Palos Verdes Intermediate School

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For all you students:   Back to school time should never be a bummer. After all, school is where you make most of your lifelong friends, and if you're like me, you've missed some of them over the summer.

For all of us teachers:  Isn't it fair to say that we became educators because we love to teach? Well then you've probably missed your students over the summer just a little, huh? So sure, yes, we all needed that Summer break, but students and teachers...isn't it nice to see everybody again? I think so! Oh, and let's not forget...

For all of you supportive parents out there:  Isn't it nice to not have to clean up messes from Summer Silly String fights anymore?

I am so pleased and indeed excited to now be starting my 16TH YEAR here at PVIS!  As most of you know, Dance and Physical Education are my persomal passions within the teaching profession. That being said, I want everyone to know that I do acknowledge and understand that Dance and/or Physical Education is probably not going to make it into everybody's "Top Three List Of Lifelong Passions," despite the efforts I make to inspire an appreciation for these within my students.

In fact, I'd like to state for the record that one of the things I most truly enjoy about teaching is being able to help and inspire each of my different, individual students to explore and discover whatever it is that  their own personal passions may turn out to be.  However, I still take great pride and receive much joy in teaching and helping all of my different students to, at the very least, come out with a solid understanding and faithful appreciation for subjects, techniques and skills that I've taught them. But again I say to all my students, (and indeed to everybody really,) "Try out new things and explore and discover your passions, because, really, there are just waaaay too many awesome things to do in this world!"  Part of my job and my joy is to help my students find out what those passions are.



DISCOVERING DANCE:   I discovered my passion for dance later in life than most wasn't until I was almost 10 years old that I tried out dancing. This was mainly because my mother forbid me to do gymnastics anymore after I'd defied her for liket the 100th time about not practicing back handsprings on the cement steps of our living room, and finally I hit my head and got myself a concussion. For the record, I wasn't ever trying to be defiant toward my was just that I was always so darned determined to practice and practice in order to further improve my gymnastics. Having to quit gymnastics turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though, because from practically the moment I entered that dance studio, I was hooked for life. I quickly all but forgot about my gymnastics, for now I was a dancer! I have been dancing ever since.

TEACHING DANCE:   I have been teaching dance for more years than a lot of you may realize. Yes, I've been at PVIS for 16 years, but I actually have more than 30 years of intensive teaching experience at several private dance studios too. During my career so far, I've taught students of all ages, but something you might find funny is that way back in my career, the very first time I was ever hired to teach a professional dance class at a studio...I WAS ONLY 14 YEARS OLD!

PERFORMING DANCE:  I also have substantial performing experience as a dancer as well.  I have danced professionally for Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, as well as many, big-budget musical theatre productions.  One of the toughest yet most rewarding shows I've ever done was  performing in the Broadway show "A Chorus Line," because I had to learn absolutely everything in just 10 scant days.  The rehearsal schedule was exhausting, but the payoff was exhiliratiing!  Back then, I used to say that "A Chorus Line" was the toughest and most awesome thing I'd ever experienced in my life...until one day I became a mother.

BEING A MOTHER:  I must give a shout out to all you mothers out there, because I am proud to be one too!  So remember that first place spot that I just said  "A Chorus Line" occupied in my life? Well it was bumped down to second place when I discovered the joy of becoming a mom back in 2003. Be warned, especially you young students, that becoming a mother is exponentially more work than anyone can ever explain to you...but I must say too that the joy I personally get out of it is exponentially greater as well.  Indeed, caring for a newborn baby boy was just so much tougher than I ever could have imagined, but soon after I boldly "saddled up" and "doubled down."  I made up my mind to return to work here at PVIS immediately, doing double duty as both a full-time teacher still...and a full-time mom as well. How did I manage to pull that one off? Well, thankfully, I was able to quickly learn the key tools and techniques for multi-tasking and I was therefore able to be a full-time teacher and mother at the same time. I'm telling you, everybody...multi-tasking really saved me!  Two years later, in 2005, my second son was born, but  by then I had become an expert multi-tasker, so I was (thank my lucky stars) fully up to to the task by that time. My boys, Dune and Jett, are now 13 and 11, and they are both proud to be Sea King students here at PVIS. 

TEACHING AT PALOS VERDES INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE:   These days, I'm finding that I am loving my work here at PVIS even more and more with each school year.  Each weekday, I get to teach and assist my students in the disciplines of physical exercise and dance, and I am always looking for new teaching techniques and ways to assist each of my various students, because everybody learns things a little bit differently. I acknowledge that some students seem more adept at learning than others, but if I see you putting in the effort to improve and getting at least some results, well then that is a good thing. If you are trying hard and not improving, I can help you on an individual basis to implement different and hopefully more successful methods. Every student is great, so long as you're always trying to improve!  I gain such personal fulfillment from helping and watching my students change and grow as they each progress through their years here at Palos Verdes Intermediate School.  during their time at PVIS. One of the other benefits I enjoy these days as a seasoned Sea King teacher is that  I am now able to direct and choreograph many PVIS shows and productions every year. Yes, it's hard work because it's over and above my daily teaching duties...but as you can probably guess by me it is SO WORTH IT!  Honestly,  I get such satisfaction and fulfillment from directing these PVIS productions, and, like teaching class during the day, I get to experience the joy of helping and watching as my students learn, grow and improve with each and every rehearsal.  The night of the actual show is a blast, of course, but I think I just might enjoy each and every day of those rehearsals just as much!





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Written Show Reflection (class work 5/25)

Show Reflection
Write a paragraph answering the following three questions.  Please use complete sentences and write a minimum of six sentences.
1.  How did you show “integrity” for what you learned in dance this year concerning your dance technique and artistic performance.  
2.  What was your favorite performance, either entire show or dance number, why?
3.  What would you change about your performance experience, why?

Choreography Vocabulary

Choreography Research due Friday, April 13
1.  List dance name and choreographer
2.  Where did you find dance  i.e. youtube address or dvd name
3.  List choreography element used from choreo vocab list
4.  List 10 dance steps you recognized
5.  Write a paragraph (minimum of 4 complete sentences) of how this will   influence your choreography