Teaching Philosophy

As an engineer with professional expertise in ballet and ballroom, I employ and reframe technical concepts to bring science to the dancers, and dance to the scientists and beyond.I love finding similarities between my training as a design engineer and my choreographic experiences. I believe in the power of “what if?”, regardless of discipline.

Photo: Nicole Volpe

 I emphasize gender-neutral language, as well as safe and inclusive partner work in both classical and contemporary forms. I seek to frame my coaching of partner interactions such that students can draw parallels between their conduct as a dance partner and their conduct as human beyond the dance floor. Having taught beginning ballroom, swing, and Latin forms extensively to all ages and abilities, I understand and support the trajectory and timeline from initial panic to self-sufficiency.

 In both my ballroom and ballet classes, I always include the history of movement vocabularies and musical evolution in studio learning to give context and to encourage critical thinking about gender, race, and cultural shifts throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. I want my students to understand how contemporary dance practices are the result of these shifts, and I am always adding to my own knowledge as well. I am committed to providing a learning environment that is both exciting and rigorous, one that empowers both student and teacher to pursue learning.

Photo by Caitlin Kelly, FSU Metacognition Workshop