• Expanding our Reach

    As my work has expanded from teaching in the studio and classroom directly with students to now also including working on a school and district level and across the community, I have found more of my time and energy dedicated to improving the quality of and advocacy for dance education across all sectors. 

    This work has brought me to new opportunities, providing professional development, curriculum design, mentoring, and coaching for classroom educators interested in arts integration, dance educators, teaching artists, and administrators.  I have a goal to increase my capacity in these areas to improve my own practice while supporting others in their journey to improve their own teaching practices.

    Keeping this effort at the root of my work, my blog posts will transition from personal dance and eduation experiences to my work in curriculum development, effective lesson and unit planning; inclusive practices in dance education; fostering social emotional learning in dance classes; and supporting teachers, families, and arts and education administrators in dance education environments. 

    I look forward to sharing this journey with you.  Check back soon for more blog posts on these topics and more!

  • Full Circle

    Who would have thought that after studying dance, choroegraphing and performing dance, and teaching dance for the better part of my career, I would continue with dance as the pivital focus of my work after leaving the studio to study elementary education?  I did.  I always wanted to have dance, movement and art be a driving force of my work as an educator, but I was not always sure in what capacity it would take.  

    My life over the past two years has been full of so many changes: moving from Ohio to Illinois, settling in Chicago and making a name for myself here as a dance teacher, multiple jobs within the dance community and education field, joining Chicago Public Schools as an employee, graduate study full time, student teaching, advocating for students and teachers as part of the Chicago Teacher's Union, working full time, working part time, practicing yoga, training in dance, and all while discovering a new place and creating a life with my family.  It has been a lot, and I am thankful that finally all of my experiences are paying off.  I am coming full circle, as I embark on a new journey: Dance Teacher at Ravenswood Fine and Performing Arts School, a CPS elementary.  

    Here I will build a dance program from the ground-up, teach dance to Pre-K through 8th grade students, teach the creative process, the elements of dance, various techniques, creative movement, performance, history and choreography.  Aside from directing and teaching the dance program, I will also teach arts integration incorporating dance into core content areas of language arts, mathematics, social studies and science while collaborating with other arts teachers and classroom teachers.  I am so excited to take on this role, in addition to continuing my dance instruction at HSDC and Design Dance after-school and studio programs.  My next posts will share the starts to my program, curriculum mapping and designing my dance studio.

  • Dancing and Teaching and Teaching and Dancing

    Many say it is hard for artists to transition into teaching their craft.  For me, this has always been a natural part of being an artist - sharing your passion, talents, work and skills with others.  I believe that it is our job as artists to take part in the teaching of our work and to pass on our experiences to future generations.  I have learned recently that I am not just a dance artist, but that teaching is an integral part of my artistry and my work.  Some may say exiting the stage and entering the classroom (or the studio, gymnasium, or wherever one may be teaching) is a difficult transition.  I say it has been the most  exciting ride of my life, and teaching is definitely the most rewarding part of being a dance artist.

    I will update this blog periodically to share any new and exciting happenings in my world of dance and education.  Until then, view my Graduate Ambassador blog entries on Marginalia, Columbia College Chicago's graduate blog, view my Twitter feeds below, or contact me!