner receives second national book award

Doug Risner, Ph.D., professor of dance in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, has received the National Dance Education Organization’s (NDEO) Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award for his most recent book, Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education: Case Studies on Humanizing Dance Pedagogy. Earlier this year, Risner earned the Susan W. Stinson Book Award for Dance Education for the same work.

“Receiving both of these prestigious awards for the same book is an incredible honor,” said Risner. “Dr. Stinson has been an inspiring mentor to me for more than 30 years. To also be honored with the NDEO Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award is especially meaningful for me because Ms. Murray founded the dance program at Wayne State University in 1926 — she was an early pioneer in dance education in K-12 schools, bringing dance to Detroit Public Schools in the 1960s.”

The newly established NDEO Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award honors outstanding book-length publications in dance education and recognizes authors who conduct exemplary inquiry that advances the field. In recognition of Ruth Lovell Murray (1900-91), a pioneer in the field of dance education, the annual award honors books published in the English language during the last two calendar years. The Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award contributes significantly to the visibility of dance education professionals and their work, as well as the vitality of outstanding scholarship and publication excellence in dance education.

When asked about his future book projects, Professor Risner noted two new books are already contracted and in the works: Dancing Across the Lifespan: Negotiating Age, Place, and Purpose and Masculinity, Intersectionality, and Identity: Why Boys (Don’t) Dance.

“Each book takes its own timeframe — some take longer than others. So, I do my best to juggle competing demands,” explained Risner.

For more information about the NDEO | Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award, visit

About Ruth Lovell Murray

A native Detroiter, born on October 20, 1900, Murray attended Teachers College, Columbia University and earned her master's degree in 1933. Professor Murray served on the faculty of Wayne State University for forty-six years, many of which she served as dance program director. Her pivotal book, Dance in Elementary Education, published in 1953 by Harper and Row, remains one of the most influential texts in the field of dance education. A staunch advocate for dance education in public schools, Murray served on numerous prestigious committees and received many awards for her research and dance education activism, including the Hetherington Award from the American Academy of Physical Education, the Arts Achievement Award from Wayne State, and the Heritage Award from the National Dance Association in 1969. The Ruth Lovell Murray Endowed Scholarship in Dance was created in her name at Wayne State University in 1980.

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