Teaching Philosophy

          The study of dance is both a physical and an intellectual discipline. Therefore, as a dance educator, I am not only responsible for helping my students to strengthen their bodies, but I am also devoted to help them strengthen their minds. On the physical level, I concentrate on training the dancers to instill a strong technical foundation, educate them to acquire their dance vocabulary, and to instruct them on becoming well-rounded dance artists of today's standards. And on the intellectual level, I guide my students to concentrate on themselves, motivate them to develop their own work ethic, and inspire their minds through the consistent practice of dance. In sum, dance is a mind-body connection, and my aim for teaching dance is to present both aspects. The willingness to dance is just as important as one's given body type for dance, and that dance is an universal percept, without discrimination. 

 

          The benefits of this mind-body relationship cannot be discounted. From a social stand point, dance is a powerful form of communal event because it brings people together. And I remember that I found some of my closest friends through dancing. And from a wellness perspective, staying active and strong is the key for preventing chronic illnesses and depression. Politically, people dance to empower change. For example, The Axis Dance Company of San Francisco breaks the limit of a dancing body by collaborating with both abled and disabled bodies. And dance is culturally significant because dance artists offers beauty, grace and hope to our world. I plan out my daily classes from these strong values, and I keep in mind that dance serves a greater purpose, beyond just class. Dance has the power to change lives and holistically improve a person's well-being, and these are just a few of the impacts that my teaching can bring. 

 

          I look forward to grow with every chance of teaching I get. It is my priority to make my dance classes mentally, physically and creatively stimulating to my students. So first, I will always be prepared for my classes. When it comes to piecemealing a class, I make sure to pick out material that is suitable for all my students of a class. I plan to make all the work that goes into a class enjoyable by introducing visual analogies that references a movement, and never become complacent with previous successes. I also plan to retain proficiency of dance and somatic vocabulary, so that my students can communicate about dance eloquently through my example. It is my goal to conduct a class where all my students will shine, feel their best, and grow with me each day! Everyone will be learning from my class, including myself.   

 

          I believe an ideal learning environment for dance is a disciplined classroom, meaning that the students are enthusiastic about their own learnings. With my helpful guidance, I attempt to foster an atmosphere in which the students themselves becomes their own inner teacher, coach, motivator and disciplinarian. And by being an engaging, not rote, dance professor, there will be plenty of opportunities in my class for my students to become both an artistic and scholarly practitioner. I want to help my students find the them in them, their essence, both as a dancer and a person, so that they can capitalize on who they are.  I hope my students will mature into not only technically astounding dancers, but also transform into lifelong passionate learners by the end of their journey under my wings. I believe that every student is special (after all, they showed up in my class) and that each of them will unravel and progress in their own wonderful ways. I am here to support their life goals and witness their creative development.  

 

 

-Mimi Liu

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