You just wrapped up CBJ’s 30th anniversary season with Anastasia and retired from your dancing career — what inspired you to take on the Summer I class?
I definitely do not want my relationship with Ballet Jörgen to end just because I am not performing full time. This is a great way to keep connected with the organization. I am also excited to pass along some of the beautiful knowledge and values that Ballet Jörgen has spent years teaching me.
Students who enroll in the CBJ Summer Dance Program have the privilege to learn from established dancers such as yourself. What do you hope students will learn and remember from your class?
I like to focus on teaching them what I see as my strengths because that’s when I see the biggest change. I teach them a lot about becoming characters, coming out of their shells and their inner dialogue when performing.
Can you explain how you structure a class for 9-11 year-olds as opposed to 18 and up
The classes are a bit more basic of course, but I think one of the main differences is that I am teaching the younger students a lot about who they are as well as teaching them to dance. I want them to enjoy the classes as well as learn.
What do you enjoy the most about teaching youth?
They are all so individual and I like watching moments of realization happen for different people as I explain things in different ways. If I feel like they left the class with something they can hold onto that will really change the way they are in the world and the studio that is very rewarding.
What advice would you give to young aspiring dancers?
I would encourage them to remember that dance is something they do. Who they are is so much more. Have the courage to carve out a place that you fit into beautifully. Do not try to force yourself to fit somewhere you do not.
For more information about the Summer I Intensive Dance Program, visit: Summer I
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