Set in Motion: Launching New Paths in Dance Education

Lila Reid '15

Lila Reid ’15

Lila Reid ’15, MFA Candidate in Dance

Double Major: Dance and Psychology and Education with Teacher Licensure

Graduate Program: MFA Candidate in Dance, University of Oregon

In high school, I was deeply inspired by my dance instructor, Susan Nelson, who showed me the value in pursuing a career in dancing and teaching. I knew that I wanted to follow in her footsteps, so I began seeking a college that would allow me to combine my interests.

During my college application process, I learned of Mount Holyoke's extensive Teacher Licensure program through the Psychology and Education department. The program included licensures for early childhood and pre-K as well as a variety of subjects for middle and secondary schools and performing arts courses through all grades. I found out that in 2010, Mount Holyoke had pioneered a teacher licensure for Dance for grades K-12, and I became interested to learn more about what the program required.

With all of that in mind, I went to Mount Holyoke, and declared my dance major in my first semester. I took psychology/education courses as a sophomore to begin working towards a double major. After three and a half years of hard work, completing a double major, as well as, all the required courses for the licensure, I finished the last phase of my licensure by teaching full time at Amherst Regional High School during the spring semester of my senior year. I was also a student teacher in the Dance Department under the guidance of Tracy Vernon.

Student teaching was by far the most valuable experience I had at Mount Holyoke. Now, I'm the first student from Mount Holyoke to receive a Massachusetts Dance Teacher Licensure for grades K-12. I couldn't have done any of this without the support of both the Dance Department and the Psych/Ed department, who were both willing to collaborate and problem solve with me along the way.

Mount Holyoke gave me the opportunity to fuse my interests in dance and teaching through a career-oriented and practical approach. Because of these collective experiences, I have decided to continue expanding my dance education and teaching credentials this fall at the University of Oregon, where I will be an MFA Dance candidate and a Graduate Teaching Fellow in Dance.