Teaching philosophy

Inciting curiosity to compel my students to view the act of dancing and making dances as an activity like no other but deeply connected to all other activities is at the heart of my goals as a teacher and mentor. This means taking responsibility for the precept that how and why we dance is connected to how we view the world, how we negotiate our way through its proceedings and take measure of its beauty, injustices, mysteries and imperfections. This work of making dances, teaching dance and performing confirms that my choices as a person and as an artist are important, have accountability and resonance beyond the sheer joy I take in the act of teaching and dancing. I teach through example, not only through physical expression in the classroom but in the way I chose my words, projects, battles and modes of living. For me dancing offers challenges found nowhere else at this point in my life. But I also recognize the profound privilege it is to be a working artist in the face of so much hardship, devastation and corruption in our society and in the world. This system of beliefs is at the core of my philosophy and why I dance, teach and choreograph. I believe that dance is a necessary and viable part of a liberal arts education and an imminently rewarding life long pursuit. I emphasize that the serious study of dance and creativity prepares the student for any future endeavor or course of study.

Dance is integrated into many aspects of my life, and the choices I make outside the studio resonate and shape the climate within. I urge my students to take inventory, to vividly feel and be aware of the process of making choices while dancing. I continually remind students that dance is a relevant form of communication in addition to being an exciting performing art, and that consideration of this is essential and rewarding. Cultivating skills of observation, collecting ideas, images, conversations, recording dreams and writing about dance with a heightened sense of possibility keeps me pursuing this career and avocation. These are standards that I pass on to my students.