My teaching philosophy derives from an integration of my pre-professional training, professional dance career with four ballet companies, my own choreographic investigation, and the formal education I received in both my undergraduate and graduate degrees.
My priority as a teacher is to facilitate an experience whereby students feel safe to explore, create, take risks, and discover the multifaceted forms of dance. I believe every student deserves an opportunity to study and explore dance in a supportive environment within which they can incorporate professional technical skills while developing their individual artistry.
As an artist, I understand the importance of finding one’s authentic voice. I believe dance can teach us so much about our own humanity, our personal identities, life’s social constructs, and can ultimately lead to greater human connection. It is through dance that I have witnessed and personally experienced how art transforms lives through reflection and empathic insight by allowing individuals to express themselves when words are not enough.
As a former professional dancer, I realize the importance of discipline, intent, time commitment, technique, and quality of movement. Dance is a practice where technique is methodically learned, challenged, and refined before it becomes embodied by the dancer. Ballet was my first language in dance, and I understand the importance of, and the need for remaining allegiant to its rigorous traditions. I also realize that today’s professional and educational dancer is benefited by a diverse understanding and acceptance of all forms of dance and their respective languages. Ballet, modern, character, jazz, improvisation, and West-African dance techniques have all been a part of my dance practice, and I have realized that each strengthens the other.
I am always re-examining my practical approach and my language use, including ballet terminology and Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis, which I use within my courses. This consideration helps me to provide multiple insights and perspectives for all movement, whether minute or broad. I also understand how imperative it is to impart anatomical awareness, somatic practice, contextual history, critical thinking, and psychology within my courses. In light of contemporary pedagogical advances, incorporating elements of both the scientific and the spiritual, my goal is to teach less transactionally but more transformationally.
I am a person who is passionate about dance while facilitating the success of others. I want to share my experiential knowledge as an integral part of encouraging all my students to explore and discover the wonders of dance on their own. I am committed to exploring all educational tools and resources to assist my students to excel and succeed on their artistic journeys.
Assistant Professor 2017-Present
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Edwardsville, IL
All levels of Ballet, Dance History, Dance Management, and Dance Experience
Graduate Lecturer 2016-2017
Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA
All levels of Ballet, Pas de Deux Technique, Contemporary Lab, and guest Choreographer
Faculty & Choreographer 2013-2017
Soo Dance Academy Danville, CA
All levels of Ballet, and Contemporary/Modern
Faculty & Choreographer 2013-2016
Stapleton School of Performing Arts San Anselmo, CA
Guest Faculty and Choreographer 2014-2015
Marin School for the Arts/ Novato High School Novato, CA
All levels of Ballet
Adult Summer Workshop Instructor & Choreographer 2015
Berkeley Ballet Theater Berkeley, CA
Summer Workshop Ballet Instructor & Substitute for Adult/Professional Ballet 2014-2015 Oberlin Dance Collective (ODC) San Francisco, CA
Ballet Summer Workshop Instructor 2005- 2014
Ballet Lubbock Lubbock, TX
Intermediate/Advance Ballet, Men’s Technique, Pointe Technique, Variations Class, and Pas de Deux
Ballet Summer Workshop Instructor 2012- 2014
Ballet Repertory Theatre Albuquerque, NM
Substitute Ballet Instructor 2008
Ballet Austin Austin, TX
Substitute Ballet Instructor 2005-2007
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) Carlisle, PA