Photos by Rob Kunkle

Teaching Artist Statement

Teaching is the reason I stayed in dance all of these years – the sharing, making, offering, and facilitating. Community gathering and community building.

Teaching uses my absolute love of dance and of movement. It is about meeting the students at the door, welcoming them in, and moving together. I love designing emergent curriculum based on students’ interests and curiosities.

Over the past 24 years, I have taught in a wide range of settings and with dancers from preschool age through their 80s. I love the challenge of teaching and crafting each lesson plan for each specific group. I am always on the lookout for new music and new warm up ideas, plus I am an avid reader about teaching and learning.

Whether creating an arts integration lesson plan for a 6th grade science class, or a modern dance technique class for dancers in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, I love diving in and shaping the ideas. I love the potential with each new dance class.

As my mentor Abby Fiat once said, “The learning environment has kept me whole.”

Teaching Influences

No matter what age group, level, or teaching setting, the ideas of critical dance pedagogy, culturally relevant teaching, and emergent curriculum are top priorities for me.

For preschool-12th grade dance classes: Virginia Tanner creative dance pedagogy, Lincoln Center Institute aesthetic education pedagogy, Maxine Greene, Reggio Emilia, Ruth Bossieux, growth mindset, multimodal learning, multiple intelligences, arts integration, artistic literacy, reflection, mindfulness, creative dance, Laban Movement Analysis

For college level teaching: field of somatics, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Abby Fiat, real world examples, growth mindset, service-learning, Critical Friends Group protocols and facilitation, Lincoln Center Institute aesthetic education pedagogy, flipped classrooms, multimodal learning; curriculum innovation with technology, free resources, and guest speakers

For studio classes: Randee Paufve, Nina Haft, Mo Miner, Sandra Chinn, Wendy Diamond, Ruth Bossieux, Abby Fiat, field of somatics, growth mindsetRead more about the interplay between artmaking and teaching through my writing on Stance on Dance, A Life Full of Making Dance Happen. Also read more about some guiding questions this year in the article, Springtime Musings on Teaching and Learning: Or, Where My Mind and Heart Are with Teaching Modern Dance These Days.