Post by Marisa

Hi! My name is Marisa, and I am a teacher at Southern Edge Performing Arts. I have been in all parts of the dance world….I started as a student, danced professionally, became a teacher, and I even work as an operations manager for dance studios. Out of every job I have had in the dance world, teaching has always been near and dear to my heart. You see a different side of dance when you are a teacher, and I love every minute of it.

As a dancer, its common to feel frustration on occasion. Dancers do not usually realize when they are getting better; progress is slow, in baby steps, and not always seen by the dancers themselves. Dancers get corrections for their whole careers. The job of improving is never done.  But as a teacher, I can see the improvements! I get to be the one to remind the students that they are getting better, and that it will get easier. I love seeing a class at the beginning of the year, and watching them progress through the year. Children can learn so much in such a short period of time, and I am so lucky to be the one to teach them!

My other favorite part about teaching is the relationship I get to have with all of my students. A dance teacher is different than any other teacher a child has. Dance teachers see students on their good days and on their bad days. As a dance teacher, is it easy to see when a student is frustrated or distracted by something outside the studio. I often remind my students that when we walk into the studio, the rest of the world goes away. For an hour, I get to watch them slowly forget what stresses them and what holds them down. I so often see a student walk into the dance studio upset about something that happened earlier in the day… and then see them walk out of the dance studio a couple of hours later, with a giant smile lighting up their face. I love that just an hour or two can change a whole day!

Of course, I also love getting to teach what I love to others. My favorite quote is “in learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” Not only am I a teacher in the classroom, but I am also a student. Just like I get to teach my students, cheer up my students, and watch my students progress, they get to teach me and make me smile everyday!