Meg Glaser Terán has always loved her teachers. Both in childhood and in adulthood, learning and connecting with a mentor have thrilled her. So it is no surprise that she pursued a career in education. Beginning by teaching and advising young women about health, wellness, community and feminist issues, she eventually became a bilingual 2nd grade teacher and joyfully committed herself to the classroom for eight years.
Having grown up dancing at the Wooden Floor in Santa Ana, and as a college student through UCLA’s World Arts & Culture program, it felt natural to share movement and creativity with her students. But she had a sense that there was more to teaching dance than the activities she was offering, so she sought a way to coalesce all that she knew about education with all that she knew about dance to become the best dance educator she could be. She joined Luna’s Summer Institute in 2008, and through coaching crafted her art of teaching dance in her classroom.
The next few years were full of excitement and challenges for Meg: the birth of her twins, an extended maternity leave, family loss. She made the difficult decision to step away from something she loved – teaching in the classroom – and focus on her family. With all the changes in her life, something else shifted, and gave her the freedom to step into dance teaching outside of school.
Since then Meg has taught dance throughout Southern California, with Fullerton School District’s All the Arts for All the Kids, VSA California, and the Equitable Science Curriculum through the Arts in Public Education program through Orange County Department of Education. She co-teaches Dance for Parkinsons classes weekly, and is a curriculum consultant and teacher in the Segerstrom Center’s School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities. In 2010 Meg was named Elementary Dance Educator of the Year by Orange County Music and Arts Administrators.
Meg is most known for her work in developing family dance programs in Southern California. In partnership with Luna’s Building Cultures of Dance Initiative, she collaborated with the Migrant Education Program of Anaheim City School District, Active Learning, and The Wooden Floor (TWF) – where she first began dancing as a child – to pilot, and at TWF, build, family dance programs.
Right now the questions that drive her teaching and shape her inquiry are: 1) Do the children really feel like they’re dancing, and what does that look like, feel like? And 2) What is access to empathy, connection, confidence, joy, expression, and freedom, and can I as a dance teaching artist help children access this?
Meg’s own love of learning continues. Besides returning regularly to Luna for professional development, this past summer she rekindled her own artistry in a two-week apprenticeship with Bread & Puppet Theater in Vermont. “It’s really good to get away,” she says, “to return refreshed and feel inspired.”