Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On the subject of teaching (TCKs mostly)

I've been teaching dance full time since the last time I posted. I've been subbing for an injured dance teacher at SAS so I've been busy juggling teaching during the day at SAS and my various teaching gigs around town. I have never taught this many dance classes in a given week in my entire life. My physical body is drained by the end of the day and all I want to do is pass out at the end of the day. Everyday I wake up while its still dark outside and get things ready for the big day ahead of me. As soon as the bell rings, I pack up my things and go to my second job. As tiring as it is, the kids I teach are wonderful. I've been having a tough time as of late and those closest to me know what I'm going through - some day maybe when the time is right, I will post a little insight post on that. Back to the TCKs I teach, they really know how to put a smile on my face with their funny antics. Especially when I'm having one of those days where nothing feels right and I'm feeling down, these kids somehow remind me how fun life can be.

My Tap students performing "The Lion King" Photo Credit: Tracy Webb
An unconventional start of my teaching career. Teaching as a profession has never been a goal of mine, it chose me instead of the other way around, needless to say - I do enjoy teaching and love to share my passion for dance to others. I started my teaching career at SAS when I was a mere high school student. I was a summer program assistant teacher, a teacher apprentice (twice) at SAS. Right after high school graduation, I taught at my dance studio before I left to go to college in SoCal. I would give private lessons to my non-dancer friends in college as well as volunteered as my community service component for a Developmental Psychology class to be an assistant figure skating coach to the group childrens classes. Right before my college graduation at UCLA, I got hired part-time to teach at a charter high school once a week to set up their dance program. That summer, I continued to coach those students and then I left for New York at the end of the summer. I started dancing with a collective a few months after arriving that led to an employment with Young Dancers in Repertory. A Brooklyn based organization that brings dance teaching artists to public schools and summer programming. I taught for this organization for 6 years at a myriad of different public schools in Brooklyn, after school programming, multicultural events, community programming, summer in the parks programming, and their center for dance studies. The commutes were long on the subway (I read A LOT of books & magazines!) but when I saw the students perform or show me what they learned in my classes and sometimes apply to other classes or teach their teachers what they learned - it gives me great joy. Because teaching dance to a wide variety of students becomes so much more than the technique, you also teach life lessons. I've also taught students that are much older than me and taught workshops for senior citizens at a community center. You know its funny because my performing artist career has given me multiple opportunities to teach at a variety of different places. Now I'm back in Singapore and I'm teaching for an awesome arts school, started adult open-level dance classes, and my old "home" at SAS.

I guess the old adage of "when it rains, it pours" applies to life here. Creatively, I am working on a project titled Habitat and I'll be taking it to Edinburgh Fringe festival this summer and meeting my dancer from NYC in Europe! (Talk about long distance rehearsals!)

Life appears to be all fine and dandy on the outside but I know I'm still feeling rather down despite all the changes and developments. A lot of it has to do with TCK issues I'm grappling with and the ugly side of being a TCK. *sigh*

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