Teaching principles and philosophy
My teaching approach is based on an academic, creative and artistic vision. I firmly believe in the power of being specific, the necessity of taking actions (active learning) and the integration of knowledge or other practices for multi and efficient dance education. As a result of my last Action Research project, I adopt an ongoing research-led approach to elaborate specific proposals for teaching dance technique within a formal dance training. The objective is to improve the alignment between the academic offer and the skills required by the professional dance working world, increasing the chances to build a solid and successful career as a dance practitioner. Also, this research-led approach encourages my collaboration opportunities with staff and students.
Generally, my idea of Technique is to offer a set of tools to discover, investigate and understand the body-mind-spirit potential, developing the related skills. Based on a holistic way of thinking, my technical practice is an ongoing interaction between “formal and non-formal” movements (body forms as initiation or result, respectively), as well as floor work and standing work. Whatever technique I teach, I focus on the idea of “training through shaping” the body using movement principles, forms and energy. In my opinion, it is essential that the students understand what technical factors move their body rather than just reproducing movements. Personal awareness, control and ability to risk (in safety), is what I would like the students to focus on. Also, profound listening, aerobic activities, stamina, eye connection and interaction are key factors during my technique class. With particular attention to the biomechanics fundamentals and dynamic alignment, my teaching practice is characterised by a physical, dynamic and proprioceptive approach to the body, aimed to understand and respect the own body structures and personal learning needs for continuous psycho-physical well-being.
Besides, I found very efficacious to apply the concept of playfulness, interpreted as a serious dimension which promotes exploration and learning without judgement and/or preconceptions. I discovered that when this element is combined with quite physical dance work, for
example, it contributes to developing presence, state of alert and readiness, as well as for the release of serotonin during the session. Scientifically, this can raise the level of consciousness, reduce the perception of fatigue and stress, affect positively the general learning attitude of the students and increase the productivity and effectiveness of artistic and learning outcomes. Also, I find it necessary to work both with set and non-set materials as well as working with different tempos, rhythms and the semantic aspect of the music. I strongly recognise the values of live music and I highlight the presence of the accompanying musician, through establishing an effective collaboration and involving them.
Generally, I adopt a reflective teaching-learning model, placing the learners' experiences at the centre of the process and promoting professional values such as Lifelong Learning, equality, diversity and inclusion.
I noticed that my empathy supports me effectively in:
Stimulating the student’s curiosity and creativity;
Keeping their motivation alive;
Giving personal iterative feedback;
Making the right atmosphere to appreciate the
I promote the subsequent activities, between students and both teacher and musician, to adopt different creative teaching and learning styles:
Dialogue, support through collaboration, inclusion;
Constant motivation, various degrees of stimulation
Analysis, reflection, evaluation and feedback
(general and individual).
Methodologically, I design and deliver sessions considering the following criteria, elements and concepts:
Student’s needs and previous knowledge;
Intended learning outcomes;
Specificity and flexibility;
Scientific body knowledge, progression and safety.
This way of thinking and practising dance technique would improve, strengthen and refine the students’ skills, enhancing the range of ways of expressing the own artistry and creativity, as well as responding successfully to someone else’s artistic requests.