Sparkchasers Episode 39 | Show Notes
We’re All Dancers with Shelly Hutchinson
If you’ve been curious about how to use movement and dance with your students, but are nervous about being the one to lead it, today’s episode is for you.
Shelly Hutchinson is a choreographer, dancer, actress and producer in New York City. Choreographer for “So You Think You Can Dance” Europe on creative teams in operas such as Candide, Samson and Delilah and Aida. Television appearances include MTV, CBS Morning Show, ABC, Saturday Night Live, Law & Order, HBO, The Today Show. Teaches all levels and ages at performing arts schools and conventions in the US, Europe, South America, Japan, Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas. Performing credits include Radio City Music Hall, Warner Brothers Films, Disney. Off-Broadway and Regional Theatre, National and European Tours including “Fame, the Musical”, Bye Bye Birdie, Irene, and West Side Story. Audition choreographer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Choreographer for New York Musical Festival production. Nominated for “Outstanding Choreography” for “Occasion For Sin” as part of Planet Connections Theater Festivity. Currently adjunct professor at Pace University, on faculty at Broadway Dance Center, Joffrey Ballet School and Peridance in NYC. Owns a production company that focuses on live charity concerts in NYC.
In today’s episode, you’ll hear Shelly’s best ideas for successfully incorporating dance into the classroom. Here’s a few big takeaways I had from our chat together:
You Do Less
Shelly explains that in terms of teacher-talk, less is more. Explain as little as you can and then have students get up and moving. Just set the stage and then get out of the way. Students can and should be working harder than you. And movement is a way to switch up the energy, get their brains working at a different level, and offers students of any age choice in how they want to participate.
Shelly shared one of her favorite experiences on So You Think You Can Dance: listening to each other! She explains that listening builds a sense of trust like nothing else can. And when it comes to movement, trust is everything. This translates so well into every other aspect of teaching. Listening to our students helps them to teach us what they need and where they are ready to grow.
We’re All Dancers
As Shelly explains in our conversation, we’re born moving ,and moving is dance. So we’re all dancers. The way we walk, the way we swing our arms, the way we shift our weight throughout the day – it’s all dance. Embracing that is key to helping us get out of our heads and into our bodies. And when we can do that, we can provide an avenue into movement exploration that works for all learners.
Here’s a list of the resources and tools mentioned in this episode:
Have a Question?
Do you have a question about today’s episode or need help with something? Let me know using the button below and I’ll make sure to chat about it on an upcoming episode.