RWB School Spotlight: Stacha Penner

Feb 05 2014 | Posted in Spotlight

Teacher Training Program Student Profile

​19-year-old Stacha Penner is a second-year student in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division’s Teacher Training Program. In addition to being a full-time teacher training program student, Stacha teaches in the School’s Recreational Division Satellite Program. The Satellite Program provides high quality dance instruction to various communities in rural Manitoba.

Teachers are selected for each community by the principal of the RWB School Recreational Division, Kelly Bale and the director of the RWB School Teacher Training Program, Johanne Gingras. The Satellite Program provides employment for RWB School teachers as well as work experience for RWB School student teachers, who are students of the RWB School Professional Division Teacher Training Program.

Q. Stacha, what is a typical day like for a student in the Teacher Training Program?

A. 6:30 am – We have a warm up and morning ballet class with RWB School Professional Division students, followed by a pointe or character class and Cecchetti ballet work.

2:00 pm – I head out to Eriksdale, which is a two-hour drive from Winnipeg.

6:45 pm – I teach a creative movement class for 3-5 year-olds, followed by a pre-ballet class for 5-8 year-olds and then a senior ballet class and a level 2 ballet class. I enjoy teaching these classes because it brings dance to a rural community and students who may not otherwise chance to attend these types of programs.

8:00 pm – I finish teaching and I drive home and try to get to bed as early as I can because I have to do it all again the next day.

Q. Why did you audition for RWB School’s Teacher Training Program?

A. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher of some sort and I decided, after graduating from high school, that I wanted to teach dance. I’ve been dancing since I was three-3-years-old so it just made sense. I wanted to be as equipped as my teachers were growing up and I knew that the RWB School Teacher Training Program was the best program out there.

Q. What do you enjoy about the program?

A. I really love that the faculty meets you where you are. When I auditioned, I didn’t think I was going to get in, but it’s been such a great experience. All of the teachers here give you a piece of them to take on in your own teaching and help you find your own style. The feedback is great and getting practical teaching experience through the Satellite Program and through teacher-assisting is invaluable.

Q. What is your advice for others who are interested in auditioning for the program?

A. This program is the best way to go. The teachers are so great at preparing you and giving you confidence to be a great teacher; and you really have a chance to apply the things you’re being taught. Even if you’re someone who’s never taught before, don’t be intimidated, the program will help you learn all of the skills you need.

Teachers’ summer workshop

The Teachers’ Summer Workshop is a week-long professional development opportunity for dance teachers at all stages of their careers and working in any syllabus or system of training. Under the direction of Johanne Gingras, Teacher Training Program Director, the workshop will include:

  • Class observation of Professional Division students participating in the Ballet
  • Academic Program Summer Session
  • Pedagogy
  • Ballet Technique
  • Lectures in subjects such as nutrition, production, dance injury and child development

Join other teachers from around the world who share your love of dance this summer.

July 7-11/ 2014
Registration starts on February 4, 2014
To register, contact the RWB School Office.
Register early as space is limited!
Registration deadline: June 27, 2014