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Teaching Philosophy

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, as if I embody magic. Through teaching I am able to share this magic with my students by inspiring them to find their own vibrancy, employing courageous consciousness through the vehicle of their bodies. I believe that teaching an art form that exists along the same continuum as dancing, choreography and performance.

Teaching dance, for me, is instilling the value of embracing the ever-changing body on a daily basis. Dance is a conversation; a participatory dialogue with one’s self, the space in which one inhabits, and others in the space. This conversation affords us the opportunity to know more about our living experience. 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.

I believe the classroom is a place to practice physical, energetic and emotional presence. In the classroom we become ready and available to participate in something very special. With this mindset, dance is something to be experienced and lived and through this lens my students and I are able to, in some ways, dance our truth. Dancing truth is vulnerable yet vulnerability is precisely what creates a context for personal growth and transformation.

My technique classes are informed and infused by energy systems of the body, specifically though my deep investment in the practice of Yoga, as well as exposure to the movement form, Kalari. Additionally, I pose the question, what is dance? And why do we do it? I am interested in dance training that cultivates a body that is adaptable, variable, and mobile, engaging different ways in which we can move the body. I am fascinated by paradox in movement quality and the continuum between boldness, nuance, clarity, and blurred edges. I teach my own accumulation of training which I pass onto 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.

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 life’s work that I am committed to challenging and understanding.

 

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