As a part of my 2013 initiative to be more involved with dance I decided to embrace the idea of teaching and choreographing more (as mentioned in a previous post). In years past, I was nervous whenever the mere thought of teaching came to mind.
Don't get me wrong. To me, the act of teaching was never the terrifying part. It was the pressure of creating "interesting" and "unique" work that used to be troubling. I felt (and continue to feel) that people are always looking to learn the coolest moves from the coolest teachers who appeared on the coolest television shows. I felt rejected even before I made an attempt.
But today I made a very important realization: I'm not going to be good at choreographing someone else's style. My physicality, range of motion, and vocabulary is drastically different from those of the prominent LA contemporary teachers. My choreography doesn't look like Mandy Moore's, or Tessandra Chavez's, or Erica Sobol's.
And who says it has to?
My challenge as a choreographer and teacher is not to come up with something that is already accepted and "cool". It is to explore what I know on a deeper level and to push my own personal movement boundaries. Only then will I have something worthwhile to teach.
All of this insight on teaching could not have come at a better time. As of today, I am an official substitute teacher for Edge Performing Arts Center:
Edge is a well-known Los Angeles institution serving the southern California dance community since 1992. While it offers a great laundry list of styles and levels of classes, I mainly rely on it for my contemporary and jazz needs. I started taking classes there when I was 13 years old after receiving a scholarship from LA Dance Magic for a week of unlimited classes.
Even though I'm only subbing classes at Edge for the time being, it nonetheless provides me the valuable opportunity to share my work with other (hopefully) eager dancers.
I will be subbing my first class at Edge this Friday, 2/1/2013, at 1PM!