Educator

Teaching Statement

Dance is one of the most basic forms of human expression. Dance utilizes movement of the body as the medium to communicate and express our thoughts, emotions, concepts and stories which are influenced by our historical context. Everyone has a body capable of movement, therefore dance is a human right. It is my feeling that if one is choosing to embark on a career as an artist in dance, well-rounded training and education are invaluable to provide an in-depth understanding that will support moving, performing, creating and educating others. As an educator in dance, I strive to impart knowledge I’ve gained in my dance and somatic studies that will help students become more refined in their skills as expressive movers and will provide more contextual information allowing more educated choices. At the core of my beliefs are principals that inform my teaching.

1)  Multiple Inroads for Learning
The classroom is filled with students with diverse backgrounds, different interests, different abilities and learning styles. In my classes, I introduce information in many ways to be as inclusive as possible and sensitive to every individual’s needs. For instance, some students learn effectively by exploring an idea interpersonally. Having students work in pairs on a concept, then share observations with the partner then to the class is often effective for interpersonal learners. This approach could allow for the students to process and discuss in their own words what they learned from an exploration. Some students may need to process information on their own, possibly in a journal. Some find it beneficial to understand what is happening within systems of the body such as the muscular and skeletal systems. Some student prefer learning counts while others may get the phrasing of movement with rhythmic sounds. As an educator, the more inroads I can provide, the more accessible I am for all my students.

2) Validation
Students need to be validated in their own learning process and support to succeed. It is often the fear of being wrong that inhibits learning or creativity. Honoring their uniqueness and validating their insights are essential for promoting a safe learning atmosphere where students feel free to take risks or fail. When the students feel safe positive change and growth can happen. 

3) Agency
My biggest hope is that my students will obtain tools that will be useful in other techniques, increase their capacity to problem solve independently, make informed choices their own creative work, or even skills for coping with the ever-changing world. I would love for my students to use their own critical thinking to unpack imagery or analogies used in my class or other technique classes, and achieve the intended results with their own strategies. In essence, problem solving on their own. Learning other options and tools to problem solve are often what make dancers desirable to choreographers who are looking for an exchange of ideas. Agency is often a valuable trait of a mature dancer. It takes experience and guidance from mentors to instill those sensibilities.