Christina Ayala lives and teaches in Oakland, CA. She first learned about Luna Dance Institute when she was a student in Patricia’s pedagogy class while getting her credential at Mills College (2011). At that time she had questions about advocacy and was curious about how to create arts programs in schools where they previously did not exist. However, she did not begin her teaching career as a performing arts teacher, but as a classroom teacher at a K-8 public charter school in Oakland. Committed to arts advocacy, in 2015 she joined Luna Dance Institute’s Summer Institute program. During her year-long participation in the program she shared, “Something I learned from Luna is that there is no ONE correct way to teach creative dance, and that it is flexible to meet the needs of learners (and educators). Depending on a student’s developmental level, experience, interest and ability, they may need to go in different directions, and the Luna approach encourages that kind of differentiation.”
Christina was instrumental in designing the arts program that she had been advocating for since 2011. She now teaches dance, music and writing at her school.
Luna changed not just my work, but my life, in a very meaningful way. After the SI, feeling stuck in a rut with my practice, I began to reinvent my own philosophy and approach to education, which led to me advocating for and creating a position for performing arts education at my school. Now, in addition to classroom teaching, I have the immense privilege of guiding students into their bodies and creative spirits through music and dance.
I feel like I’ve come full circle. When I was at a K-8 school growing up that was where I first learned to dance. Then I was a classroom teacher for several years, and now not only do I get to teach dance, but I get to be the very first dance teacher at my school.
To learn more about Christina and the work she does visit her blog: http://ascendarts.blogspot.com/
In 25 years, Luna has worked with hundreds of teachers who we’re now proud to say are teaching all around the globe.
From Emily Blossom to Jakey Toor, our past Professional Learning colleagues are collectively and cumulatively teaching tens of thousands of children. We’re sharing their stories, about how they continue to positively impact the dance education field, the future, the world.