photography by Vesa Loikas
Improvisation + Somatic Practices + Pedagogy
Dance History + Yoga + Pilates
At the heart of my teaching philosophy is the desire to educate the entire person. As an educator, I have both the honor and responsibility to continually reveal, emphasize, and model the ways in which dance education is of value to students today. My desire is to cultivate a space for students to deepen and challenge their experiences, not solely to grow into more proficient and articulate movers, but also to develop into critical thinkers and responsive, empathetic citizens within our world. I am continually developing and deepening five core pedagogical principles that define who I am as an educator.
Nurture an inclusive environment that supports relationships built on mutual trust.
Construct course content and educational experiences that are relevant, challenging, and engaging.
Empower students to be active participants in their own learning process.
Encourage risk-taking and mess-making.
Emphasize the understanding that both teachers and students are on their own educational journeys.
Dance is a conduit through which these pedagogical values can inform students’ bodies and minds. Though these philosophies address some “big picture” ideologies, I find that dance is a medium through which these concepts can manifest in very real ways.
CONTEMPORARY/MODERN TECHNIQUE | CLASS DESCRIPTION:
We start by honing in and focusing on an idea or image in relationship to a landscape of the body, investigating its architecture and how intention can broaden our perception of personal movement patterns. From there, we expand outwards into a wider view using shorter exercises to get our bodies articulating, gaining alertness and spatial awareness, and as we move forward, we build. We build experientially—in size and space, in musicality and in sensation. We access moving from our bones and finding ease in our joints, as well as fully engaging our musculature and using momentum as power. Class culminates with a hefty-sized phrase.