Posts Tagged ‘Teaching’

November 2015 | Thinking Out Loud | Two for One

Heading into my 19th year of teaching, I have held many titles over the years—dance instructor, movement teacher, dance specialist, and guest artist. But when I started being called a “teaching artist” about 12 years ago, the components of my life came together. “Teaching artist” is the title that best describes me.

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July 2013 | Bright Biz Ideas | No Money, Many Hands

“You don’t have to have a ton of money,” explained Jonna Maule, owner of Company Ballet School and Performing Arts Center in Spokane, Washington, when asked why she chose to expand her school when she had only $1,000 in savings. “You only need determination and a dream. I wanted my students to see what you can do when you put your mind to something.”

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March-April 2013 | Mail

I picked up another great teaching tool from the January magazine [“Thinking Out Loud: Feedback Frenzy,” by Holly Derville-Teer]. Guiding students to watch each other and give a correction and a compliment . . . I could see their thought process working, not only developing physical skills but empathy and respect for each other too. It was with students ages 13 to 16.

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November 2012 | A Better You | Dealing With Doubt

Successful teaching demands that the instructor take command of her material and her classroom with authority. This can be tough, especially when you’re just launching a teaching career. Think about when you first started teaching. Did you come roaring out of the gate, full of confidence, or do you still sometimes struggle with doubts about your qualifications, teaching abilities, or leadership qualities?

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August 2012 | EditorSpeak

Business owners working together, and customer service—those are small-town survival strategies. In May I spent a few days in a small town in eastern California, the kind of place where Main Street is a freeway and boarded-up businesses occupy the handful of side streets.

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July 2012 | Thinking Out Loud | Unexpected Inspiration

I teach jazz dance for a living. That’s how I ended up choreographing the annual fifth-grade musical at my daughter’s school. My daughter told the music teacher that I’m a dance teacher, and so he called to ask if I would consider doing the show.

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January 2010 | Ballet Scene | Class à la Cecchetti

“All right, first and second arabesque.” The students at Cuppett Performing Arts Center in Vienna, Virginia, all in level seven (out of eight) in the Cecchetti method of ballet training, have finished stretching and are getting ready for center work. It’s time to steel themselves for an exercise requiring focus and determination.

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Higher-Ed Voice | Angling for Adults

Dancers gather in the hallway, stretching and awaiting the beginning of class. A few students peer into the studio, giggling. When a file of energized, sweaty dancers saunters out, a new group rushes in. It’s a familiar scene at dance studios filled with children. But in this case, all of the dancers are adults.

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When Frank and Victor Met May

Fifty-one years: It’s a respectable age for a dance school. That kind of longevity usually means that the teaching comes from the heart, and that’s certainly the case at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, a community school on the border of Berkeley and Oakland in California. It’s also proof of one teacher/choreographer’s long reach—in this case, May O’Donnell, one of Martha Graham’s shining stars, who died in 2004 at age 97. She touched school owners Frank Shawl and Victor Anderson so profoundly that they invoke her teachings, influence, and memory nearly every time they talk about dance.

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Ballet Scene | Vibrant Violette

Former ballerina Violette Verdy takes a multifaceted approach to teaching By Steve Sucato “Everybody needs to be in a room with Violette Verdy,” says Patricia McBride, Verdy’s fellow former New York City Ballet star and longtime friend. “She is like sunshine.” Verdy’s effervescence and unwavering positivity have come to characterize not only her personality but…

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What’s in a Title?

Do you know the difference between an employee and an independent contractor? Does it really matter which way school owners in the United States classify and pay their staff teachers? The answer is yes. It matters to the Internal Revenue Service, and that means it should matter to you.

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Nonprofits: Filling a Need

Nobody gets into teaching dance and running a dance studio solely for the money; there are dozens of less physically, intellectually, and interpersonally demanding professions to choose from. Ask any number of dance teachers and studio owners why they do it, and without pause they’ll say it was for love, not money. If, along the way, they earn a living and make a profit, that’s practically a bonus.

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Higher-Ed Voice | Making the Leap to Academia

It’s a thought on the minds of more dance studio teachers these days than ever before: “Maybe I should get into college teaching.” At a time when small businesses are taking a financial hit and funding for professional dance companies is waning, more and more artists, students, and instructors are looking to colleges for career opportunities in dance. Some are lured by the prospect of artistic rigor, others by the opportunity to work with pre-professional dancers. Still others seek access to resources for art making: student repertory companies to set work on, studio space, technology.

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Ballet Scene | Teaching Pirouettes

If classical ballet instruction can be said to have a Golden Rule, it might be “Begin at the barre.” Classes begin at the barre, where students learn to perform a step competently before they attempt it in the center. Most instructors follow this rule in teaching pirouettes; standard instruction books such as Gretchen Ward Warren’s Classical Ballet Technique (pp. 141 and 177) advocate the practice of half-turns with relevé in retiré at the barre (while recommending that beginners execute one full pirouette in the center).

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Have Wheels, Can Dance

Mary Verdi-Fletcher remembers vividly the startled look on dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones’ face when she showed up to take one of his master classes. “I told him, ‘Don’t worry about me; I will just translate what you are doing. Don’t give it a second thought,’ ” she says.

Jones’ brief moment of panic came about because Verdi-Fletcher dances from a wheelchair.

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Dianne McIntyre

A lone dancer swaggers onto the stage, initiating a conversation with the five-piece jazz band at the side of the stage. In a sinewy gesture he reaches skyward and the band responds. More dancers enter and their exciting dialogue with the musicians seamlessly unifies movement and sound.

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Teacher in the Spotlight | Karen Frantz

Have fun, and don’t forget the real reason you dance. It’s a privilege; never let it become a job. I advise teachers to sit in the audience and take in how your creations make the spectators feel. Let them lose themselves in the beauty of the art that inspired you.

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Thinking Out Loud | Teaching the Unteachable

Week after week, class after class, correct technique is just not sinking in. There’s got to be another angle I can try, some witty imagery that might give this type of student an epiphany. There are days, after 23 years of teaching, when being a ballet teacher is so arduous that I don’t know how I can go on.

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Teaching the Teachers

One of the age-old questions in any area of education is “Who teaches the teachers?” For more than a century in the field of dance education that question has been answered with “Dance Masters of America.”

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Nurturing Tots and Teens

How many teachers do you know who have a clear understanding of their abilities and are willing to admit to them? I got a call from a prospective teacher one day who said, “I’m new to the area and I’m calling to see if you might be hiring any teachers or substitutes for this year.

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