As a teaching artist and facilitator, I use movement and creative process to create vibrant, thoughtful, and courageous spaces where people connect meaningfully to themselves, each other, and their worlds.
I work in schools and classrooms, dance studios and recreational centers, gyms and basketball courts, or wherever there is space to move. I work with people who identify as dancers, people who “used to be” dancers, and people who say they are “not dancers;” with children, youth, adults, and seniors; with parents, families, students, teachers, business-people, researchers, and other artists; in and across spectrums of age, experience, development, mobility, ability, size, cultural background and profession.
My approach to education and facilitation is grounded in a holistic philosophy that views human development as the integrated, connected growth of body, mind, and spirit within community.
I equally value students’ physical, academic, creative, and social development. Dance is an active process of meaning-making that engages body, mind, and creativity while building social skills. By working through this medium, I facilitate learning that is integrated and responsive to many different learning styles and needs.
I bring my whole self to teaching. I believe in honoring students by being genuine, and seek to contextualize my work by sharing my influences and personal experiences. I draw from my artistic interests, knowledge, and practices to inform my teaching, and in turn, teaching provides inspiration and challenges my assumptions and habits about my art form.
I honor student agency in the learning process. At the beginning of a class, I remind students that they are in charge of their own bodies, boundaries, and decisions. I work to create environments, structures, and experience that will bring forth the unique knowledge of the people in the room.
I work to build inclusive, collaborative communities that support risk. Within an individual class, I incorporate social interaction and collaborative processes that break down social barriers between students and create a warm, welcoming environment.
I encourage questions and critical thinking. Understanding that doubt, discomfort, and uncertainty are opportunities for growth, I encourage students (and myself) to turn discomfort into inquiry. Recognizing the limits of my own knowledge, I am not afraid to admit when I don’t know.
METHODS AND APPROACHES
My teaching methods and approaches are tailored to the unique needs and population of each teaching engagement.
Regardless of the context, my goal is that students do not just learn to dance, but learn through dance, since learning is most powerful when it occurs through direct experience that engages the senses and the physical body. I have yet to encounter a concept that cannot be approached through the body, movement, and creative process.
Depending on the context, my teaching and facilitation can take many different forms:
Arts integration unpacks and investigates academic subjects through dance, within the classroom environment.
Creative play uses imaginative prompts and exercises to disrupt habits, break through blocks and unlock new ways of seeing, moving, relating, and making
Improvisation on the solo and group level builds skills of communication, expression, and listening
Creative process workshops develop skills, tools, and practices for composition, choreography, and the creative process, emphasizing collaborative process and collective creation
Technical training develops skills and physical capacity to perform a range of dance styles, including contemporary, modern, ballet, and jazz dance techniques
Critical dialogue utilizes participatory exercises from movement and theatre to prompt constructive dialogue about topics that are relevant to the socio-political/community context