As a dance educator for both children & adults, I embrace movers at all levels. Sensitive to both the setting and those particular dancers, I try to facilitate a challenging but encouraging environment. I engage my students to think critically about movement, and empower them to trust and use their own embodied knowledge.
I value a strong technical foundation in ballet and modern movements, yet they are not necessary for my classes. I believe that it is important for dancers to know why they practice certain types of movement and understand what is happening in their musculature and skeletal structure that allows those movements to happen. This also helps prevents injury which is something I find myself advocating for quite a bit since having knee surgery and many knee problems within my training practices.
With patience and a keen ability to call attention to details, I maintain an ongoing dialogue with dancers to address issues that may arise during the course of class and work with them to find solutions. In addition, I’ll have students work in partners or groups to help facilitate problem solving and connection, in order to ensure their understanding. This empowers dancers, trains them to teach one another, and builds a sense of community amongst the class.
Of equal importance, I encourage students to be dynamic in their approach to movement. I promote the use of breath and energy to inform their movement quality. Through the practice of moving dynamically in technique exercises and combinations, I aim to instill a sense of presence in dancers’ movement, which manifests itself in performance. Spatial expansion, the idea and use of one’s kinesphere, & the Laban and Bartenieff fundamentals all make a cameo in each of my classes as I find those basics were a key to my overall understand of how my body moves most efficiently in space. I encourage creativity and improvisational skills in order to help dancers find their own voice in their movement, utilize the abilities of their own body, and to communicate that through their dancing. These are all critical skills to developing as performers and choreographers. It is with these building blocks that I facilitate for dancers an approach to movement involving a sense of ownership and confidence, which in turn produces a powerful and unique mover.
My floor work classes are an integral part of my movement philosophy. My movement shifted after knee surgery going into my freshman year at Ohio State in the dance department. By studying Shen Wei Technique, Release Technique, elements of Countertechnique, & really understanding the anatomical and physical structure of our bodies, I was able to shift my movement from vertical… to horizontal. By focusing on my own weight and momentum, learning how to redirect my energy efficiently, & using gravity to its advantage I was able to retrain my body to move in and out of the floor with ease and attention which in turn kept me dancing and helped me create a personal movement style.
My Beginner/Int. Floor work classes involve exploring the fundamentals of finding your weight in and out of the floor, learning how to travel on the floor through different modes, & how to do it as safely & easily as possible. Common problems we try to address is continual movement and not breaking the flow, releasing our heads and necks, & working with gravity.