ERICA ROSE JEFFREY
Dance teaching artist, San Francisco Bay Area
After leaving Montana to study at the Pittsburgh Ballet School, Erica danced with Ballet Internationale then attended Indiana University as a Wells Scholar and graduated with degrees in Ballet and Mediation & Conflict Resolution. An avid explorer interested in connections between dance and culture, Erica studied dance and performed in India and Niger, West Africa and also participated in community development and conflict resolution efforts. She traveled to China as part of the cultural exchanges surrounding the Olympics. In 2012 Erica will continue to expand her conflict resolution dance education program, Moving Toward Peace, as she travels to Australia on a prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship.
- Teaching Point of View: I believe in the power of dance as a primary form of communication and creativity. I believe that ther is dance inside all of us. One of my goals is to bring positive dance experiences to as many people as possible through classes, performances and audience education. As a teacher, I am invested in my students’ own discoveries and the understanding of what their personal best can be.
- What makes her work unique: I feel my approach is unique partly because of the variety of populations that I work with as well as my ongoing curiosity to follow the full range of my interests. This is coupled with a desire to enjoy dance in its own right as well as to see how it functions as a medium for social change. My background in Mediation and Conflict Resolution provides a place of ongoing inquiry as I seek to explore the interrelation between dance and conflict resolution.
- Luna’s Professional Learning and Summer Institute: My work with Luna’s Summer Institute (SI) has helped to nourish and shape me as an educator. It has provided a valuable network of resources and collegiality that is often elusive as a dance educator. My experience with the Advanced SI is also now helping to support my development and leadership skills through the ongoing mentorship of Luna staff.
“When I dance, I can feel my body sing.” Mia, 5 years old
Update: Erica left the Bay Area at the end of 2011 to fulfill her promise to build a dance curriculum focused on conflict resolution. With a prestigious Rotary Fellowship she will be pursuing this goal in Australia starting this month. Read about her progress on her new blog
Update: Erica is doing great work in Australia and the Philippines. Check out this “ted talk” she did at a regional conference http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRvnrhWFdK4&list=PLsRNoUx8w3rM41J3tXSrtGDpTYBEbnPfR&index=16