TEACHING PHILOSOPHY 

 

 

 

 

I bring a distinct blend of knowledge and experience to my role as a dance educator: my teaching has been informed by the integration of my formal university dance training, my work as a guest artist/teacher in higher educational settings, my field research that involves traveling nationally and abroad to engage communities in a process of art making and its links to social justice, and my professional work as the Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer of an award-winning Washington, DC-based dance company (EDGEWORKS Dance Theater). My teaching is also informed by current art making practices and investigations linked to sensory engagement and knowledge base production, a concept that considers the shaping of artistic work into the formats of learning and research. I am dedicated to enriching students’ concepts of men and women in dance; and shedding light on the impact and contributions made by artists of minority communities, particularly African-American dancers and choreographers.  

 

As an educator I create an atmosphere that allows students to discover connections between what they experience within the studio and their lives outside of the studio walls. I encourage students to awaken their curiosity, to experiment, question, feel, think, reflect, and communicate their experiences with honesty, compassion, fluidity, and strength. I emphasize the importance of skills and courage: tools that give us the ability to be vulnerable and to find our creative voices.  

 

My movement is informed by the joy of “daring dance.” I achieve this by designing classes that meld discussion with action. I often share with students the history and evolution of contemporary dance as a way of deepening our understanding of movement phrases. My dance vocabulary fuses velocity, weight, and gymnastic principles with anatomical approaches to motion. My technique classes incorporate conditioning work for strength, mental training for clarity and articulation, and strong performance skills that emphasize intent and outcome. My work is inspired by, but not limited to, studies in Limon, Cunningham, Hawkins, Horton, release forms, ballet, martial arts, and improvisation. 

 

I teach to inspire, to connect, to communicate, to share my knowledge, and to express my love and joy of dancing. I have more than 20 years of experience – and success – working with varied populations and skill levels. I teach to engage people in a process of transformation. I view our physical languages as paths that lead us not only to understanding aspects of our human experience, but also to making sense of the world around us.