My goal as an educator is to use the arts as a platform to create an environment that will foster growth in the minds of all, including myself. I am a lifist, meaning that I find aesthetic value in all of life’s experiences, which is then manifested in my praxis as a movement practitioner. I believe that ‘movement is life’ both metaphorically and literally. Movement is the language of dance and has been a means of communication and cross-cultural expression since the beginning of human existence, providing us with creative narratives about peoples’ origins, identity, experiences, and aspirations. Education in the movement arts is integral to one’s overall development and can provide a space to apply knowledge in an expressive manner. Movement is a fundamental aspect of life and there is a cerebral and corporal awareness that is developed when exercising the body and mind. The historical structure and compositional studies of the movement arts have their foundation in the sciences, social studies, literature, and other realms of academia. An arts educator I draw on theses practical and theoretical connections with my students.
I aspire to communicate with each student to help them attain their desired goals and illustrate the importance of applied knowledge in whatever field of study they choose. This leads students on the path to becoming self-educators while developing their practical, theoretical, and analytical skills, cultivating a worldly understanding of being. This emboldens students to become positive agents for social change in our global community. With my diverse experiences and teaching methods my instructional style caters to the individual needs of each student. As an educator, I aim to create a safe, inclusive and empowering learning environment, where my students feel encouraged to share their own experiential knowledge, as I know this to be a recipe for educational success.
- PhD in Arts Practice Research, University of Limerick, Ireland
- MA in Ethnochoreography, University of Limerick, Ireland
- BFA in Dance Performance, University of the Arts, Philadelphia
Areas of Expertise
- Practice as Research
- Devised Performance
- Student-led Ensemble Work
- Pedagogy of Liberation
Meaningful Action in the World
Education has been the key that opened many doors of my life experiences. There is no separation of fine arts education and other academic fields. Education is not a product of the typical classroom model where a teacher dictates and student regurgitates. Education is a reciprocal relationship providing enlightenment and understanding in every environment that one encounters. For me, education is not a product of the traditional classroom model where teacher dictates and student regurgitates, especially with today’s new challenges of virtual learning. As an educator, I am still learning and the ability to be flexible with instructional methods and resources I use can be beneficial to me and my students. I firmly believe in the responsibility of sharing, with each student, my embodied knowledge of diverse lived experiences. Within these experiences, students are exposed to ideas, topics, and thoughts, from outside of their cultural communities, in order to give them a broader sense of themselves in relation to the environment they exist in, while cultivating a worldly understanding of being. This allows a type of knowledge sharing where my students can apply their critical thinking skills through creative expression, while participating in hands on learning.
Pronouns: He, Him, They, Them, InI
- Courtney M, (2021), Interlude 10: Dancing as a Citizen of the World in Helen Phelan, Graham F. Welch The Artist and Academia, Routledge.
- Hines, B. C. and Courtney, M. (2019) The I Am…Experience: Social Justice Art from Process to Product, in Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Journal (Vol 4, Summer 2019), [online].
- Courtney, M., in Akinleye, A. (ed) (2018) Our Ethiopian connection: embodied Ethiopian culture as a tool in urban- contemporary choreography, in Narratives in Black British Dance, (Palgrave), pp 187-200.
Affiliation MFA Interdisciplinary Arts