Amanda Cantrell Roche

Contact Name: Amanda Roche

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Phone: (615) 300-8580

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Amanda Cantrell Roche divides her time between dance, writing, parenting, working as an activist and volunteer 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. Independently and in collaboration with a team of lead teaching artists, she designs and facilitates professional development for teachers and other teaching artists. She is a member of ArtistCorps Tennessee, a select group of Tennessee Arts Commission teaching artists who conduct arts-based service learning residencies in schools. 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. A mother of two, she also birthed and has nurtured Blue Moves Modern Dance Company since 1989, and more recently the human rights group One Human Race 4 Justice. 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 and Gilda’s Club. Her alchemy is most powerful when she combines a trilogy of her deepest passions: dance, writing and social justice.

Artist Work Samples

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Sample Programs Offered

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

Program Type: Arts Integration

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: The Science of Dance: Energy and Symbiotic Relationships

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

Students discuss and explore with their bodies concepts of inertia, momentum, swing, counterbalance, magnetic forces and more. They learn the building blocks of dance and choreography in experiential warm ups, and then transform the physical explorations of specific forces and energy into art by adding elements of choreography and being attentive to aesthetics. They discuss symbiotic relationships in nature and in gardening, then utilize the dance technique of counterbalance to create a short dance that expresses the nature of a specific symbiotic relationship. Connects to 4th and 5th grade science standards on motion and forces in nature, 6th grade science standards on symbiotic relationships, and national dance content standards. This is a flexible residency in number of days/visits, depending on how many types of energy and symbiotic relationships teachers would like to explore, and how deeply.

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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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