ISS2018 faculty member Danika Martin talks about her experiences as a teacher at International Summer School.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL HAVE BEEN YOUR STRENGTHS AS A TEACHER AT ISS?
Always difficult to acknowledge strengths in one's self but I guess I would say my diversity. I am trained in and feel confident teaching a variety of different styles which is obviously a positive as a faculty member, however I also think it is valuable for the students to see that they do not necessarily have to fit into the mould of a particular style of dance and that it is possible to continue training in a variety of styles, using this to become a unique dancer/choreographer.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE YOUR CORE VALUES AS A TEACHER?
I approach dance as an art form whereby the body is used to communicate a concept/intent with an audience. In respect to this philosophy, I believe that performance, composition and appreciation of dance share equal weight and value and that to truly understand this art form, students must experience dance from each of these three viewpoints. From a less philosophical stand point, I am an advocate for safe dance practices both in the obvious sense of the term (the correct anatomical/physiological placement of the body) and from the viewpoint of a dancer's mental health and wellbeing. I am an advocate for positive psychology and as such, believe it is important that teachers practice mindfulness in the way they speak to students and the type of language they use when discussing a student's work or performance.
WHAT AGE GROUPS AND STYLES DO YOU FEEL MOST BENEFIT FROM YOUR WORK AT ISS?
I enjoy working with all ages. Being a high school teacher I feel that the older students would benefit from my perspectives of dance from an academic standpoint. Alternatively, I have a lot of experience teaching the foundations of dance technique and performance qualities to younger students which I find fulfilling in a completely different way.
Danika Martin will be teaching the junior.dance and senior.dance courses. Find out more about International School School here.
January 9-19 2018