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Teaching Philosophy

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As an educator and advocate, I am charged with the responsibility of making the arts relevant and accessible. I strive to bring more awareness to my own biases so I can create a more inclusive environment. Inclusivity encourages students to become more engaged citizens in the classroom and beyond while gaining the ability to self-direct their learning. This student-centered approach underpins every class I teach. As a teacher, I believe in being aware and sensitive to the idea of teacher-student hierarchy and hope to challenge students to be active participants in their construction of knowledge by partnering with them in the learning process. I strive to create an inclusive, respectful educational environment that reflects my educational creative practice within diverse communities. Through student-centered and feminist pedagogy, my classroom is a safe domain for the assimilation of knowledge. As an educator, I am responsible for the content I share and the methodology of how I teach. I believe constant reflection and expansion of knowledge are necessary for growth as a teacher, whereby, we must continue to be lifelong learners to impact change. Our world (locally and beyond) is diverse, and so our teaching should mirror, nourish, and complement that diversity.

Taking the wisdom and growth I have experienced from the powerful, intelligent women in my life, it is my endeavor to empower young women and prepare them to find and use their voices to spark change. I was successful as a professional dancer and educator because of my strong independence and work ethic as a single woman. This has led me to desire to help young women striving to find their place in the world. I value the innate power that each of us naturally possesses and hope to help young women to tap into their fierce potential. In addition, I believe exposing the students to various of role models in dance differing in gender, race, ethnicity, and age can aid in belonging and help with goal setting for their future. If dance is a universal language, it can help translate the personal stories of numerous populations and bring about change.

“We will all profit from a more diverse, inclusive society, understanding, accommodating, even celebrating our differences, while pulling together for the common good.”

–Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Positionality Statement

Who I am and how my identity impacts my worldview.

As a Texas woman of German, English, and Cherokee heritage, I draw on the rich female legacy of my mother and grandmother and various female mentors, such as Donna Faye Burchfield, Kathy Dunn Hamrick, Glenda Norcross, Jean Bentz, and Grainne O'Reilly, who has guided my development of performing, teaching, and connecting with the community.

 

I hold a B.A. in Dance from Hollins University, and I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado.  My extensive career in the dance field and secondary education has afforded me to reach a varied student body. I am a public school teacher with 13 years of experience in a diverse classroom (approx. 2% American Indian, 3% Asian, 11% African American, 22% Hispanic American, and 62% Caucasian American). My light skin, U.S. citizenship, and the fact that I speak English allowed me to study dance throughout the United States and abroad, allowing me to access advanced education. I leverage such experiences to engage and impact young women today in educational institutions. Through a female-centered dance history curriculum, I aim to empower young women to learn from their history -- fighting oppression and breaking societal constraints to create art. 

"Research shows that role models have three core benefits for women: role models represent and expand what is possible, they inspire women to be more ambitious and aim higher, and they demonstrate the mindsets and behaviours on how to grow. "

Siobhan Morrin, Editor at LinkedIn News

Nathalia Krassovska

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My Mom, Senita Joy Harris

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Glenda Norcross

Donna Faye Burchfield

Kathy Dunn Hamrick

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Mother and Grandmother

The Influential Women in My Life

Nathalie Krassovska
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Grainne O'Reilly

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Jean Bentz

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