The impact of the Summer Institute – reflections by the SI 2018 cohort
The 2018-19 Summer Institute (SI) cohort includes 12 dance teaching artists and classroom teachers from all over California: the Bay Area, Santa Barbara, San Benito, and Port Hueneme. Collectively, they teach over 2,300 students in schools, preschools, studios, and community centers. During their Midyear Meeting in January, they reflected on their growth as dance educators, advocates, and leaders during their SI year. See what they have to say!
“My coach has helped me with sticking with incorporating dance into my classroom environment, even when I feel like I’m struggling.”
“My coaches helped me feel confident in developing appropriate material in the classroom, backed by research, which also gave me confidence. And in organizing a committee for a union, which we got, and I’m in a leadership role for that. I feel like Luna helped inspire me with the research-based knowledge that helps me fight for what I know is right in teaching.”
“Having the network and the connection, not just with the coaches, but this full team, has helped me feel more connected in feeling the breadth of work happening in dance education. This makes me feel more likely to stay in the field, knowing what other people are doing.”
“The SI has helped me give language to the impact that dance programs have on children, especially in the areas of content standards for dance, making a case for dance, and raising funds for programming. The SI community itself, and communicating with other dance educators has been extremely impactful because it gives me a sense of relief and immediate understanding.”
“This whole experience has been very validating to me. Seeing that it’s not just teaching dance, it’s this lifework & vocation, that’s been very empowering. It did make me want to be a leader in my life. One example: at the school where I work there is an organization that does equity work with the staff. Then they train some of the staff to continue the work, and I agreed to train to be a facilitator.”
“Having the language and the repertoire to explore different concepts has really opened my eyes to the possibilities of movement, even within folkloric forms. I’m now picking up – “oh, that’s that, or that’s that!”. I was always unsure of how to teach young children how to move their bodies because I wasn’t sure what’s appropriate, what’s too much. So I feel a lot more confident with understanding the developmental stages, the language of dancing, and increasing their general vocabulary.”