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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Dance

Kentuckians in Dance

Public School Dance Teacher Rebecca Stephenson
Lexington, KY

Who Rebecca Stephenson grew up in Lexington. She has a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from Eastern Kentucky University, a bachelor's degree in dance from the Ohio State University, and a master's degree in dance from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She teaches dance to 4th- through 8th-grade students at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) in Lexington and at a private dance studio as well as at Centre College in Danville, KY.

What “Giving students a foundation in dance technique is an important part of what I do. We spend a lot of time in training and also with developing choreography. The kids do their own choreography. We do a lot of improvisation. We also have a good academic component. The kids write dance reviews, for example, and I teach that as well.”

Where/When “I work school hours, plus after school and more.”

How “I work with other teachers; we do a lot of integrated planning. I also teach general dance to students who are not dance majors at SCAPA. For example, they might learn about Native American culture to tie in with social studies curriculum. I've worked with a writing teacher on poetry dances, where kids wrote and then choreographed poems—so kids have a sense of what they're learning and interpreting it in movement. The biggest challenge is budget cuts: We have to wonder if we're going to have a job ...”

Why “I like developing a relationship with the kids over the years. We can really work well together and have a lot of fun and create these great dances. It creates a sense of accomplishment for them; it's something they really contribute to. There's a lot of energy in class. I like being able to channel that into an artistic thing and then see the results.”

Getting There “It's really important to get a college degree—even a master's degree. And to be dancing all the time, but also pursuing that in an academic setting.”


600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951