Dance is empowering.
I encourage my students to experiment in a way that allows them to dance without thinking, connecting them to their spirit and allowing the student to feel in control of their creations while expressing themselves through their movements. I am always excited when the students find something to say through their own dance.
Dance is reflective self-discovery.
I ask my students to journal. Instead of submitting their journals electronically, I chose to have my students handwrite their journals to tap into the kinesthetic memory of their experiences. I don’t ask for a grocery list of what they did in class; I want them to write what they learned about their bodies, how they pushed their abilities in class, how they moved in new and challenging ways and what they did to overcome that challenge. I want journaling that personal, reflective, and meaningful. It requires a lot of reading on my part --20 students at one journal entry per class equals hours of reading. I don’t mind because I am helping my students be more in touch with their instincts, their bodies, themselves.
Through dance we engage mind, body, and soul.
When we dance, we are in whole self-integration mode. Whether creating our own dance through improvisation or integrating our style into another’s choreography, we are making it our own. When we improvise, we aren’t using our mind; our body and soul are in control, moving freely. Alternately, when learning another’s choreography, we use our mind in a way to critically think and quickly analyze the movements in order to learn the choreography. Dance keeps us in the moment, living in our bodies rather than in our heads.
My greatest teaching asset is my passion.
I love teaching. My students have brought me to joy-filled tears and have teased me about how excited I get when teaching or when they perform. I don’t remember ever having a self-conscious student; I aim to build a safe community in my classrooms and feel I succeed. A student recently told me that she wanted to do well for me because she loved my class, she wanted to impress me, and wanted to make me proud. My students always make me proud.
When I read dance research articles, something builds inside of me. I am amazed by everything dance offers the individual. I know dance is life changing and I believe everyone in the world needs to know what dance does for the individual dancer.