DEL Lab Schools Feature: Tina Christina-Price
Highlighting 2023 DEL Lab School recipient highlight: Tina Christina-Price!
After a career in performance in classical ballet earning an apprenticeship with the Stuttgart Ballet and performing with companies including the National Ballet of Iran and Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Tina Christina-Price returned to the states and directed the Roberson School of Ballet in Binghamton, NY, and founded Ballet Arts Theatre and Aspire Dance Company in Endicott, NY. In 1983, she attended McGill University, and twenty five years later she received a BA in Dance from Empire State College. She has teacher certification in DanceAbility and loves to choreograph inclusive pieces for disabled and no-disabled dancers.
Tina recently graduated from the DEL Institute – Teacher Certificate Program and is currently enrolled in the 2023 DEL Facilitators in Training program. Tina fosters an inclusive classroom where students of all abilities enjoy dance making experiences.
It’s obvious that Ms. T loves sharing her passion for dance with the students of Binghamton City school district’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.
Recently, Tina was highlighted by Thomas Jefferson Elementary School News for her work as a dance teacher with the Binghamton School District.
Tina shared in the article:
“Kids like to have an experience that gives them ownership to what they’re doing. It’s not to say teaching them technique – tap, jazz, ballet, modern – is not appropriate. What’s even a greater lesson that embraces everything about that genre is ‘What’s the history behind it? Where did it come from? What costumes do they wear? Who choreographs? Where is it performed? Who does it appeal to?’ But we have to get to that.”
Tina shared more about the benefits (for both students and classroom teachers) of dance education, and how she applies the DEL Model in her teaching.
We asked Tina to answer the following questions:
A. What is one of the biggest learnings or takeaways that has stuck with you from a DEL Course/Workshop?
One of the biggest takeaways from every DEL course/workshop I’ve taken is the expertise and passion of DEL Facilitators. They truly care, which is evident in how willing they are to share.
B. How do you apply the DEL model in your teaching environment? Tell us more about how you use what you’ve learned from DEL in your real life.
My role as a dance educator began after a career as a performer and classical ballet teacher. I was unfamiliar with state standards, assessments and lesson plans. The DEL Institute Teacher Certificate Program was an incredible experience. I’ve been able to apply the DEL model in every lesson plan I write.
Having a DEL lesson plan in hand, I’m more confident navigating a class that isn’t going exactly as planned.
In my everyday life I’ve begun to notice things differently, for example:
In my garden this summer there was a colony of ants on the move. I thought my K-2 students would think this was cool and it would be a good way to introduce the concept of personal space while navigating general space. So I shot a video and it will introduce the exploration portion of a lesson plan on space (LMA.)
C. At the center of the DEL Model is the Teacher’s Heart, which represents the core artistic and philosophical values and beliefs of every dance educator. In our DEL Lab Schools Virtual Ceremony, Tina shared:
My Teacher’s Heart is about changing lives through Dance.