Career Story: Theater And Movement Specialist

Theater And Movement Specialist

Job Title: Theater And Movement Specialist

Type of Company: To teach arts to high risk youth who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity.

Education: UMass Amherst - B.A. Community Based Theater •• Stanislavsky Summer School - Certificate •• VeneziaINscena - Certificate •• New England Center for Circus Arts, Professional Track Circus Program: Rope & Harness; Partner Acrobatics - Certificate

Previous Experience: I started teaching physical skills when I was 14. Specifically in my field, I taught Circus, Partner Acrobatics, and Theater for 3 years for the Cambridge Performance Project. I have also taught various workshops and camps youth at VACA in Springfield, and locally at the Driscoll School Arts Equinox, Cambridge Montessori School, Riverside Theater Works, and Adult workshops at CasaNia, Green Street Studios, and The Dance Complex. I also teach kids yoga for My First Yoga, and have taught at other various locations, both children and adults.

Job Tasks: My day starts by coming in two hours before the students to plan, do any pending paperwork, and have meetings with other teachers and administrators. All the teachers at my job plan and teach two types of classes.

The first is Choice classes that are single or two day classes that introduce students to different types of art, giving them an idea of the variety of art without asking them to commit to a semester long project.

The second is Focus classes, these are classes students choose to take for the semester or summer. In these classes, they work towards a presentation or performance - my class for the summer is going to be a street performance class, so part of it will be going to see local street performances, and will conclude with the students creating and performing their own street performance for the public.

During vacations and summer, in addition to taking the students to the beach and rollerskating, we also plan arts field trips to museums, performances, and anything we can find that will supplement their arts exposure. I also occasionally will bring my performance to show the students - last week I showed them a stilting performance which they loved!

During the school year, we also have time for homework, which we break up into groups by age, and what we call 'Tribe Time', which is time for each age group to bond and come together in their smaller community and talk about issues, plan activities they want to do, or just play games together - this is how we generally end the day.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part is when the students are working together across age groups and really helping each other as a community. This is when they can actually get to the art and create amazing things that adults would never imagine.

The worst part is when they loose control and we have to remove them from an activity.

Job Tips: Have an idea of what you want and are interested in, but also what your talents and skills are and what the demand is. I am very good at teaching, and the demand is higher to teach kids than adults, so that has shaped my career a little. But I still find ways to teach adults, even though its harder.

So I guess I'm saying, be practical, but don't give up on what you really want.

Additional Thoughts: Persistence, patience, and being able to see what you need to do to get to your goal.

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