I am a modern /contemporary dancer here in Atlanta, and a classical dance teacher with 20 years of training and a decade of versatile teaching experience. I have studied extensively the Royal Academy of Ballet Syllabus, through the Advance II level, and also incorporate elements of Vaganova and Bournaville methods in my teaching. I am also practised in Limón, Hawkins, and May O'Donnell modern dance techniques, all of which offer valuable work that can be blended into a powerful, inclusive curriculum. As a working practitioner, I also involve my own continuing research and experiences in the contemporary landscape, which includes classes and workshops in somatic practises, improvisational tools, and general contemporary technique.
In teaching, I use a holistic approach to lessons with a concience adherence to correct technique to ensure lessons are safe and students learn to support their bodies with correct muscular effort and efficiency of movement.
Every student is unique and every class should be an opportunity to learn something new and discover something new about themselves and their body's movement potential. I tailor each class session to the student with their experience level and goals in mind. Each class should leave students feeling like they have accomplished something with their practice, be it pushing their range of motion, finding new muscle groups to engage or release, or inhabiting new movement through proprioceptive, sensory understanding.
I enjoy moving and would always rather be moving then sitting behind a desk, which is sometimes necessary, but there is simply nothing more enlivening to me than dancing. I enjoy sharing the craft with students or other artists who can engage bodies and minds, because in this artform there are endless discoveries to be made and work to be done.
I enjoy that fact, and that dance is a personal journey that challenges and invigorates those with the conviction to pursue it, and that it is always there for one to return to, even after an absence.
I have taught dancers who were 70 years old and as young as 3 years old, and all students enliven when they engage with the material. What I enjoy most about teaching is sharing in that personal progress within such a universal, but personal language and seeing small achievements happen in a session. I also enjoy the improvisational aspect of teaching, because it is never a one sided interaction. The dynamic between teacher and student always requires a spontaneity and fluidity of action & enjoy figuring out what works best for individual learners in the moment.
Susanna is overflowing with raw talent, subtle technique, and passion for dance and choreography. She is a true artist who shares generously and kindly with those who come to learn from her. Her own joy in dance reverberates in those who move with her.
Susanna is knowledgeable about ballet and modern dance. She is a beautiful dancer!
When first working with a new student, I typically will evaluate them in the studio through short class exercises and combinations to get an idea of their skill level. The movememt material of course will vary depending on what type of dance the student is most interested in learning; however, all sessions will start with a warm up to get the body moving, followed most likely by some floor excercises to find alignment and to wake up the correct muscles for the remaining class time, which maybe more center or barre combinations followed naturally by across the floor phrases. A beginner student evaluation or first class may not include as much breadth of material as a session for an experienced student would; however, the progressive structure of the dance class would still incorporate low to higher impact work so they also experience moving across the floor by the end of class.
Depending on the needs or intentions of the student, I would assess the level they are working from and discuss the development of the class and what they can expect from me throughout their experience taking class with me. Hopefully by the end of their first session, each student will have something look forward to and some new knowledge gained so they may begin to start the work themselves until our next class.
I studied at Temple University's undergraduate dance program for my first three years of college, which is a highly regarded dance program and I was able to study under some amazing teachers and performers while attending, and completed my Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia which also gave me impactful learning experiences with wonderful teachers.
My experiences since college have offered me opportunites to teach so many different people across all ages and backgrounds, and in such versatille circumstances that I have really learned the value of teaching movement. I appreciate the interactive nature of teaching and the necessity of truely understanding material. It is necessary to be open and flexible and to listen to the circumstances rather than dipositing information and I really appreciate that teaching takes more fluidity and awareness in each particular class and body.
My experiences have also lead me to perfoming and collaborating as an artist with other dancers, choreographers, musicians and artists throughout atlanta. I think to be a working practitioner is an invaluable part of understanding the nature and often the purpose of the art of dance so I truely value being a working artist, and developing myself, as well as being a teacher.
Usually, individual lessons range from 45 to 75 per class, and classes tailored to a small group of students will be charged at a lower rate per person, usually no more than 20 for a full hour and half to two hours.
I sort of stumbled into teaching right after college and fell in love with it. So throughout my career as an artist I have continuted to teach and it has become an incredibly rewarding and important part of my life.
I have worked with toddlers to 80 yr olds. Kids that thought they had nothing to give to anyone or learn from me, & kids that worked every day towards competitions, & adults that used to dance and are returning from a ten year break, & beginning adults who want to finally take up a curiosity. I have worled with a spectrum of people and its always a freash experience and always rewarding in either teaching me something new about how to teach or experiencing an imparting of knowledge to someone who has