Meet Miss Tory!

Meet one of our newest MOVE teachers Miss Tory! Tory is excited to be teaching a variety of styles at MOVE by Morelli this season!

Tory grew up dancing in Colorado. She trained in many styles from a young age. Tory has a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in performance and choreography from Dean College in Boston. Since graduating in 2017, she has enjoyed teaching young dancers throughout Colorado. Tory is a member of Rogue Co. – directed by Meghan Lawitz, and performs regularly with the company. Most recently, Tory has become an instructor for CorePower Yoga.

Let’s give Tory a big MOVE by Morelli welcome!

Let’s give

Staff of the Month- Ms Jen

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher? 

A: When i was younger i loved dancing and seeing the impact my teachers had on me i wanted to do the same for kids.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? 

A: Spend time with my kids, be outside, and watching my 8 year old wrestle in his tournaments!

Q: Did you have a favorite teacher in your dance career?

A: I did! Rhi we called her Rhi-Star

Q: Is there anything you do in your class to emulate that person?  

A: Love having fun, being goofy and making kids laugh!

Q: If you could teach your students a life lesson what would it be?

A: Live life to the fullest everyday!

Q: What are you most excited for this season with MOVE by Morelli?

A:  To see everyone on the BIG day perform and have them show their loved ones everything they have learned over the oast year!

Q: If you were a flavor of ice cream what would you be and why?

A: I would be vanilla with strawberries both good and sweet!

Staff of the Month- Miss Dani

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher?  

A: I’m your “typical” first born, really. I’ve always thrived on being a leader of sorts, and when I started assisting at age 13, it was just easy. Since then, I moved up the totem pole, got my own classes, and again- it was simply something that I was good at and liked. I know they say that people who can’t do, teach, but I’ve found that my teaching has made me such a better dancer, and a better overall person.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? 

A: I like to watch sports. I’m an obsessive sports nut. Football, basketball, baseball, you name it, and I’d rather go to any sporting event or watch any sporting event than mostly any other things.

Q: Did you have a favorite teacher in your dance career? 

A: My favorite teacher was also a great friend of my parents, who I’d known since I was a baby. She really nurtured me through a lot of things (teenage years), and also helped me find my “edge” in teaching. She did a great job in showing me that the best way to teach others is just to be yourself, and let them in on your wealth of knowledge.

Q: Is there anything you do in your class to emulate that person?  

A: Yes, the above for sure. I’m totally “me” in class: making jokes, laughing with students, and always striving to be passionate, warm, open, yet appropriately serious about class.

Q: If you could teach your students a life lesson what would it be?

A: I think that the lesson is that life can sometimes be hard, and so is learning. Being “successful” is always relative, and is about effort and being yourself. Eventually, that absolutely will pay dividends either tangibly or intangibly. 

Q: What are you most excited for this season with MOVE by Morelli

A: I am most excited honestly for the new students coming in. This studio is so hospitable, and that further creates a great environment for our students and families.

Q: If you were a flavor of ice cream what would you be and why?  

A: I would be Moose Tracks- a little salty (my jokes & sarcasm), mostly sweet (passion, love for teaching), and a bit of a surprise for the rest!

Promoting Self-esteem and Body Positivity in the Studio

The dance studio is a second home to dancers and their experience in class has the ability to shape their self-image at a pivotal time in their lives. Many current dance professionals remember a time when the dance industry was less than body positive and the pursuit of perfection was paved with stress, fear and self-doubt. The fact is: we can do better! By using the right teaching techniques, encouraging individuality, and leading by example we can give our students the highest level of training without giving them a complex.

How do we teach students in a way that makes them hungry for more knowledge rather than leaving them feeling self-critical and frustrated? Instead of shaming students for making mistakes, correction can be encouraging while sharing the exact same information. A positive teaching environment does not mean a lack of correction; it’s all about the delivery.  The classroom should be a place where knowledge is shared, and students can feel empowered and inspired to put in the hard work it takes to be successful. Students who are passionate about dance and confident enough to try new things are often the hardest workers in class. If we as teachers can build our students up, they are more likely to develop a strong work ethic in class and dance full out. With the resources available to teachers in this day and age, we have fine-tuned our teaching skills in a way that makes the environment of fear and intimidation a thing of the past.

The art of dance has really evolved over time. Uniqueness and individuality has truly become mainstream thanks to television and the internet. When teaching students to improvise, for example, they are taught to embrace what makes them unique and special. This gives students the ability to use the mirror to recognize their individual power instead of focusing on comparison to others. Though they will not be great at everything they do, students can find their own niche and avoid feeling defeated in class. The goal is for students to look in the mirror and recognize their great qualities rather than ask the question “why don’t I look like the others”.

As a teacher, being a model of self-love and body positivity is crucial. We are role models to young students who look to us as examples of how to act and they will instinctively mimic behavior that they see. In class, affirmations can be used to help mold powerful young dancers as well as encourage perseverance in times of struggle. “I am powerful, I am strong, and I can do anything I put my mind to”- what better affirmation to ask students to repeat when the air is heavy with sweat and students are tired. Simple practices like this can help students develop a positive inner voice that they can rely on for their entire life. Pushing past self-doubt and learning to focus on the positive is an important life skill that we are in the position to teach every day in class!

MOVE by Morelli staff members recognize the power that a teacher has to shape the lives of our students. We are in the business of sharing our love of dance and music and making our students feel great about themselves, so they can blossom into who they were meant to be. With the most qualified staff around and a shared vision of empowerment, we are changing the game of dance and music training and rejecting the ways of the past. The performing arts are for everyone, and we are proud to share it with hundreds of kids in Colorado.

Staff of the Month- Ms Vickie

Ms Vickie is the Creative Director here at MOVE by Morelli! Read below to learn more about her:

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: What I love most about my job is working with my daughters and goofing around with the kiddos at the studio! 

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: In my free time my favorite thing to do is to cook big family  dinners and spend time with all of our adult children, their spouses, and significant others. I also love going to watch my youngest play hockey all over the country.

Q: What is your favorite memory from growing up dancing?

A: My favorite memory dancing was performing with a professional ballet company en pointe when I was 12. It was magical! President Ronald Reagan’s son was a principal dancer and it was the first time I had custom made costumes, which inspired me to learn to sew!

Q: What flavor of ice cream best describes your personality and why?

A: Moose tracks is the best ice cream ever! It reminds me of spending summers in northern Michigan, and I feel like I’m a non-fussy, no nonsense midwesterner at heart.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this year?

A: This year I am hoping to spend even more time traveling with my husband. We always go places like Minneapolis, Detroit, and Chicago to watch our son. I think we are due for a trip somewhere warm with a beach! 

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