Pilates Mat ClassLocation: ONLN (Online)
Pointe MethodologyLocation: MCD 60 (MCD 60)
Partner Adagio: Pro
Performance Credit: Pro
Men's Class: Prof'l
Tchg Prac Ballet (HON)
Tchg. Prac. Other (HON)
Tchg Practicum BalletLocation: ONLN (Online)
Tchg Practicum Other
Conditioning for Dancers
Conditioning for DancerLocation: ONLN (Online)
- Corps de Ballet. 01/01/2018 - 02/15/2019. Position : Member.
- American Ballet Theatre NationalTraining Curriculum Approved Teachers. 09/2012 - present. Position : Member.
Personal Teaching Philosophy
I did not always think I wanted to teach. After retiring from my professional career, I thoroughly understood pedagogy from a professional standpoint but didn’t have experience imparting any methods or theories to students. I received training as a child in all of the most sound and historic pedagogies, but that was different, more personal. While getting my BFA I had pedagogy courses but no practicums and that was eight years prior to becoming an Adjunct Instructor here at the University of Utah as well as a teacher of younger students at Ballet West Academy. Receiving the opportunity to teach the lower division at the U and my first class of beginners at BWA, I did not understand the approach behind how to break down technique for them that was developmentally and technically sound. I sought out mentors who would deepen my understanding.
My approach in the classroom has evolved most assuredly from my time spent being mentored by the likes of Raymond Lukens and Franco de Vita while studying and becoming certified in the American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum over the course of 18 months. I chose to research the art of teaching from this meticulously developed and medically supported approach because I identified with the logical and methodical approach based on many years of study by the authors, physical therapists, doctors and other professionals. But I was most attracted to the generosity these two masters chose to share of their theories and philosophies. Their unselfish approach and pure desire to help shape the next generation of teachers has continued to have a profound influence on me. These master teachers have sparked in me a love of understanding the depth in all aspects of teaching ballet and in developing the whole dancer. I teach, in part, because I want to instill that spark in the dancers of today.
At the university level, I receive students who, for a variety of reasons, have not chosen or been chosen to dance pre-professionally. Many strongly desire to do so and come with technique that was not nurtured properly from the ground up. I love sharing with them any and all knowledge I have had passed down to me from the various master teachers and artists in the field of dance. Deepening their understanding of why things work a certain way or helping them understand their options, logically and from a sound scientific approach is the scaffolding upon which dancers need to build their artistry. I love seeing the light bulb moments happen in the classroom. I have them too when I see them approach a step or a role in a way I had not thought of before.
Keeping my hand in the professional world I feel is key to continually educating myself on what is needed to succeed outside the confines of academia. Continuing to teach in some of the finest institutions in the country such as Ballet West, Boston Ballet and University of North Carolina School of the Arts on my off-time has afforded me the opportunity to still study teachers of merit, learn about other curriculums that I can bring back to my classes at the U.
I continue to seek out ways I can instill this passion in the students in the program. I have chosen to research and stage any and all historic works as well as ones that are currently in the repertoires of companies today. Having an understanding of the physical requirements and not just a ‘because I said so’ mentality, creates artists and thinking dancers. I approach all my work from this angle
I am grateful I fell into teaching. I has become a great passion of mine. I will always remain a student at heart. There is always something to learn, and I do learn every day from my students. They continually inspire me to deepen my understanding of the details of this profession, and I hope to instill in them a love of curiosity and investigation.
- Coppélia. Project Lead: Richard Wacko. Collaborators: Cole Adams. Teaching Grant-University of Utah 12/2013 - 04/2014. Total Budget: $15,000.00.
- ABT National Curriculum Certification. Project Lead: Maggie Wright Tesch. Teaching Grant 02/17/2012 - 07/2012.
- Brenda Butcher, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), Project Type: Thesis. Role: Member.