Theater & Dance (Dance)
Faculty member since 2009
B.A. Connecticut College
What drew you to Loomis?
At Loomis there is a lot of respect and support of the arts. Dance is woven into the curriculum in a variety of ways; the school offers various technique classes during the day and after school, and there are two performance Dance Companies. All that plus the quality and dedication of the students cannot be beat.
Why is dance important?
Wow, that’s a heavy question! I think that all art is important as a means of communication and of self-expression; a reflection of the world, society, and one’s self. Through movement, you might be able to convey a message that you simply can’t get out in words—dance is, at its most fundamental, movement. And movement is a fundamental asset to life; if cells didn’t divide, if the Earth didn’t orbit the sun, i.e. without movement there would be no life.
Dance teaches a lot more than just pliés and hitch-kicks. It touches on anatomy as we investigate how our bones, muscles, and breathing all work in conjunction to execute movements. We touch on physics as we talk about force, gravity, balance/counterbalance, and conservation of angular momentum as they relate to how our bodies move through space. Students also learn the value of teamwork, build trust, get exercise, learn from each other as well as the teacher all while being encouraged to explore their own artistic “voice.”
What is your favorite dance concept to teach?
One of my favorite things to do is to work collaboratively with my students on choreography. I often ask for student input when building dances. There are sections of dances that are made entirely of students’ choreographic contributions. I also enjoy working with kids who are making their own dances, giving them feedback, bouncing ideas around with them, etc.
What has dance taught you about yourself?
Dance has taught me that there is more value in the experience of work than there is “perfection.” As a dance student, I was sometimes paralyzed by the idea that my efforts and choreography were not “perfect” or “good enough.” There lies value in working toward the ideal even if you know you will never quite get there because it allows you to show something beautiful for your efforts.