teaching philosophies.

My overarching teaching philosophy is rooted in contemplative practices and informed by empathetic and compassionate pedagogy, developmental theories, trauma-informed approaches, and experiential learning. I believe in meeting a student or participant where they are at on both a cognitive and experiential level in order to facilitate the best possible learning environment for each individual. This rings true whether I'm teaching a live class or online or in higher education or a fitness facility, a large class or one-on-one, and no matter the topic be it dance, education, yoga, somatics, project development, etc. Below are more details on what you can expect as a student or participant in a class or workshop with me. 

general education.

It is my hope that students in my classroom always feel like they are given the opportunity to make the choices that are best for them and developed into their best version of themselves. I strive to ensure students leave my courses understanding their artistic voices, with confidence in their work, a greater understanding of self, a deeper connection to core beliefs, and valuing their individuality. Three practices I include in every class are: 1.) A three-part conversation about expectation which includes: my expectations of students, students’ expectations of me, and students’ expectations of each other/themselves, 2.) Introduction and use of a common vocabulary called “Share Ones” for processing and giving feedback about daily experiences in the classroom and/or online learning tools by stating “Ah Ha”, “Oh No”, “Wow”, “Duh”, or “Hmmmm” moments regularly. Permission is also granted to get creative by combining the five categories. 3.) Emphasis on the application and transferability of the skills, knowledge, and abilities in the classroom to their future careers and/or other areas of life. The aforementioned practices create a supportive, inclusive, and empowering space for students to take risks, be vulnerable, and fail forward. 

dance.

My overarching dance teaching philosophy takes different shapes in a creative practices/choreography, technique/repertoire, and theoretical/lecture class. In a creative practice/choreography class, I structure it into two parts: the first half is focused on removing creativity blocks and the second half is focused on the students’ artistic voice. Students work collaboratively and independently for an internal and external

approach to choreographic self-study. Students are able to analyze their choice-making in a choreographic space and understand their core values. Through critical reflection and divergent thinking in an engaging environment, students will enter a level of transformational learning that will lead to self-actualization personally and professionally. In a technique/repertoire class, I cultivate a space for students to discover and

understand the biomechanics of their authentic movement. I facilitate this by giving students opportunity to play with the movement material and engaging in mindful discussions about their experiences. I incorporate journaling in the classroom for them to document their experiences. I structure the semester to build our movement from the ground up using somatic practices and low-flying technique to better understand our bodies and build new neuro-pathways for more complex movement. In a final presentation, students will share their journey over the semester to illustrate how their movement and understanding of it developed throughout the course. In a theoretical/lecture class, I integrate creative practices and movement so the students can embody the class concepts. I aim to present a wide variety of ideas, thoughts, and theories that challenge students’ preconceived notions on the given topic. My reasoning for this is to maximize exposure and curiosity so students can ultimately find the elements that resonate best with their perspectives, experiences, and culture. This creates a more engaging environment when a student can select what feels most important to their future.

fitness, yoga, & personal training.

When facilitating a fitness, mind-body, or individual training session, my core values of individuality and creativity reveal themselves in every session. I draw upon multiple disciplines to deliver a unique class that addresses the needs of those I am working with. I think outside of the box to keep classes innovative, engaging, and enjoyable — especially for repeat participants. I believe in the journey not the destination wholeheartedly. Focusing on the journey allows me to meet all participants where they are at and facilitate a positive experience. This also allows us to be fully present each sessionAs a dancer, I have always believed in the power of movement to aid in any healing process. I have

seen the benefits of mind body practices in both active and passive formats by observations of others and personal experience. I encourage all participants to honor where they are at in this moment and celebrate all they are capable of. Each moment in our body is different and it is important to connect with the present to reach our personal goals.

© 2019 by molly w. schenck