As a dance educator, I believe my role is to cultivate an environment that blends the art of dance and community. In my classroom, I want students to understand the value in collaborative artistic voices. As a dancer, I found that my greatest accomplishments artistically and personally were through the discovery of working with others. I want to promote a learning environment that encourages collaborative work, with showcasing the student’s unique individuality. I want to encourage everyone to bring their own artistic voices because that is what makes dance captivating and irresistible.
Dance is an art form that can inspire expression from a very vulnerable place. My lessons are student-centered and are designed to continue the growth of student's confidence and instill the importance of who they are in their development mentally and socially. Within the foundations of dance, my students will find clarity in who they are in the balance between dances creative processes and performance. Creativity is one of the tools that helps guide an individual to self-expression. My goal is to create a space where students feel comfortable and confident enough to experiment with who they are. I believe that self-expression is important for an individual’s development because their character will carry them on further in life.
When I focus on dance training, I want every student to feel challenged and supported by constantly providing different variations for their specific needs. I want the space to be accessible to everyone, for example, by always making sure there are visual and scripted versions of vocabulary, directions, and images that give different learners a chance to grasp material. I also want to ensure that each student sees themselves reflected on my classroom walls including dancers in wheel chairs, with different ethnicities, or with learning disabilities.
My lessons are constructed to have diverse dance styles that bring in all students’ cultures, as well as teach students the cultural roots of dance styles. It is important that students are immersed in a variety of dance styles because each style has distinctive values in dance--which is what I want my students to bring to our classroom. Students will be respected in my classroom on all levels. By having representation of who they are in the class, students will feel connected to our classroom community.
Through movement training, creative dance, and performances my students will learn key concepts and accomplish specific objectives in dance education. My objectives are aligned with state and national dance standards that create growth and development in each dancer. The lessons will foster students using problem-solving, evaluating, and justifications that help them understanding dance in a variety of ways. The life skills they build in my dance classroom will take them anywhere in life they decide to go or whatever career they feel passionate about pursuing.
When a student is confident in who they are, it is easier for them to navigate their way through life. Whether dance education leads them to a professional career or not, it has given them the tools to understand everyday life. Students learn to express themselves and their individual personality. Students who study dance know how to think creatively and contribute to a group. That is what my classroom and teaching philosophy strives for, to embrace individuality amongst a community. Students will find who they are in my classroom, which will bring them closer to themselves and others around them.