Contemporary Technique (all levels), Choreography for the Stage, Site Specific Performance Making, Dance Improvisation, Interdisciplinary Improvisation, Anatomy and Kinesiology, Somatic Studies: Authentic Movement, Contemplative Practice, Meditation and Motion, Dance and Writing, Technical Conditioning: Bootcamp for Dancers, Yoga for Dancers, Dance and the Creative Process, Interdisciplinary Creative Process/ Interdisciplinary Composition, Dance for Film, Designing the Performance Environment: Designing Film, Lights, Set/Installation Structures and Costumes for Independent Dance Work, Branding and Marketing for Artists and Curation in the Field of Performance.
Teaching interests and past research include:
-details, intricacies, momentum and anatomical accuracy in modern technique;
-creating conceptual image, utilizing space, and relating to environment and place in improvisation and composition;
-locating breath, emotion and sensorial experience in somatic studies and movement therapy.
From 2010-2015 I served as the Director of Professional Programming at the Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio in Montpelier, Vermont. There I was also the advanced modern teacher, the student choreography director, and the Artistic Director of a teenage touring dance company called Teen Jazz. Additionally, I have been a guest lecturer at Johnson State College (Johnson, VT) and Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT) and adjunct dance faculty at the Vermont Law School (Royalton, VT) and the University of Vermont (Burlington, VT).
Teaching Philosophy (Dance)
I am a self-directed life-long learner, which has given me access to a very diverse education in the art of teaching. I am fortunate to have learned from hundreds of teachers over my short lifetime already, and continue to be influenced and guided by many peers, mentors and teachers to this date. The classroom is my second home. I have become a teacher myself because I am insatiably curious: about bodies, physical potential in movement and the power of sharing art with others. I enjoy both the dialogue surrounding moving, creating and performing, as well as the collective group experience of training and evolving physically. I see my role as teacher to be a gift. I am able to guide students into their own innate knowledge and curiosities, while letting that very experience deepen my own quest and discovery of dancing in this lifetime.
Improvisation and technique stay in continuous conversation in my laboratories, as dance is about both process and change as well as internal and external imagery. Paying direct attention to our alignment and to physics, we condition our strength, stability and clarity, while simultaneously exercising our personal aesthetic and defining our own unique artistry. With guided exercises for soloists, partnerships and groups, we access emotional habits, spiritual beliefs, and personal traditions to help understand how our developing character may be aptly expressed within every movement. Shapes hold stories; momentum tells tales.
Music is a stimulant and I specifically choose sound, tempo and genre to appropriately collaborate with the theories and tools I wish to teach. I am upbeat and positive, and want the classroom atmosphere to be fun, enriching and encouraging. I hold with great importance the conditioning of positive self-talk: nurturing, supportive and motivational. The mind gives power to the body, and the body must be loved by the mind.
For me, teaching also involves an interrogation on the “selfishness” of dance. As a clear leader, a disciplined director, and a challenging curator, I seek to bring my students past the private experience of dancing. Fascinated by space, place and environment, I enjoy working outside of the classroom, to influence how dance can be related back into a social world. I invite the community to interact with my students, encouraging an open door process of learning, drafting and experimenting. Since dancers work and train for an eventual viewer or audience, I find it exciting to bring in that energy exchange as part of the learning process. We must consider dance as a continuous conversation, between the group and the place, the body and the mind, the self and the witness.
I am an action hound. I learn by moving, I give by doing, I understand through feeling. My dance is a celebration of the visceral experience of living.
Dance has become my child, my partner, my reflection, my voice, my health, my emotions, my survival mechanism. It allows me to observe life as a movement, a process, a series of arrangements and a game of shifting elements. Dance makes me buzz. I tune into my deeper core, the soul around me or the unborn me within me, and through dancing I rediscover a new possible experience of living.
Dance brings me outside of, and back into, redefining layers me.
Often my initial focus is on action as intention. I enjoy discovering new pathways of momentum and anatomical possibility. I constantly question and test the body’s endurance, strength and will power to both fast and powerful as well as slow and soft extremes. Doubt meets thrill as my physical body simultaneously experiences euphoria and exhaustion.
Choreography of place has become a fascination. Informed and inspired by the rhythms of the outside world, I take my dance into the woods, onto the street, amidst the snow, the rain, the sun, so that my work can remain modular, adaptable, and entirely responsive to its surroundings. Nature has been and continues to be my muse and my guru, giving me field and forest stages, leaf soundscores, weather variables, and animal participants. I need nature’s dance to remember how out of control we really are to this situation of humanity. What do relationships really have behind them? What real forces are inside our energetic momentum? What makes one tic? Move? Stay? I persuade a relationship to the immediate moment, encouraging life and rehearsal to meet each other for a new type of dance.