Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Teacher Tip - How do you teach technique and a love for dance?

Katy Spreadbury, JUMP Alternative Convention Ballet teacher, posing with Jeff Amsden

Because dance is both art and sport combined, teaching technique and a love for it are equally necessary. Students won't put forth the effort and discipline it takes to dance if they have no passion for it. The difficulty comes in balancing the two, and being careful to encourage dance students while holding them to high standards and demanding excellence. I am constantly struggling with this, especially teaching teenagers who love to push the boundaries and do less work, but at the same time crave discipline, a teacher who will stand her ground, and lots of encouragement. I remember being a teenage dance student, and how one little comment from a dance teacher could either lift me up and give me confidence, or break my heart and make me want to quit.

Dance Teacher Magazine often highlights excellent teachers who are kind and caring, but also strict and have high standards. Watch this interview with Katy Spreadbury, the ballet teacher for the 2010 JUMP Alternative Convention who is known as the convention sweetheart, to hear dance teaching philosophy that combines love and discipline.

Here is Katy's bio, from the JUMP Website
As a dancer, Katy grew up and trained in Worcester, Massachusetts. In her youth, her talent was recognized by competitions and magazines alike. She’s been named Miss Dance of America, America’s Choreographer of the Year, and Capezio’s Future Star, as well as having appeared as a featured artist in both Dance and Dance Spirit Magazine. As a professional, Katy’s dancing has taken her all over the country. She is continually sought after as a guest artist, has performed alongside legends such as Ben Vereen and Karen Ziemba, and has most recently danced as a featured performer for the Astaire Awards in New York City. An amazing performer who teaches with a kind heart and a strong will. Her undeniable technique and passion for dance is evident every time she teaches. As an instructor, Katy is recognized to be an incredible motivator, a positive spirit, and a fountain of knowledge. She has quickly become the sweetheart of the convention circuit, and continues to remain in high demand throughout the country as teacher who wants to make a difference.

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