I believe that the phrase “dance education” encompasses a wide variety of objectives, settings, and students. From beginning ballet to advanced choreographic theory, from tiny studios to lecture halls, I customize my approach depending on the particulars and circumstances. With that said, I believe there are elements common to all and I have a core teaching philosophy that is focusing and developing during my graduate studies.
As a dance educator in the studio, my primary responsibility is to connect the student with their body, facilitating discovery of the way in which his/her body can express choreography and to help them find the joy in movement. Efficiency of movement through somatic study is demonstrated consistently as I teach each dance style. I help each student understand basic anatomy and kinesiology, encouraging them to understand how to organize their proper alignment, use of the body, to make intelligent movement choices and perform articulate movement. I develop functionally efficient dancers with structurally integrated bodies that convey clarity and artistry in each movement. I work well with students from all levels of dance training and am committed to the inclusion of all types of ability in my studio courses. When a somatic approach and exploration of anatomy is the primary entry into a class, there are multiple ways to effectively teach steps and movements to different learning styles.
Each movement class tunes into the internal experience of the body with special attention given to sound principles of alignment, joint articulation, and breath, in order to develop strong technical skills as well as to encourage individual artistic expression. I encourage students to discover their own answers to questions I pose about efficiency and movement quality. My emphasis is that students become active in thought and imagination about their own body and work, as they make steady progress developing their unique dancing voice, traversing between set movement exploration, improvisation, and choreographed phrase work.
Through my undergraduate degree in biochemistry, my work in physical therapy settings, Pilates instruction, Alexander Technique and Body Mind Centering study, I have developed a deep fascination with the body. By providing a deep experiential and factual understanding of anatomical information and somatics, my classroom is a place where students investigate the functional, aesthetic and social issues that dictate personal and cultural movement preferences. Through this inquiry, students develop an awareness of their body and develop skills of observation and communication that can be applied to their growth and evolution as a performer, choreographer, educator, and human. It is my overall pedagogical desire to use dance as a vehicle for connecting students to their bodies and to each other, challenging the left and right brains to synthesize the experience conjointly.