My philosophy of teaching is inspired by those teachers who have inspired me, and is influenced by my recent studies and practice of pedagogy and anatomy in graduate school. It is also informed by my observations of the ever-changing demands of the dance world, as well as by my own experiences and physical needs as a professional dance-artist. My pedagogical interests are also supported by my foundational, personal values—principals that exist whether I am teaching a movement or a lecture/seminar class. These values revolve strongly around inclusivity, collaboration, and the honoring of an individual’s journey.
I believe that a good teacher is student-focused, aiming to meet the students where they are and to support their growth beginning by embracing where they are at. In my classes I strive to see each of my students every day as people engaged in learning. I am interested in getting to know my students, embracing the fact that they have a right to privacy and that mystery between us will always remain. Seeing my students is a challenge that requires committed focus. It means observing them, considering their energy, effort, successes, struggles, and their ability to show up. Truly seeing them allows me to champion their successes and to step in when they appear to be falling behind. For me, this also means being available to them as a support beyond the classroom; I always try to be ready to direct them toward community or program resources that may help them with personal issues hindering their ability to get the most out of their education.
I believe in holding space for students to practice developing ideas and for them to share those ideas with the community. I respect the vulnerability required of students to practice self-expression, especially when those expressions are out of the norm, or when the ideas shared may be offensive or misplaced. The classroom is a place for development and conflict is an opportunity for growth. I believe in striving to allow for all voices in the room to be heard while keeping the learning community safe and the students accountable for their ideas and actions.
I am also a student. I have an obligation to continue to learn in order to be as resourceful, inquisitive, critical in thought, and open for my students as I possibly can be. I am learning from my students constantly, am actively engaged in our field, am forever curious about its growth and my own place in it, and strive to serve as a resource for others.
As a technique instructor...
In my technique classes (modern and ballet), I am dedicated to nurturing a strong technical base in my students and imparting safe physical practices for career longevity. I also strive to challenge my students technically while keeping the space safe for personal expression, just as I do in the theoretical classroom. Through this blend of technical demand with the honoring of my students as individuals, I aim to assist them in tapping into their own creative impulses, goals, and expressivity as moving artists, as well as to inspire them to develop their own personal standard of rigor and a love for hard work. The studying of codified techniques is used as a starting point for the students to discover their own physical, theoretical and aesthetic interests, and their own unique points of view. My training is rooted in contemporary dance, my most influential teachers having been informed by release techniques, Limón technique, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and various martial arts. My movement is rooted as well in my many years of ballet and yoga studies, and a hodgepodge of other aesthetically different styles and techniques.
Inside of all of these pedagogical interests is a desire to bridge a gap between rigorous technique and personal expression. I believe that increased articulation helps to enhance one’s availability for expressivity, and also that solid classical technique can assist in this expression. However, because I believe that technique should serve less as a way to create a certain kind of dancer and more as a way to open doors for personal research and expression, I embrace multiple dance-styles in one’s training and see my methods as simply another offering to learn about and grow one’s understanding of themselves and their body in time, space, and community. I believe that dance is a platform for transformation, both of individuals and our world. I love teaching because I believe so strongly in the power of dance to enhance and enrich our lives, and seeing my students get inspired—whether to dig in more deeply with their technique, to choreograph or create in other mediums, or to make connections and push themselves in new ways—makes the hard work of teaching worth it.
2018-2019 — University of Utah
Composition Workshop (Freshmen Modern majors) - Spring 2018
Dance Appreciation - Online (non-majors) - Spring 2018
Dance Appreciation - Live (Non-Majors) - Spring 2018Conditioning for Dancers (Freshmen Modern majors) - Fall 2018
Freshman Seminar (Modern majors; co-taught with Ballet) - Fall 2018
Non-Majors Beginning Modern Dance Technique - Fall 2018
2017-2018 — University of Utah
Non-Majors Dance Composition - Fall 2017
Dance Appreciation - Online (non-majors) - Spring 2018 - TA
Dance History (Modern Dance majors) - Spring 2018 - TA
Movement in Culture (Upper Div. Writing GE) - Fall 2017 - TA
2016-2017 — University of Utah
Non-Majors Dance Composition - Spring 2017
Dance History (Ballet majors) - Spring 2017 - TA
Non-Majors Dance Composition - Fall 2016 - TA
2015-2016 — Sonoma State University
Contemporary Dance Level II-IV (Fall and Spring semesters)
Ensemble; Course Instructor and Director of the Fall Dance Concert (Fall 2015)
2019 — Ballet West
Contemporary for the company trainees
2019 — Tanner Dance
Ballet for the teen modern dance companies
2014-2016 — Shawl-Anderson Dance Center
Ballet III - age 10-12
Beginning Teen Ballet
Modern - age 10-12
Sub for youth modern classes - all levels
Sub for adult beginning ballet
Yoga for youth summer intensives
2015-2016 — Barefoot Movement
Vinyasa Flow yoga — various adult open class levels
2011-2015 — Sebastopol Ballet School
Sub for adult and youth ballet classes
2011-2016 — Various SF Bay Area Studios
Sub for adult and youth modern and ballet at other various studios, including ROCO Dance and Fitness, ODC/Dance, and Sonoma State University.
full curriculum vitae
Image by Myray Reames | Choreography by Christine Cali