Teaching Philosophy

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My goal as a teacher is to create learning opportunities that set the metaphysical and physical effects of dance in motion – to allow dance to shape who my students are, how they relate to others, and how they perceive the world.

                                      - Alyssa E. Motter


My approach to teaching dance fundamentally relies on making connections inside the body and outward to the surrounding world. Through the guided study of structured movement and improvisation, my students develop greater cultural, psychological, and physical self-awareness. This internal exploration is manifested externally through choreography. The process of making dances encourages my students to cultivate a deeper understanding of the human condition, to improve their ability to meaningfully communicate with and impact others, and, ultimately, to find a more profound significance in their own lives. 

As a teacher, I put building positive relationships with my students first. By offering a safe, fun atmosphere and accessible instruction, I develop authentic rapport with my classes to foster the confidence and trust that I believe is essential for honest, creative exploration and successful student learning. I also strive for positive relationships to flourish between my students by providing ample opportunities for artistic collaboration and project-based learning activities. This creates a classroom culture where assessment and critiques can be part of the learning process instead of a final outcome. By getting to know my students, I am able to effectively personalize my instructional style and differentiate within my lesson plans to meet the individual needs of each of my students, and, in turn, unlock their academic and artistic potential. 

Over the course of my teaching career, I have developed educational objectives that are multifaceted and include skill acquisition, aesthetic sensitivity, artistic analysis, and cognitive reasoning. Whenever suitable, these objectives are presented through the lens of multi-disciplinarity and explore the intersections between dance and other areas of study.