Becoming a dance teacher is an important decision. Could one of our courses help you reach your goals? Here's a brief Q&A with one of our online Level 5 students, Wendy Gibbins-Lekkou.
How long have you known about bbodance?
Since I was a very young child. I went from (what was then) the bbodance Scholars through to Advanced Classical Ballet and Tap in the bbodance system. I also graduated with a teaching diploma — this was in 1983. Then I worked as a dancer, and then as a choreographer for theatre and Commercial Dance. This showed me the gaps in the training that exists in these industries, and I want to fill them the best way I can. To achieve this, I've opened my own place [in Greece], with the aim of creating a healthy space where students can learn dance and evolve as people.
Why did you choose our Teaching Qualifications (TQ) programme?
I saw the bbodance courses advertised on Instagram and became extremely interested in the syllabi, especially Musical Theatre, as there is no official dance education — i.e., exam system — in Greece for this genre. I decided this would make a great addition to the dance education of students younger than 18 in Greece. Therefore, [in order to teach this], I needed to update my teaching qualifications. I had a meeting with [bbodance Head of Membership & Communications,] Julie Bowers and later a meeting with [the Head of bbodance Dance Teaching Qualifications (TQs),] Sam Le Bihan, on Skype. Julie Bowers was lovely when I met her, and Sam Le Bihan and her team gave me an extremely positive feeling. I believe an organisation is made by its people, [more so than its official name], and I just knew this was the dance body I wished to join!
Has our online Level 5 course helped you develop your teaching practice? If so, how?
Due to the course curriculum and the generosity of the TQ team, I’m already seeing positive results from my teaching. I recently gave a class I’d been thinking of for a long time, which combined mindful awareness and slow technique to reinforce motor-skill learning and awaken the awareness of dance imagery. I’m ecstatic to say that I found a marked improvement in the students that had gone home and worked on this. I’d read about this teaching method through the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) and had always intended to incorporate it into my class, but had never got round to it. And this is just one of the times my teaching results have seen this effect since joining Level 5.
What's your favourite part of the course?
Enriching my knowledge, enabling me to push the boundaries of my teaching further. Gaining the know-how to look at teaching from new perspectives — therefore, gaining confidence. Dance encompasses intellect (academic knowledge), physical challenges (technical achievements), and creativity (experimental expression) — mind, body, soul. The TQ team at bbodance provide their students with the training they need in order to teach all of this. I enjoy and appreciate that very much.
Any other thoughts?
Sam Le Bihan and her team inspire and reinforce their students' confidence, which, in turn, enables them to use new teaching methods — at least, this is what's happening to me, in my classes. The feedback I'm getting from my course assignments isn’t just a marked paper, it's generous practical suggestions from generous professionals. It’s a great feeling to inject new material into my classes that is obviously so beneficial to my students.
Thank you for your feedback!
(Photo: Wendy at the grounds of the 2004 Olympic Stadium Complex (Olympic Stoa) in Greece © Alexandros Anagnostopoulos)