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Amanda Cantrell Roche

Contact Name: Amanda Roche

Email: Click to email

Phone: (615) 300-8580

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Amanda Cantrell Roche divides her time between dance, writing, parenting, activism, volunteering, and working as a Teaching Artist. She has worked as a dance Teaching Artist for Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Education program since 2000, conducting aesthetic education residencies for grades K through twelve, as well as Disney Musicals in the Schools Residences, and more recently, Restorative Justice Arts Project residencies with young men from Juvenile Gang Court. Independently and in collaboration with a team of lead teaching artists, she designs and facilitates professional development for teachers and other teaching artists, and also authors Humanities Outreach Tennessee (HOT) guidebooks. Community and service-centered, Amanda has collaborated as an organizer, choreographer or teaching artist with organizations such as Global Education Center, Nashville CARES, Poverty & the Arts and Vanderbilt University. Her most recent social dance project, “Braid”, collected and told stories from members of Nashville’s immigrant and refugee communities. A mother of two, she also birthed and has nurtured Blue Moves Modern Dance Company since 1989. Extending her creative process teaching artistry approach to personal growth workshops for the general public, she has offered workshops and class series at Art & Soul Studio, The Estuary, abrasiveMedia, OnSite, and Gilda’s Club. In 2015, Amanda started creating short films, integrating her journalism background into her love of visual storytelling. Her alchemy is most powerful when she combines a trilogy of her deepest passions: dance, writing, and social justice.

Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Giving Back: Honoring Our Leaders, Our Communities and Ourselves through Dance and Spoken Word

Program Type: Arts Curriculum

Program Description:

Designed specifically for 5th grade and adaptable for grades 2-6. Students explore characteristics of communities, and what makes communities healthy and unhealthy. They identify problems within their school or wider communities and express ways of solving those problems through the creation of small-group dances. They reflect on historical figures who have positively impacted their communities and the world and create tribute dances and/or poems for those people. Then, students individually consider what they have to give back to the community, and express this through movement and writing. The culmination of the program is sharing of student-created dances and writing which reflect values of their community and student’s individual contributions.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: "I am, We Are" Community-Building Residency

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

Through writing, reflection, experiencing counterbalance in pairs and in groups, and creating short dances together, students will explore individual and communal identity. Through risk-taking and shared responsibility in small groups, students will build community and experience how if feels to support, and to be supported. Writing of “I am …” poems help students hone on personal attributes, and “We are …” statements help students define their community and take ownership of it. This residency requires at least four, one-hour teaching artist visits per classroom and is best suited for grade levels 3-6.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Stoking the Fire: Reigniting Your Passion for Teaching

Program Type: Arts Appreciation

Program Description:

When teachers are overwhelmed by assessments, classroom challenges and planning, they need to be nurtured and offered time to reflect upon why they chose to answer the call to teach. Educators explore poetry and dance for arts’ sake, and may be inspired to integrate these forms into their classroom. This workshop includes deep reflection on what it takes to teach well, a renewal of energy and inspiration for teaching, consideration of why we are individually called to teach, and an awareness of the need to be alive, impassioned, and dedicated in this work. It includes distillation of abstract concepts into words or short phrases, and embodiment of those through tableaux and full-body poses. Inspirational poetry and essays by teachers is drawn from the book “Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach.” Assessment is less formal for this workshop, and will come through reflection and group discussion.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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