Monday, October 8, 2012

Reflections From a Former Student...

Tiffany Mills has a strong history of teaching, both in NYC and around the country. She has taught at such places as Trisha Brown Studios, Dance New Amsterdam and ACDFA. Tiffany also teaches annually at Conduit, Inc. in Portland, OR, and has taught as a guest at Velocity Dance Center, Seattle, WA. She has a loyal following of students, who return for Tiffany's classes, as well as the Tiffany Mills Company Annual Summer Workshop. (And, the Annual Workshop has been so successful that the Company is adding its first Fall Weekend Workshop this November!) Here are reflections of two of Tiffany's previous students:

After a long search I found a job teaching middle school and high school way out in San Diego CA. So, in trying to help the school run and further develop their dance program, I've really been forced to get back into the dancing mindset that I haven't fully experienced since college. In college I always enjoyed dancing, but never really felt like I belonged or even really was a 'dancer'. That is, except when I was working with you. Your work always felt 'right' to me. It clicked, it was something I felt like I enjoyed exploring and pushing the limits on. I was always inspired by the way you talked about movement and the body. And I've been reflecting back on that a lot. I'm trying to teach like you, and I hope to have my students leave class the same way you always made me feel--challenged and inspired.

-- Robert Wagner, Tiffany Mills' Student

The artists in Tiffany Mills Company are such generous and insightful teachers: imparting energy, talent, and wisdom...all while deeply engaging with the students: feeling, intuitively, what students need and where to go next. 

In addition to this generosity of experience, I also appreciate the TMC generosity of in-experience: specifically, the dancers' willingness to reveal their own incomplete processes, on the partnering-technique journey. For example, sharing aspects of the pelvis still not completely understood; or outside research they've been working on; or movement/ideas they are still investigating. Such emphasis on the continual learning process, plus the open vulnerability from the artists themselves: this gives all participants the permission to be "in-progress" along with them. Hence the exercise, "come as you are", which I love so much!

I've never felt so comfortable in a partnering classroom than I do with TMC. Thank you for creating such a beautiful, sharing forum for dance artists, at ANY stage in their partnering-technique development. We all have wisdom to share, and yet, we all have naivet√© as well. Naivet√© is essential to curiosity...which then leads to discovery. And in a TMC classroom, it's this combination of both that creates the magic. I feel my dancing quality has transformed thanks to the Partnering Workshops, and I would highly recommend TMC education to anyone and everyone!

-- Andrea Dispenziere, Tiffany Mills' Student

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