I am a modern /contemporary dancer here in Atlanta, and a classical dance teacher with 20+ years of training and over a decade of versatile teaching and professional dance experience. I am versed in the Royal Ballet Syllabus and believe Ballet is an invaluable foundational technique that informs so much of dance but that it doesnt have to be a scary word! I come from an inclusive background and also infuse elements of Modern dance, like Limón and Graham techniques, with contemporary dance styles that involve floor work & release based excercises. My style is a unique combination of material that I use to structure thorough informative dance sessions that aim to ignite a fire and energize you.
As a working practitioner, I incorporate my own continuing research and professional experiences into my teaching style, which include classes and workshops in somatic practises, improvisational tools, as well as the newest trends in contemporary dance and inform my lessons with those things in mind. I teach with a conscience adherence to correct technique to ensure lessons are safe and students learn to support their bodies with correct muscular effort and find the highest 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 feeling empowered by dancing their asses off.
I enjoy moving and would always rather be moving than anything else; there is simply nothing more enlivening and freeing 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 have taught dancers who were 70 years old and as young as 3 years old, and all students when they engage with the material, are ignited and joyful. That gives me joy.
I also enjoy the improvisational aspect of teaching, because classes depend on the students' as much as the teacher and lesson plans do not always adhere to what a students needs or goals are, even when they are meticulously organized. The dynamic between teacher and student always requires spontaneity and fluidity of action & I 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 evaluate them in the studio through short class exercises and combinations to get an idea of where they are and talk about the specific goals they have. The movement material will vary depending on what type of dance they are most interested in, but classes will always be guided with a strong foundation and individualized attention.
All sessions start with a warm-up to get the body moving, followed most likely by some floor exercises to find alignment, wake up the muscles, and release tension, and progress to center or barre combinations, or some directed improvisation, to get more awareness into the body, and finally, movement will travel across the floor.
A beginners first-class may not include as much breadth of material as a session for an experienced student; however, the progressive structure of the class will get the body moving in a sensible, safe, and energetic way.
Hopefully, by the end of the first session, each student will have something to look forward to and an empowered sense of their body in motion.
I studied at Temple University's Department of Dance in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program dance program where I was able to study under some amazing teachers and perform in a variety of works while attending. I completed my Bachelor's from the University of Georgia which also gave me impactful learning experiences with wonderful teachers.
My experiences since college have offered me opportunities to teach so many different people across all ages and backgrounds, and in such versatile circumstances that I have learned the value of teaching more than I ever expected.
My experiences have also lead me to perform and collaborate with other dancers, choreographers, musicians, and artists throughout Atlanta. I think to be a working practitioner is an invaluable part of understanding what dance is for me, so I truly value working as an artist and developing myself, as well as continuing to grow as a teacher.
Individual private lessons start at only 30.00 per class for an hour and 15 minutes and will incur additional 10% for each additional 15 minutes per session, exceeding no more than 56.00 for a 2 hour session. Both the length of class and frequency of class each week are at the student's discretion.
*Classes tailored to a small group of 2 or more will be discounted at a lower rate per person, no more than 25 for a full hour and a half session.*
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. I have taught kids in after school programs that had no initial interest in Dance & kids that worked every day, towards competitions or special auditions. I have also taught my professional peers in the wider community, adults that are returning from a ten or twenty-year break, & beginning adults who want to finally take up a curiosity. Regardless of who I was teaching, the interactions and lessons are always rewarding for me because I enjoy taking someone through a movement process and pushing them to step out of comfort zone and try to reach higher or bigger than they have before. I'm certainly not a militant teacher, but if someone asks to be pushed hard then I can make sure they push themselves towards a satisfying boundary (and possibly achy next day if they so desire).
I remember one incident when I was teaching in a school a group of 11 & 12 yr olds, who were in that awkward phase of development like we all have experienced. One student was particularly shy and self-conscious at first but after a couple of months, I remember thinking she had opened up a bit and began enjoying herself more.
One day after class she approached me and said, "Ms. Susanna you really brought me out of my shell!" with a big smile on her face. I really appreciate moments that let me know that I am making a positive impact.
I would advise to caution when enrolling their child in a dance program because there are a lot of programs that, although have good intentions, do not have the long term health of the child in mind. Some studios push kids to have the most flexibility in splits or turn-out or showy tricks to impress without necessarily teaching how to support all that flexibility, which muscles to use, or what to look out for in preventing injury. So I would check out the classes first and determine if the kids are being worked in a healthy progressive manner. O want kids and adults to be taught HOW to dance, not just how to repeat steps in A dance.
Adults and those seeking private instruction, I simply say give it a shot because what do you have to lose? I think private instruction is so thorough and helpful in getting whatever you need out of a dance class, that it is certainly more worth trying than not.
Tell us your injuries and concerns, injury background and pains or points of tension. These are always necessary to know before beginning any training, recreational or otherwise, so keep things in mind and always listen to your body.