Teaching Philosophy

Integrative approach to movement and creative process

Coming from a classical ballet background, I value form, clarity, and aesthetic according to anatomically realistic goals. I value physical and mental discipline in training within the bounds of self and external respect. I value the development of flexibility, stability, and precision to increase the range of possible choices available to a dancer.

That said, in classical training, we tend to view the mind as a control center for our body, sending out information to arrange and move our various parts, using visual information provided by mirrors and auditory information provided by teachers to shape the instructions we give ourselves. Current research in neuroscience, reveals the role of proprioception (sense of relative position of body parts) and equilibrioception (sense of balance and acceleration) in creating our kinesthetic experience. I believe that by redirecting our attention to include kinesthetic goals in dance training, we access a richer, wider body of information with which to achieve a richer, wider range of aesthetic goals. We also create a more health-conscious work ethic and a more compassionate view of the self, resulting in happier, longer relationships (professional or personal) with dance.

In teaching, I structure each class with a continuous thread, introducing a nuanced idea about time, space, or energy in the context of human movement. I reconcile classical aesthetic ideals with real human anatomy to build a stable technical foundation. I use quality-based, form-based, and sensation-based vocabulary drawn from various dance techniques and styles, Laban Movement Analysis, and scientific study to communicate with students. I use imagery and external focus to form instructional cues. I encourage attention to physical sensations and guide students through the process of interpreting and learning from non-visual data.

Dance is unique in integrating emotional, intellectual, and physical experience into one discipline. By studying and attending to all of these aspects, we discover a deeply fulfilling and personally revealing dance practice that can enrich the lives of all who partake.


Dances with... ellipses

Enjoy a dynamic, yet meditative, movement experience. Ellipses respond to the user's mouse movements, gradually speeding up according to a constant gravitational acceleration. Let it run for a while to see a different effect.

Self-portrait (2015)

Our identities are made up of dynamic, complex webs of interests. Sometimes, we feel the competing layers of ourselves pulling in different directions. Though we struggle to keep ourselves intact, there is beauty in the complexity.

DancesWithNeedles/index.html

Despite the playful name, this piece is a serious visualization of motion capture data using calculated values for the first, second, and third derivatives of position in an attempt to access the proprioceptive experience of movement.