This is the first year we are offering a teacher-training component at the NYTBC, led by co-directors Ranya Renee and Anasma, joined by some of our featured teachers, Donna Mejia and Ava Fleming, and we are excited to have YOU as part of our program! This program is designed for those who want to apply principles for teaching and coaching beyond dance technique, to create a welcoming space for performers and students to grow personally, go deeper in the emotional content of their artistic work, and enhance their creativity. In our workshops and discussions today, we’ll present approaches to tapping into this material.
TEACHER TRAINING TRACK 2016 SESSION DESCRIPTIONS
This is the first year we are offering a teacher-training component at the NYTBC, and we are excited to have YOU as part of our program! We felt it would be helpful for those attending the weekend who are already or are interested in becoming teachers, facilitators, coaches, or directors, to be able to explore this with us at the close of this year’s event. This was the first year we took applications for teachers interested in offering workshops at our event, and we want to help provide a bridge to more teachers developing this content in their own work. This program is designed for those who want to apply principles for teaching and coaching beyond dance technique, to create a welcoming space for performers and students to grow personally, go deeper in the emotional content of their artistic work, and enhance their creativity. In our workshops and discussions today, we’ll present approaches to tapping into this material. Some topics we’ll cover: building a “container” — creating safe, welcoming space in your classes and rehearsals, and an atmosphere that promotes healthy risk-taking and engagement; planning and balancing your classes in a way that is efficient but leaves also room for exploration; designing creative, varied exercises; and strategies for working with different types of personalities in a coaching environment and in class… plus answering your questions! Handouts with checklists, strategies, and exercises will be provided.
We recommend taking as many classes as you can during the weekend to help prepare you contextually for this program, and try to attend Madame Onça and Aaliyah Jenny’s class on community building (Sunday 4:30-6:00pm) too, which will inform our morning discussion.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Teacher Training Track – Coffee Talk & Work Time:
Creating Safe Space (Arrive early so we can
start on time) – Ranya, Anasma, Donna, Ava…
(For this opening sitting-and-talking discussion, feel free to bring breakfast/brunch or beverages in with you—the Pax café as you walk into the 520 8th Ave. building has more extensive breakfast options like egg dishes and pastries along with a wide menu of salads and sandwiches; the Ripley studios 16th floor café does smoothies and coffee/tea and has some soups, salads and sandwiches and various other options. We’ll be sitting around a table for this part so it will be easy to eat/drink and take notes.)
When teaching performance skills or working with creativity in a group, it’s important to make people feel comfortable, so they can dig a little deeper and take some risks, without fear of judgment from others. Some consideration on the part of the instructor or facilitator can go a long way towards achieving a “container” of experience that inspires participants, and promotes learning and artistic growth. We’ll discuss key points in putting people at ease and setting a positive tone with others in your work as a teacher, director, facilitator, or coach, as well as some problems that might come up and how to address them.
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Teacher Training Track
Coaching Methodology for
Class or Company
Working with a group starts with working with individuals: how to sense what they need to get to the next level of artistry, as well as understanding what they are ready for and what they are capable of achieving. With this in mind, we’ll work with coaching—how to be honest and direct but also gentle, putting the coachee at ease, so that the person will be receptive to what you are offering in your feedback and guidance. It is usually hard for people to receive critical feedback, even if they want it, so we’ll share some ways to make it easier to receive and more likely to stick. An important aspect of this is in learning how to observe well, and how to learn from your own students, making yourself as neutral as possible, to try to separate your preconceptions from the coaching process, to the extent that you can. The teachers leading this session will offer different demonstrations of coaching with some explanation of their coaching strategy as well as the content of the feedback (if you would like to receive demo coaching as part of this workshop, let us know in an email to email@example.com after you have registered; if we have a larger number of interested dancers, we may break into two separate rooms for this segment).
2:15 PM – 4:10 PM
Teacher Training Track
Intro to Designing Class
and Company Exercises
in Theatrical work – (builds on
the coaching work)
Teaching performance skills in a class, or using creativity exercises with a company in the process of artistic creation, requires setting goals and parameters to achieve a desired result. These are often different from technique-based exercises, and benefit from a blend of freedom and structure/limitations to get participants to push their boundaries, explore the limits of their comfort zones, and find something fresh and interesting, emotionally and artistically. The teachers will use some examples of exercises they used in workshops during the weekend, breaking down their components, analyzing what made them successful or useful, and what aspects could be improved upon. We’ll address the nuts and bolts of exercise creation as well as how class or company interpersonal dynamics play into the exercises in practice.
Teacher Training Track:
Problem Solving &
In this wrap-up discussion, we’ll review some of the main points of the day and answer participant questions, including how to resolve some issues that might come up in your classes or groups. In acknowledging the benefits of performance skills and emotional training exercises, we’ll also address the limits of what should be covered in these classes, and the limits to the role of the teacher or facilitator. For example, when performers work a little deeper, things can come up for them emotionally that might be beyond the scope of the director or teacher to deal with adequately in the context of a class or rehearsal. A performance skills teacher or coach should not assume the role of a therapist, but might be able to help participants by pointing them in the right direction. This is part of holding the “container” for participants: the safe environment within which to explore artistically, while still maintaining a distinction between “real-life” issues that people may be working with, and what can be used artistically in a performance context.
Since this is a lot of content for one day, our goal is to begin the training process with you, so you will end the day with plenty of tools to go forward in developing your teaching or coaching practice, with creative inspiration, conscientiousness, openness and humility: the willingness to learn from your own process in working with others and to be able to be surprised by what you find.