You live as long as you dance.
It is my highest goal to be of the utmost service in the fields of education and dance, innovating when necessary and including with no exception. The ideal dance program not only empowers the student, but the community it's a part of. Dance is for everyone.
I made this website to convince the right person to hire me as a dance educator. It worked, and I am living my dream as the dance director at Gaston Middle School. Now, I would say the primary reason for the website is to... convince people to come guest teach at my school?
My passion has it's roots in service and dance performance. I'm humbled as it has expanded to include the endlessly creative act of teaching and inspiring others.
Success in learning frequently depends on finding the right instructor.; someone who knows the subject well and understands how to inspire others. My teaching style focuses on skills training, but also emphasizes self-exploration and creative voice.
My teaching experience spans over 14 years. Some recent highlights include:
Dance Director/Instructor at Gaston Middle School, Dallas Independent School District
Master Dance Teacher at the 2017 Bishop Arts Theatre Summer Intensive in Dallas, TX
Intermediate and advanced Jazz, Ballet, and Contemporary instructor at West Austin Dance Academy
Adult contemporary dance at Tapestry Dance Academy in Austin, TX
Children's contemporary dance at Galaxy Dance Studio in Austin, TX
Instructor at several after-school programs including Totally Cool, Totally Art, Boys and Girls Club, and Leap of Joy teaching creative movement, contemporary, ballet, and hip hop
BFA in Dance from UT Austin, recipient of the Heywood "Woody" McGriff Presidential Scholarship in Dance
Eric Jensen “Teaching With Poverty in Mind” seminar
Texas Teachers Alternative Teacher Certification: Dance 8-12, EC-6 Generalist, ESL, and Bilingual certifications
Numerous professional dance workshops across America and Europe including American Dance Festival, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Texas Ballet Theatre School, Emio Greco IPC, and Anouk van Dijk Countertechnique
PERFORMANCE AND CREATION
I have been blessed to work professionally with companies like Pepsi, MTV, and Harley Davidson, with headlining performer, Grimes, at ACL Music Fest in Austin and with cutting edge contemporary groups like LEVYdance in San Francisco, and visionary choreographers Andee Scott and Jennifer Sherburn in Austin and Dallas on several occasions.
I have also presented and performed my original choreography at Free Press Summer Fest in Houston, Austin's famed South by Southwest, and numerous local, contemporary performance platforms.
VISION AND GOALS
"Teaching outside the box," has moved from trendy to crucial. An education infused with dance is a superb way to gain not only self-discipline and awareness, but to fully embody the 21st century skills that are critical now and for the future:
My hope is to create, transform, or amplify a dance program, allowing the participating individuals and greater community to reach their full potential and then exceed it. Dance has the power to change the world for the better.
Ugh, I love Judy...
“I have never seen Janna with anything but a cheerful disposition. She's self-confident, dependable and able to engage children in whatever activity being conducted... I was very impressed with the way she interacted with the kids being open yet firm and in control.”
Judy Richardson, Founder and Director, Leap of Joy, Austin, TX
A BIT MORE ABOUT ME
I am a resident of Oak Cliff, Dallas, where I live with my husband, Jeramie, our 4 year old daughter, Aniese, 2 cats, dog, and pet chicken. Some of my other interests include science literacy, wellness, mindfulness, my faith, Rob Bell (author), Spark Joy (book... hahah wrote this 3 years ago, now you can just go watch Marie Kondo on Netflix ;), design, and gardening (which I don't really do yet... besides water my 2 thriving house plants.)
I feel immense responsibility to a more sustainable future and the environment: taking care of it, being in it, and nurturing our unique and diverse communities within it. I may not have the most glamorous job, but the peace of mind I feel after every gritty day, knowing that I am privileged to mold our future, leaves me more satisfied than I may deserve.
I truly believe that life is about the journey, not the destination. How we carry ourselves and the things we leave behind matter. The great Maya Angelou said it best:
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."