Cindy Chan

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Luna introduced me to the educational potential of dance and allowed me to see the power and impact of dance education.

Cindy Chan has been a dancer for most of her adult life, but her work as a creative dance teacher grew out of her experience from participating in Luna’s Professional Learning (PL) workshops in 2006. Some people say things come to us when we are ready. Cindy reflects on how even though she had been living in Oakland for 7 years prior she had not known about the work of Luna.  It wasn’t until she was looking for a music class for her then 3 year old daughter that she saw promotional material for Luna’s Summer Institute (SI). Back then, she wondered if she was the right candidate for Luna because she was brand new to teaching dance. But this didn’t stop her – she contacted Luna and was connected to the PL department.

When asked what she learned from Luna’s PL workshops that she still uses today she shared:

The list is endless. It ranges from high-level knowledge like the inquiry-based and constructivist approach to teaching, to hands-on skills such as how to work with a parachute. Also, the lesson structure/flow that I learned from Luna still forms the basic skeleton for my lesson plan today. Most importantly, I learned to become a reflective teacher and learner. I really believe the training I got from Luna has made me a more reflective person, or brought out the reflective part of me, both in my professional life and personal life. Even when I was outside the US, Luna continued to be my most trusted source of advice when it comes to lesson planning.

For two years she continued her professional development with Luna, which inspired her to return to Hong Kong to pursue an MFA in dance education. She notes that: Without the teaching experience in California which was only made possible by the training, encouragement and consultation I got from Luna, there would not be a reason for me to get a MFA and gain a deeper and broader understanding of the arts of dance and dance teaching.

Now, a decade later, she has taught creative dance to children in Hong Kong, California and presently Oregon. In Hong Kong, Cindy worked with different arts organizations to bring dance to K-3 students in school settings, with a focus on integrating dance with curriculum subjects. In 2015 she presented her research on artist-teacher collaboration in integrating dance into the classroom at the National Dance Education Conference in Arizona (you can read her paper here). Currently, in Eugene, Oregon she serves as a dance specialist in a K-8 Montessori school and as a guest presenter at her local library leading “story-dancing in Chinese” for families. Cindy has bridged her dance experience, training & education, and creative based approach to dance education from one continent to another.

From my first interaction with Luna until today, whenever I think of Luna, I think of this unique quality: conscientiousness. It seems to be the common trait of every core member I interacted with at Luna. I will always look up to that.

In our 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. Starting in 2017 we will share their stories, one each week, about how they continue to positively impact the dance education field, the future, the world. To read the growing anthology, please click here.

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