I am always working to improve both my teaching and my dancing, so that I may both be of better service and have more fun doing it.
Above all, dance should be fun and comfortable. My joy of dance stems from a combination of self-expression and human connection, found in the open communication between lead and follow. I strive to be patient and supportive with my students, especially beginners, hoping to help many more people find the happiness and community I have found in dance.
- My number one interest in dancing has always been the lead/follow connection, so in class, I always talk about how and why the figures work as well as what the steps are.
- I invite questions regularly, especially in smaller groups where we can get to know each other. I’m there to be of service, to the best of my ability.
- I do my best to be as inclusive and gender-neutral in terminology as possible. Leads and Follows do not equal Men and Women. Choose whichever role you would like to work on for that class.
- I take into consideration your goals and priorities, or the leanings of a particular class. Some people are into technique and precision, some want to experiment and find their voice, and some just want to relax and get comfortable moving. It’s all good.
- I very highly encourage changing partners in class, but I won’t force you. In my experience (and the experience of every other dance teacher I’ve spoken to), rotation is the most effective way to learn in a group. I know it can be embarrassing to dance with people you don’t know, but you’re all in the same boat together. If you’re having trouble with one part, your next partner may have that part down, so when you rotate back to your first partner, you both know better what you’re doing.
I started dancing ballet very young, which I have since found to be a very helpful and sturdy foundation. Eventually I dabbled in a ballroom class or two, and started partner dancing socially in 2004. Finding the Portland Waltz community was what really inspired me to pursue dance more seriously, and I’ve voraciously deepened and expanded my interests to include a number of other dances. I appreciate creativity, flexibility, sensitivity, collaboration, and experimentation, including fusion and role-reversal.