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Dance Teacher Meoka McBride Reflects on her Second Year

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Dance Teacher Meoka McBride Reflects on her Second Year

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Turns, twists, and talent are only some of what dance director Meoka McBride has got to experience while teaching dance. The eMotion Dance Company director, who transferred from Lamar High School, gave a brief overview of what her second year has been like.

“It is a bit smoother this year because I know what to expect,” McBride said. “I am more familiar with my students and I felt like the first year was important to leave things as they already were.”

McBride, who teaches three intro dance classes, has enjoyed her time working here alongside the talent and diversity our school holds. She has planned on expanding and cultivating the dance department into something to be no less than proud of.

“This year I have been able to incorporate more of the things I believe in,” McBride said. “Things that are important to my vision for the company and the dance department.”

Coming from a rival school and being the new teacher on the block, McBride did not know what to expect when starting her new position. Luckily, she quickly got acclimated with her new students and how things operated with them.

“I did not want to come in and start changing things,” McBride said. “I know if I were a student I wouldn’t want to come in and have things abruptly change.”

McBride’s position as dance director for eMotion Dance Company came with great responsibility. She hoped to broaden the already great talent, and help eMotion in some of the weaker points.

    “I really want to grow our breakdance and hip hop groups,” McBride said. “Our modern group is pretty strong, but I want to build those two other groups. Also, I want to recruit some strong dancers from our connected middle schools and get us more active in Houston ISD’s dance community. I want the dancers to become more active because it is a thriving community.”

McBride’s day would typically consist of her first three classes being eMotion Company members only, and her last three being her Introduction to Dance classes. While McBride is a skilled dancer, her company classes are student lead and student choreographed. On the contrary, her intro classes require her full attention. She has taught them the basics of dance, the history, and how to perform in front of other people.

“Most of my intro dancers have little to no dance experience,” McBride said. “They are learning etiquette, respect for the art form, and basic fundamentals, technique and motor skills. The biggest difference between my intro students and company members is the artistry, technique, skill level and respect for the art form.”

After being so accustomed to Lamar’s dance program for over nine years, McBride has already noticed many of the differences between the two dance programs she has been in charge of.

“The difference is that being at Lamar for nine years, I built a really great rapport within that school, the students and HISD dance community as a whole,” McBride said. “I have not built that here yet since I’ve only been here for two years. But in time I will build that rapport so students really get a feeling for who I am. I feel strongly about dance and the respect it takes to be a dancer.”

 

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Dance Teacher Meoka McBride Reflects on her Second Year