Janis Walker ’24 is currently a Teacher Assistant at the Boston Ballet School, the official dance school from the renowned Boston Ballet. She assists in the Art Exploration program, one of the school’s summer programs that caters to children ages 3-8. As a Dance major with a focus in pedagogy and a minor in Psychology, this internship is helping Janis prepare for a future career in teaching dance.
“I am responsible for choreographing two pieces for the children to show in their showcase at the end of the program, collaborating with fellow intern and Dean alum Jayda Pearson ’21,” Janis said. “When I assist, I help students to make sure they are paying attention and am there to support them. This has given me the chance to observe how teachers like Luciano Aimar and Marissa Krolewski teach and guide students. I have also been given more chances to take lead of class and teach as the internship goes on.”
Janis has been able to connect what she’s learned on campus to what she’s learning at her internship. At Dean, she is the president of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), a member of Project Green and Best Buddies, and will be a community advisor this fall. She’s also had the unique opportunity to study under one of her professors both at Dean and at the Boston Ballet School.
“I was able to have Luciano as a professor for my Creative Movement for Children class last semester, and now he is my supervisor which is really cool!” she explained. “Because I had him as a professor, I have been able to take what I learned in class and apply it in real life – in a real children’s dance class. Being a part of NSLS has also taught me how to be a leader, which has come in handy when leading classes.”
The Boston Ballet School has provided Janis with valuable teaching experience as she works toward her future career.
“I want to teach at some point in my career, so this internship has given me amazing hands-on experience with the younger age group,” she said. “In the past, I had only ever taught older children, so this was a great immersive experience to throw me right into learning to teach this age group. I have already learned so much, and everything both Luciano and Marissa are teaching and advising me to do has been amazing to absorb!”