NATALIE JEAN DESCH portrait
  • Assistant Professor, School Of Dance
646-335-5474

Current Courses

Fall 2020

  • DANC 133-001
    Beg Ballet Technique I
  • DANC 1330-001
    Ballet Technique I
    Location: MCD 20 (MCD 20), MCD 80 (MCD 80)
  • DANC 1330-002
    Ballet Technique I
    Location: MCD 80 (MCD 80), MCD 220 (MCD 220)
  • DANC 1410-001
    Beginning Improvisation
    Location: MCD 240 (MCD 240)
  • DANC 2311-001
    Ballet Technique II
    Location: MCD 220 (MCD 220), MCD 80 (MCD 80)
  • DANC 4311-001
    Ballet Technique IV
    Location: MCD 260 (MCD 260), MCD 80 (MCD 80)
  • DANC 4388-001
    Dance Performance
  • DANC 4388-002
    Dance Performance
  • DANC 4571-001
    Movement in Culture
  • DANC 6111-001
    Ballet Technique II
    Location: MCD 80 (MCD 80), MCD 220 (MCD 220)
  • DANC 6151-001
    Ballet Technique IV
  • DANC 6210-001
    Grad Dance Workshop I
    Location: MCD 220 (MCD 220), MCD 130 (MCD 130)
  • DANC 6350-001
    Grd Movement In Culture
  • DANC 6730-001
    Grad Dance Performance
  • DANC 6730-002
    Grad Dance Performance

Spring 2020

Professional Organizations

  • National Dance Education Organization. 11/25/2019 - present. Position : Member.
  • CORPS de Ballet International. 11/25/2019 - present. Position : Member.
  • Utah Dance Education Organization. 11/25/2019 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

Natalie Desch - Teaching Philosophy

I am committed to encourage individuals to explore their abilities, creativity, and humanity through dance. I believe it is important that higher education support rich experiences for learning. I hope to engage in a dance community that champions the development of dance artists for their own well-being as well as for the betterment of society.

John Dewey, the early twentieth-century philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer speaks of an experience as a type of energetic union where the self interacts with the world around it. He believes experiences layer new strata of meaning upon existing ones, serving as classrooms where active learning leads to the formulation of new understanding.

I take inspiration and intention from Dewey’s philosophy in my approach to teaching––that the essence of experience is not confined to age, race, gender, social status, or economic standing. Thus through my work, I strive to create an environment where all feel stimulated to learn––a space where individuals practice rigorously to achieve their own potentials.

With regards to the training and education of a dancer specifically, I draw from personal experience and perspective. I have been fortunate to work deeply in several historic dance modalities and in the realm of contemporary dance. Classical ballet, Humphrey-LimoĢn technique, and Graham-based technique have together afforded me important theoretical and technical tools that have ultimately informed my contemporary work. I offer this toolbox of fundamentals with the goal of strengthening students’ foundational techniques. As well, I believe hearing one’s own voice through an improvisatory practice is essential to an artist. I feel these general ingredients––a ballet influence, a classical modern dance influence, a contemporary influence, and an improvisational influence––all bound together through a somatic-based lens–– are components I find valuable in supporting the development of a dancer.

I believe learning thrives through acts of clear communication. I am inspired to help students understand movement’s vast power to convey meaning and to encourage learning through aural, kinesthetic, visual, logical, inter-personal and intra-personal methods. Through my attempts to be clear with these various methods of communication, I strive to encourage students to discover their unique abilities and to grow.

The basis of my teaching therefore begins by examining who the individual learners are, deciding what content will deepen their skills and abilities, and assessing what methods of communication will be most effective and inspiring for that expansion. With these strategies, I work to cultivate positive learning experiences for students who I hope will be strong, yet compassionate voices within their dance and greater communities.