My legs are pillars
The body my shrine,
My heart the inner sanctum, my head a tower of gold…
The things standing shall fall,
but the moving shall ever stay.
— BASAVANNA
Photo by ChingI Chang

Photo by ChingI Chang

Teaching is my calling. It is a vital source of energy which allows me to feel powerful, unstoppable and at ease. Through teaching I am able to share this vitality with my students by inspiring them to find their own vibrancy, and to employ courageous consciousness through the vehicle of their bodies. I believe that teaching dance is an art form that exists along the same continuum as choreography and performance.

The more I delve into the art of teaching, the more I recognize that my role as a teacher is defined more accurately as a guide. This realization has come from countless hours of dedication, observation, and self-inquiry. I believe that teaching rises from within both teacher and student, and each day I am humbled by my students as they navigate the harsh yet exciting terrain of what it means to be in the field of dance. 

I believe the classroom is a place to practice physical, energetic and emotional presence.  With this mindset, dance is something to be experienced and lived. Through this lens my students and I are able to, in some ways, dance our truth. Each day I encourage them to fully “show up and pour themselves in”. Dancing truth is vulnerable, yet vulnerability is precisely what creates a context for personal growth and transformation.

Dance is a conversation; a participatory dialogue with self, other, and the environment. This conversation affords us the opportunity to know more about our lived experience and the fact that we are always in relationship. Personal inquiry through creative rigor paired with communal understanding via collaborative effort is at the heart of what I think the classroom/studio space offers. What we do in dance is contingent upon what we bring to it, and I encourage my students to approach classroom material with full conviction and thoughtful intention. Is this not similar to life? To me, dance provides a certain accountability that can be translated to all aspects of life, a beautiful metaphor for a bigger picture.

My technique classes are informed and infused by energy systems of the body, specifically though my deep investment in the practices of Yoga, Pilates, Gyrokinesis, and exposure to the movement form, Kalari. I am interested in dance training that cultivates a body which is adaptable, variable, and mobile. I believe that engaging dance in this way maintains a legible and informed body, one that is constantly challenged. Additionally, this methodology expresses my belief that there are many ways to engage dance. Multiple perspectives are generally better than one, and my goal through teaching is to be as inclusive as possible. I teach my own accumulation of training mechanisms which I pass on to my students as a way to share a piece of myself with others, as well as a medium to honor my past and present teachers with deep reverence.

I believe that no one ever arrives to a place of “all knowing,” for that indicates a finality that one can no longer go beyond. On the other hand, everything is an opportunity to learn and as a dance artist, I have the unique opportunity to consciously engage in this learning process on a daily basis, while sharing with my students. In dance, one gains wisdom through constant physical questioning and practice. This approach to dance is a life’s work that I am committed to challenging and understanding.

 

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