MORE THAN A BACKUP PLAN
Why Study Dance Pedagogy?
Learning how to be an effective teacher is just one of the rewards.
• GIVE BACK. Many programs involve teaching at public schools, allowing dancers to have an
impact on students who might not be able to access private training.
• BE A BETTER COMMUNICATOR. “Part of being a teacher is teaching choreography,” says
Michelle Goodman, dance pedagogy teacher at Wright State University. “Students learn how to
work with dancers of different levels and how to convey a message clearly.”
• CLARIFY YOUR DANCING. “When you teach, you have to figure out exactly how your body is
moving,” says Halie Ayers, a recent Wright State University graduate. “Taking pedagogy made me
more aware of everything that my body was supposed to be doing.”
“Most dancers come into pedagogy class thinking
that teaching is an afterthought, something to
do after a professional career,” says Wright State
University professor Michelle Goodman. “I want
it to be their first thought.” For Barbara Bashaw,
graduate director of dance education at Rutgers
University, teaching is an artistic practice: “We
don’t see it as a backup plan, we look at it as an
area of creativity that can inform who you are as
an artist. Investigating your art form is something
you do for a lifetime.”
College dance students tend to be hyper-focused on their own training; learning how to teach may
be the last thing on their minds. But whether you intend to become a dance teacher or not, studying
pedagogy can be valuable for dancers in undergraduate programs and beyond.
Train to Teach
Fit dance pedagogy into your higher ed
experience. BY LAUREN WINGENROTH
Rutgers University student
Brittany Cohen teaching at
an elementary school