“…I add my voice to the collective call for renewal and rejuvenation in our teaching practices. Urging all of us to open our minds and hearts so that we can know beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable… so that we can create new visions. I celebrate teaching that enables transgressions- a movement against and beyond borders. It is that movement which makes education the practice of freedom.”
bell hooks Teaching to Transgress
At present my teaching is focused on multiple areas of dance studies: dance techniques (Modern/Contemporary and West African); dance making and creative processes; somatic practices; as well as the history and ethnography of Africanist dance cultures. All of these diverse practices flow from a matrix of core beliefs that encompass epistemology, aesthetics, and social ethics. I believe that in the educational process teachers are not just training dancers or increasing student’s intellectual capacity. We are nurturing ours students and communities. Just as many scholars suggest that art is both reflective and generative of culture, the same could be said for educational experiences. It is not just the course materials, but also the structure of the class, the way we arrange ourselves in the studio, and the way we address each other that all convey and create power relationships and value certain ways of being over others. I value personal integrity, embracing difference, a passion for growth, change and creativity, and a deep concern for others. With those concepts as a foundation, my approach to teaching has four key elements: an emphasis on empathy; viewing teaching and learning as a continuum; encouraging and valuing diverse ways of knowing; and prioritizing creative and experimental modes.