Teaching Through the Pandemic
For this Blog Post I felt it was really important to get a teacher’s perspective on what has she is feeling during this Quarantine. Meet my Teacher, Coach & Mentor…. Ms. Michelle!
Hi Ms. Michelle!
How are you feeling working through the Pandemic?
I am feeling like things are finally becoming routine. With two kiddos at home that need homeschooling as well as my husband and I both working from home in close quarters, we are definitely learning more about patience and acceptance in our household.
How has your teaching adjusted as we are learning through Zoom classes?
I feel that teaching dance on Zoom has become easier for me in my home. There are still the quirks of slow connection or even no connection, delayed music, audio and video challenges, however, I feel like I have been able to smooth out most of the wrinkles on my end and just have to roll with things as they come up for the students. My favorite is when I’m told “You are frozen Miss Michell!” and all I can think about is that I hope I’m frozen is a decent pose with a good expression on my face, because the alternative might be a scary sight!
Is it different than your approach was in the beginning of quarantine?
At the beginning of Quarantine I struggled with the details of audio and video and wifi connection both on my side and the students’. As time has gone on, I feel now that my job as a dance teacher has to be more focused on connection with the kids. I can definitely give them a decent warm up and “living room approved” choreography, but maintaining connection, engagement and keeping some form of spirit or excitement for dance is far more important to me now as time as passed and most of us are still stuck at home.
Do you have any advice to dancers who are still dancing and learning from home?
I think if I have any advice to give to dancers that are still dancing in their living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms it would be to be creative and find a way each day to renew your energy for dance and stay positive. Keep getting your dance clothes on, work on that perfect bun, wear an 80’s side pony and leg warmers to class, and stay involved. If you would like to have a dance studio available to you when this is all over, stay connected to your teachers, continue to take class and most of all be supportive of your classmates if even with a virtual wave, clap, high five or hug.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me and I can’t wait to get back in the Studio and create with you!!
Michelle Chandler-Smith began her dance journey at age 12. With over 25 years of experience, her interests and expertise are in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, ballet and modern. She spends her free time teaching and traveling the country continuing her dance education, choreographing, teaching master classes, intensives and judging.
Michelle also sits on the judging panel regionally and nationally for KAR, Rainbow Dance and other esteemed Dance Competitions and is excited to be a part of the Showbiz and Primetime family now as well.
Michelle created Inspire Academy of Dance with Alexandra Wright in 2016. Michelle and Alex share a passion for bringing a family-oriented, positive, nurturing dance environment to Issaquah and the surrounding community. Michelle is truly excited to be sharing her choreography, knowledge and insight with students willing to pursue the heart and soul of dance as an innovative and expanding art form.