I taught my first official dance classes in Ramstein, Germany. But that’s a story for another time.
When I moved back to California after my year of living in Manhattan, studying dance education, and becoming an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher, I wanted to hit the ground running and begin teaching dance anywhere that would have me. I was eager to use my newly inherited experiences and developing philosophy as a dance educator.
Though I had not yet earned my Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of the Pacific (the university from which I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and also from which I am currently earning a Doctor of Education degree — Go Tigers!) or completed an intensive teaching residency with Aspire Public Schools, I was already a zealous teacher, yearning to create my dance classroom.
While I briefly taught dance for a private health club and also at the music studio where I first began Dance Daze, I never actually ended up teaching dance for any dance studio outside of Dance Daze. I’m proud that almost all of my experience teaching dance comes from work that I have done through my own businesses.
Through my work with Dance Daze, Inc. and Dance Daze in Schools, I have taught at a number of schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, started dance programs at charter schools in New York City and in Washington, D.C., formed partnerships with universities, developed service-learning internship programs, mentored college students from China, and more.
A few weeks ago, I participated in the Dance Education Lab‘s very first program in Los Angeles, California. I had a wonderful time moving with incredible humans on the beautiful campus of Loyola Marymount University. We were under the direction of the fantastic duo Jody Gottfried Arnhold, DEL founder, and Ann Biddle, DEL founding faculty, for the weekend. I believe it was Jody Gottfried Arnhold who said that dance education is the grassroots movement of dance in America.
With that, I want to state that dance can be taught anywhere. In addition to the above, I’ve personally taught dance on playground blacktops under the California sunshine, in crowded classrooms full of desks, and recently in carpeted rooms inside of synagogues.
It is our duty as dance educators–as those on the ground keeping the movement of dance education in America alive and growing–to bring dance into as many spaces as possible.
So, where can we teach dance? Everywhere.
Where are you currently teaching dance?