A gallery of moments I've facilitated as a learning community designer
Deeply inspired by Maria Montessori — I have had the good fortune to both learn and teach in Montessori settings — I work to craft that prepared environment where deep learning and meaningful connection can happen. My focus is less on instructing, and more on creating a rich and interwoven learning culture built of moments of presence. Here are a few of those moments.
Alex and Alice working with a ball at Oxygen Tango. Over the years they have done a lot of great work partnering together and gave some beautiful public demos.
I have noticed how much more and faster people learn when they have a goal in mind! Some of the programs I've created at Oxygen Tango use goals like a recital to bring more juice and motivation to the learning process.
How we embrace to ensure comfort is a big part of Tango! In this workshop Stefan and I were playfully bringing awareness to unconscious habits in the embrace.
This was a beginner series I taught at Caltech. It was exciting to work with a huge group and find creative ways to reach everyone. (That's me, all the way on the other side with my hands on the ground.)
At the San Francisco Tango Exchange, I facilitated a group activity on community and invited people to write their thoughts about community on the floor before discussing it together.
As an intraverted person, I find it useful to create opportunities in group classes and workshops for people to go inward and connect with themselves, as well as outward to connect with others.
At Tango de los Muertos, organizers Carlos and Tova Moreno gave out these blue antennae. I noticed how much more students have fun when the facilitator is relaxed!
As a teacher, we need to stay in practice and be able to perform in a way that kindles the mood of Tango, evokes inspiration and motivation in students.
I love labyrinths, and here is one that we made together as a community. It was not only a neat project to do together, and a beautiful tool to facilitate reflective contemplation - it also was a great floorcraft challenge!
I love this tight little group of dancers hanging out and talking together in the middle of the dance floor. In friendly and relaxed settings like this we learn so much about Tango and connection. This was at the Tango Slumber Party I put on at Vivien LeMothe's Weller House Inn with Amy Zhou.
Me with a beginner class at Caltech. Many times engineers and analytical people really click with Tango. It's often the combination of Tango's structure, and how much it contributes to connection in their lives!
It's easy to tell someone what they should do. But as teachers we also need to constantly focus on the learner and check for understanding. How are they taking it in?