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photo by Erika Record

© 2023 by Martheya Nygaard. Proudly created with Wix.com

teaching philosophy

I believe in creating a safe space where students feel comfortable and receptive to understanding the art of dance. John Dewey the founder of functional psychology believed in a democratic teaching style and was a leader in valuing pragmatism. He believed in order for one to learn one must experience. He stated, "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." Pragmatism is a way of thinking, knowing, and understanding. Pragmatism is experiencing. When senses are employed and engaged that is when we begin to experience. I use the pragmatic theory as a framework for sensory experience in order to facilitate individual development of dance education through providing knowledge and skills needed for artistic communication for one to create, perform, and understand movement. Thinking about the world from a sensory viewpoint. The pragmatic way of thinking, knowing, and understanding is experiencing through the (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) senses. I permeate traditional structured classes with facilitated awareness and reflection. Creating a space where students are able to recognize, understand, and implement their own “values, thoughts, and aspirations about the lives we live and the world in which we live” (NDEO, 2017). My background in contemporary dance techniques, ballet techniques, somatic practices, dance and technology, performances, and my own choreographies serve as a platform to engage others in intra- and interpersonal experiential discoveries. As a dance advocate, I employ innovative technological methods to engage and foster a community experience in 21st century dance education.