Kathryn Nusa Logan
How Are You Teaching?
Taking Improvisational Dance to TikTok
- Ballet Practice 5116
- Improvisation for Minors 2121
Graduate Teaching Associate Kathryn Logan teaches Ballet and Improvisation in the Department of Dance. When Ohio State announced the transition to remote learning, Logan held weekly office hours on Zoom for students craving a sense of community. She also added a number of resources to CarmenCanvas, like discussion boards about physical training, self-care, and music playlists for her students’ training practices. Logan, a recipient of a Award, Ohio State’s highest recognition of graduate student teaching, describes how she moved her courses online and how students used to TikTok to perform with fellow dancers.
For my Improvisation course, I collaborated with a colleague who is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi who was also teaching an Improvisation course. We created audio improvisation guides, video lectures about using the camera when improvising, and explicitly discussed how improvisation is an act of responding to your ever-changing and unpredictable surroundings, an important skill for the times.
One of the more exciting outcomes from this collaboration was the TikTok assignment we created. My colleague and I each created TikTok accounts for our respective courses, and students had the option to sign-in to those accounts, create a dance, and then “duet” with someone from the other school’s class. This was a cumulative lesson: beginning with considering their environment, considering the presence of the camera and their reactions to the camera, and having the opportunity to feel a sense of a wider community in their dancing and their education.
For my Ballet course, I created a ballet strength training workout they could do in a small space, and through their practice with this and a list of online classes and trainings I sent them, had them develop their own training practices. One of my goals for my students in this course was for them to walk away with a deeper understanding of their individual training needs, and this was a way for them to continue to develop that skill at home.