I’ve been so blessed this year to meet so many amazing dance educators doing amazing things. As 2018 comes to a close and I get all dewey eyed reminiscing, as well as excited about the future and the quickly approaching New Year, I’m grateful to have some kick ass ladies in my circle. Erin Pride is one of those ladies. Erin and I connected earlier this year when I was on her podcast, Dance Boss (which you can listen to here). She’s a refreshing beacon of light for us dance educators, and the perfect way to finish off the Backstage Blog interview for 2018!
KC: What's your earliest memory of dance?
EP: A dress rehearsal when I was like 4 or 5, and I was with my mom...All the kids on stage were scared and I was there like look at me...Always a ham...
KC: What's your background with dance?
EP: I went to a performing arts High School, received my BFA in dance from Montclair State University, my Masters in Dance Education from NYU, and danced for Pilobolus Creative Services.
KC: Was it love at first plie?
EP: Yes, I have always loved dance since I can remember.
KC: How did you get into teaching?
EP: I kind of stumbled into teaching, my parents said get a job and the Dance Director Position at the high school I graduated from was available. I gave it a try and fell in love.
KC:What's your favorite thing about it?
EP: Creating work is defiantly my favorite part, and teaching composition.
KC: Who are your dance heroes, and why?
EP: Defiantly the pioneers Loie Fuller, Ruth St. Denis, Isadora Duncan... I appreciate them for paving the way for modern dancers.
KC: Tell us about your podcast, Dance Boss.
EP: The Dance Boss Podcast, is for my fellow dancers educators, and dream catchers…Each week I share insights, and inspiration on systemizing your dance classroom and improving student growth, I also share interviews with dance entrepreneurs who are crushing it with out of the box way to support the dance community.
KC: What's one of your goals in working with other dance educators?
EP: Defiantly to empower them, to give them the tools to plan and systemize their classrooms/studio so they can have more time to actually enjoy their life.
KC: What's one of your favorite funny or heart warming stories about dance?
EP: OMG my parents came with me and stood on line with me during my season 1 of SYTYCD call back... I was terrified, and cried when I didn't get the gig, but there they were supporting me, and encouraging me. I love them so much and this memory is a testament to how supportive they have been throughout my entire journey.
KC: Are there any cliches or preconceptions about dance you try to correct in your teaching?
EP: That curriculum is a one size fits all kind of tool. People buy curriculum, it sits on their hard drive or it does not speak to their students needs and their values. Curriculum must be tailored to fit the teachers/ studio owners vision/values, and the student demographic. And after it is created staff needs be trained and held accountable to deliver it. That is why I coach clients to help them create classroom structures and systems based on their students needs and their values.
KC: Is there one thing you think the dance community needs more of, less of, or to get better at?
EP: Mentors - dance educators need mentors...Everyone can not receive their BFA, MED, or MFA, so I believe mentorship would help give those teachers tools to run effective classrooms.
KC: What's next for you and your businesses? Do you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
EP: Yes, I am launching a 1 on 1 coaching service to help dance educators create lesson plans, assessments, benchmarks for their entire dance season, and I am also launching a professional development series for dance studio owners - helping them train their staff on their values, and curriculum implementation.
And now, just for funsies…
KC: Burritos or tacos?
KC: Legwarmers or ballet skirts?
KC: Disco balls or rainbows?
KC: Center Stage or Flashdance?
KC: One word to describe yourself?
Speaking of outgoing, you should definitely go out (see what I did there) and check out Erin’s website and podcast, then make sure and holla at us on Instagram (tag @diffdrumdance and @erinpride). Have a great week!