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Wild Beast Dance | Tammy Carrasco

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

 

What I value most in dance education is the potential for dance to intersect with multiple facets of students’ lives. I believe that by teaching dance in a way that fosters a diligent collective of artists open to new ideas and difference in each other, students gain skills on how to work, tools on how to practice dance, and inclusive thinking that bridges dance to other areas of life. I craft environments in all of my courses for students to experience their learning together, to speak up when they want to share a thought, and to engage in meaningful ways about how dance as a practice is simultaneously physical, intellectual, process-centered, progress-oriented, and collaborative.

 

My modern courses are a merger of traditional dance techniques with contemporary, somatic approaches, exposing students to a collage of intersecting movement ideologies. I also recognize that, on a physical level, developing students require basic movement mechanics, including weight shift, transitions in and out of the floor, and the strength to jump. I teach foundational movement exercises inspired by Bartenieff Fundamentals, Cunningham, and Limón to target essential movement pathways of western concert dance. From beginning to advanced levels, I offer phrase work that challenges students’ athleticism and ability to synthesize form with release, momentum, and unruly weight shifts.  To facilitate students’ ability to genuinely access their weight, I integrate principles of Contact Improvisation and partnering.

 

My classes engage students in dialogues about the implications of dance on artistic, social, and political levels. I aim for students to be able to both physicalize movement and gain language skills around a traditionally non-verbal mode of expression. I create spaces for students to have their voices heard and bodies seen, framing dialogue and visibility as empowerment, and the pursuit of art and art education as action.