Teaching

Independent Workshops

I offer a variety of workshops at a range of level at camps, festivals, and colleges, and am a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA). More info available upon request.

American Vernacular Dance Jam

American cultural practices have complex, intertwined shared roots. This workshop will focus on similarities and differences in American social dances, and will play with Appalachian flatfooting, some contemporary urban dances, and vernacular jazz dances like the Shorty George, Suzie Q, and Charleston. Sitting into these vintage dances of African American origins, we'll attempt to explore their social, conversational context, through improvisation, reflection, and discussion of historical sources and sociopolitical issues.

Flatfooting & Clogging
A close cousin of American tap dance, Appalachian percussive dance is a blend of Irish, West African, and Native American Indian dances. While tap is often associated with swing and jazz, clogging and flatfooting have close ties to Appalachian old time music. Exploring the highly improvisational nature of these traditions, we will draw from both clogging and flatfooting vocabulary and examine the places where these forms intersect and overlap. We will explore phrasing, musicality and economy of motion to acquire a solid foundation of rhythmic building blocks. A great class for students of any level; from beginners who want fast-paced steps and improv drills, to advanced dancers who want to hone their technique, facility and repertoire. No previous experience necessary. Leather-soled shoes are recommended but not required.

 

Jazz Era Party Dances

This class will focus on playing with jazz era "moves" like the Shorty George, Suzie Q, and the Charleston- vintage vernacular movement of African American origins done in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.  We'll attempt to return these social dances to their social (as in party) context, looking at some historical and sociopolitical context along the way!

"Signing In” – Finding Your Movement Signature

Ever wondered why you click better with some dance partners than others? Ever wondered why you feel refreshed and energized after some dances and tired and sore after others? Ever wondered if there was anything you could do to reduce the risk of injuries on a crowded social dance floor? In this workshop we'll play with some elements of Laban Movement Analysis to recognize and celebrate our individual movement signatures (i.e. unique combination of habits), and discuss how we might adapt our movement patterns to other dancers on the floor. We'll also warm-up with some gentle dynamic alignment, in preparation for a full day of dancing.

 

Partner Dance Boot Camp
Satisfying partner dancing is all about physics: center of gravity, weight, centrifugal force, velocity, time/space etc. Learning how to use these elements effectively and adapt your movement to each partner is a process of discovering yourself and "listening" with your body. A kinder, gentler boot camp where we bring serious rigor to the simple and elegant fundamentals of having a one-on-one dance conversation - but without the pain and push-ups!

Davis & Elkins College

From 2013 - 2017, I coordinated an American Vernacular Dance Major at Davis & Elkins, a small liberal arts college in central West Virginia. I also directed the dance component of the D&E Appalachian Ensemble from 2016-2017, and coordinated American Vernacular Dance Week at the Augusta Heritage Center from 2012-2016 (the last year was canceled due to low enrollment). More on these projects soon.