Teaching, like dance, is an intellectual, physical and visceral endeavor. While teaching dance asks me to rigorously maintain domain knowledge, it also often asks that I improvise with a nuanced eye for the moment-to-moment needs of my students.
I strive to bring a passion for dance and learning to my classes. My best teachers captured my attention through the passion they brought to the classroom and to performance on stage. They showed me there are unexpected opportunities for learning at any moment and in any place. In my teaching, I work to develop respectful and engaged personal dynamics, clarity of vision, a thorough understanding of the field and adaptability. I’m convinced this is how an instructor can provide a successful learning experience for the students-in class, in performance and in life.
I require my students to be open, actively engaged and curious and to release expectations. One of my challenges as a teacher is to balance knowledge acquisition with the development of critical thinking and clarity with access to a wealth of resources. My students learn to recognize their capacity to navigate new terrain and, in doing so, find their own power and individuality. They are encouraged to develop their own ideas and identify ways to create their own learning opportunities. In addition, I promote the use of active dialogue and personal writing in and out of the classroom to more effectively process these learning opportunities.
By bringing these elements together, I create a challenging, rigorous, yet nurturing experience for my students.