Teaching: the supreme art

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Michael Ramsay

is on the faculty at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance in Melbourne and has been teaching for 10 years.

What drew you to teaching?

I have always cherished the relationship between teacher and student and the passing of valued information from one to the other. Creating a fun but challenging environment has been a main focus of my teaching practice. I love putting a challenge in front of the students and allowing them to make the choice to face it head on in their own way. Observing growth and improvement of a student overtime has been the most satisfying part of my career. It also gives me an opportunity to try out some of my new stand-up comedy material.

With the support of Jason Coleman's The Ministry of Dance and their amazing team, I was able to create The Odyssey Project, Melbourne’s first all male identifying performance program. This program offers dance training across all genres led by the leading men in Australia’s entertainment industry. We have workshops coming up in October and in the summer school holidays. The official launch of the program is slated for 2023!

How do you balance the importance of technique with the importance of artistry?

Each student walks in to the studio with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some have a strong technical foundation and others have raw artistry.

I will focus on each individual’s needs and personalise the feedback respectfully. Facilitating an environment where the students can learn and feed off each other is imperative to a class structure. Open dialogue and discussion can rapidly improve this symbiotic relationship between technique and artistry. I like to give a safe space to question concepts and ideas and to learn through healthy conversation. We want a wholistic approach to being an artist, combining aesthetic lines with the deep range of emotion and expression each student possesses.

This article is included in our special Teacher Focus feature in the current Oct/Nov/Dec issue. Print is for keeps! Buy your copy from your favourite dance retailer or online here or here.

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