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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Mandy Stallings

Dance Teacher

Know Your Pelicans

What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum?

I teach dance in the Middle and Upper Schools. I love all of my classes, but it's always such a thrill when Dance Concert season comes along. Being able to work with the Upper School choreography class and help the dancers to bring their artistic visions to life is such a joy.

My job is great because I get the best of both worlds... I get to teach my choreographers how to make dance, and I also get to create new work for the Packer Dance Company. Working daily with young people who love and appreciate dance the way I do is a dream.

Tell us about a specific time you found your job especially rewarding?

Last year, my choreography class was asked to perform in a dance festival outside of Packer along with nine professional dance companies. When the show began, I wished them well and left to take my seat in the audience. At that moment, I experienced an overwhelming sense of pride and trust in them. I knew they would be complete professionals amongst the other performers and that they would hold their own in the performance. And I was right! They performed with power, beauty, and commitment, and they were absolutely an audience favorite. It was a very rewarding moment as a teacher.

What's one thing you love about your colleagues?

I love so many things about my colleagues; it is hard to name just one. I feel incredibly fortunate to work in a department with such thoughtful and wonderful human beings who have dedicated their lives to making art and teaching in the arts. I love that I have the opportunity to work across disciplines with other educators who care so much about making meaningful work with our students.

If you were to have an inspirational fridge magnet (and we're not saying you would), what would it say and why?

I am not ashamed to say that I love a good fridge magnet, and one that was given to me this Christmas by one of my colleagues pretty much sums up my personality. It is a dog magnet that reads, "My dog is my heart." And she is! Isadora Duncan ("Izzy") named after the dancer and choreographer, is my four-and-a-half year old lab mix whom I adopted when she was a pup. She is just the best!

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