KRISTILEE MAIELLA

Dancer. Teacher. Choreographer.

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Kristilee specializes in contemporary and lyrical, but also teaches ballet, jazz, modern, and musical theater. She enjoys working with advanced dancers who exude a strong work ethic and professionalism both in the studio and on the stage. She has eight years of teaching experience and six years of choreography experience. Over the years, many of her pieces have received overall top scores and placements at regional and national dance competitions. See choreography tab for videos of her most recent work.

Download Teaching Resume

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

Dance is an ever-present challenge and metaphorically, a mountain to keep on climbing. The beauty of these heights enlivens me, and my way of sharing this vitality with others is by teaching dance. As a dance teacher, I aim to inspire students to climb their own mountains and to eventually create their own dances. Yet, my ultimate goal as a dance teacher is to show unconditional support to my students in the process by which they discover, and rediscover, their own individual artistic voices. 

 

My teaching is informed by a combination of experiences: my studio training in commercial dance and my university training in concert dance.  These worlds exist on opposing sides of the spectrum, but I strongly believe that their amalgamation is vital to the education of a well-rounded dancer.  With a diverse training background, my movement practices involve a fusion of styles, allowing me the ability to deliver an all-around dance education to students. However, no matter what style of dance I am teaching, my students will always be taught the value of intention in each [dance] step that they take. As a dance teacher, I feel that it is my duty to encourage students to develop an understanding of dance existing way beyond a system of codified steps. In other words, every movement made should always be approached with both a focus and a purpose.   

 

I strive to cultivate an all inclusive and respectful educational environment that is accepting and supportive of all types of learners.  More specifically, in hopes of reaching each student’s absolute understanding, I aim to communicate concepts and ideas through as many different channels as possible. When explaining concrete as well as abstract concepts to students, I enjoy challenging their minds by asking them questions, rather than giving them direct answers. This way, students are encouraged to think more deeply and critically, and learn to seek information on their own. My goal is for students to make sense of an idea by exercising their own interpretations, and to be able to self correct their own mistakes. In the meantime, I aim to push my students to view their mistakes and imperfections as part of the learning process. I encourage students to take risks when I feel they are being too safe. When I see that a student is holding back, I encourage them to push themselves further. I have high expectations for my students, but my greatest hope is that those expectations, along with my confidence in them, will eventually lead each and every one of them to achieve their ultimate goals.

 

Being an active choreographer and performance artist currently immersed in the field, greatly informs my teaching.  My belief is that artists are lifelong learners, and I have always been deeply committed to the act of learning. I learn from my peers and my students, as well as from other artists and teachers who have guided me and have all made tremendous contributions to the field.  As both an artist and a dance teacher, I am in constant, continual practice of teaching and choreographic methodologies, solidifying my technique, broadening my movement vocabulary, and most importantly, discovering my most genuine artistic voice.

Download Unit Plan

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