Accountability is vital. Without it, there is no trust, and without trust there is no learning. As a teacher, it is important to be transparent with students in order for them to develop a sense of trust and respect for their teacher, and in turn, take chances and push themselves further. It is important me to be a practicing professional and continue to further my education in order to provide the broadest range of possibilities and opportunities to their students.
Class is always a learning environment. As a teacher I have the ability to build a safe space for artists to experiment, fail, and try again. Experimentation needs to happen so growth can happen. Dancers are special people; each performer has a story to share and that they should have the opportunity to express it. Allowing a young artist to find their voice and share it with an audience is the best fulfillment of this beautiful art form.
Diversity makes dance and teaching exciting and challenging. I strongly believe each student should have the opportunity to learn regardless of academic, economic, cultural, disability, or ethnic background. Each student has something to offer others and those who possess the capability to look past cultural boundaries for the benefit of learning, learn the most. While it may raise more questions, the end result is always worth it.
Every student has a voice. I am a teacher who listens to students and lets them explore who they are and develop their own language through dance. Technique, discipline, and consistency are key, but encouragement to break out of the comfort zone is essential to a well rounded education. Each student needs goals, from short to long term. Helping them define those goals and create a plan to achieve them is a desire and a need.
Good technique is essential. Technique is the foundation for any dancer. Clean lines, stretched feet, and strong arms can carry you a long way even if you don’t know all the right moves! In my class, I encourage students to find fluid technique that carries them from genre to genre without feeling stiff and restricted. Regardless of the style, if you have a solid technical foundation, you can do great things.
Preparation creates results. I see a need to prepare young people for the ever-growing, ever- changing dance world. Each student who leaves my care will have the tools to promote and market themselves in the way they see fit, whether that is a dancer, choreographer, or something else. Basic skills like resume writing, headshots, video reels, and websites are all items that make people stand out from the crowd. Preparing students in college creates a pathway to success in the real world.
Memories of past teachers continue to influence and inspire me in my own teaching. Each teacher I encounter contributes to the teacher I am today; and still, I learn more with every new teacher I meet. I love the teacher I am and I am blessed to have the ability to share it with others.