“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”
-Fred SeroIgniting a flame of curiosity, passion, and learning can lead to the future success of today’s students. This flame is comprised by four main elements: passion, communication, community, and experience. The weaving together of these components has resulted in my philosophy of teaching.As an educator and choreographer, I am passionate about movement. This passion is what drives my dynamic approach to teaching. I refuse to remain static within movement concepts, theories and ideas. Rather I explore and present information that develops and grows alongside students’ progression, as well as the field of dance as a whole. This method requires sensitivity to the needs of students, the energy of the learning environment, as well as continuous education within dance. By exuding my passion for movement within individual lessons I aim to keep students engaged in material, to inspire them to be passionate about their own dance studies, and to dive head first into their interests.
Communication is central to my teaching philosophy. Firstly, I strive to use language that allows students to understand and discover new information. I work to keep an open exchange of communication with students to stimulate critical questioning, discussion, and thoughtful examination of information. Through assignments, written work, and classroom discussion I encourage students to become articulate thinkers and dancers. Providing opportunities for collaboration and feedback between peers allows students to learn effective interpersonal communication. I promote students taking responsibility for their learning through active reflection in multiple forms such as journaling, papers, and projects.
In order for students to learn effectively, I aim to foster a safe community environment in which students can take risks and try new things. This community is enhanced by removing the barrier of the student teacher relationship as expert and novice, resulting in a collaborative learning environment. I work to build on students’ individual histories, which become the foundation to develop old ideas, absorb new ones, and create connections between the two. Finally, I include historical and contextual information within lessons, promoting the understanding of dance’s role within the larger global community.
Finally, new and different experiences promote progress throughout my teaching. I apply somatics, dance kinesiology, and creative work to learning experiences in order to broaden students’ understanding of the body and develop appreciation of dance as an art form. I cultivate learning experiences that extend to the multiple intelligences of students to encourage full comprehension. I aim for lessons to translate to life outside of the dance classroom.
No matter the life or career goals of students, knowledge and skills gained within dance classes transfer to all walks of life. Sparking a passion for learning in students can lead to success in whatever field they choose to explore. Simultaneously acting as a role model and collaborator hopefully inspires students to continue delving into their passions. My goal is to encourage creative and critical thinkers that will go out into the world, set their own passions on fire and strive for success.