Luis Lopez-Maldonado

Poeta. Playwright. Dancer. Choreographer. Educator.

The Artist Website for Luis Lopez-Maldonado: To Inspire The World & Those Who Live In It 

 

 

 

"Because I am art, my poems are art, my dances are art. Everything is art!"

Professor Luis Lopez-Maldonado

  • Villa Park High School, H.S. Diploma - '03
  • Irvine Valley College, A.A. (Dance Certificate) - '07
  • University of California, Riverside, B.A. (Creative Writing, Dance) - '12
  • Florida State University, M.A. (Dance) - '15
  • University of Notre Dame, M.F.A. (Creative Writing) - '17

 

Click here for resumé (education/work)


Philosophy of Teaching, DANCE

Dance runs through my veins. It is as much a part of my physical being as my spiritual. Therefore, I anchor my teaching pedagogy in developing the artistry in the student, and pushing them to reach a more holistic sense of self when developing their artistic voice. I focus greatly on the physical, mental and spiritual attributes the student can posses. I promote the knowledge of knowing that the perfect body does not necessarily exist or is needed to become a successful artist. Although I have different excitements as a teacher, my passion ultimately aims to assist the dancer to reach his or her fullest potential. Because I believe maintaining a seeking spirit in the dance field is crucial to one’s artistic development.

 

Firstly, I believe teaching dance should encourage students to continue their search for advancement and allow them to fall in love with their physical selves: their bodies are the instrument in the musical piece we call life. One of my goals is to offer positive examples in the classroom setting. I aim to motivate students to work hard and learn the artistry of dancing; It is important for me to believe in my students and learn along side with them, furthering my knowledge of this magnificent art form. Another goal of mine is to assist the student technically. Inside the classroom I like to submerge the student in improvisational, creative, choreographic and performing skill making, allowing the individual to express themselves to their maximum. I am notorious for having a high level of enthusiasm. My smile is the first and last thing students see when they walk into my class, because I believe a smile promotes a positive and honest environment. The student sees this and their energy is altered, their mind becomes open and they feel comfortable in the space. A simple smile can change everything!

 

Furthermore, I agree that high standards must be set inside the classroom. By setting high standards in the classroom setting, I will hopefully push my students to work tirelessly, and still ask for more! My classroom experience serves to prepare the student to leave the nest and fly! With their own wings they will learn how to deal with taking a wrong turn, and knowing how to get back in the right direction. Because I believe that being a dancer is so much more than a perfectly pointed foot or a clean split, I always seek to prepare my students for more than just a performance track, if that is something they are interested in. They must be able to acquire tools for the real world as well, know how to survive in difficult situations, and know how to critically think about creating art. I also believe in promoting an open-minded environment in the hopes to support students in becoming vulnerable and able to trust and articulate their ideas.

 

My personal style of teaching promotes a positive learning atmosphere. I try to create a comfortable space for students from all backgrounds, in hopes of making it a home away from home. I believe this promotes student growth. Because for me, it’s about how you glue the fake eyelashes, and not about how they look in photographs.

 

In conclusion, I treat my students how I treat family, building a relationship with them that introduces trust and admiration into the learning experience. I seek to teach others the beauty of dance, the power of the human body, and the importance of feeding ones artistry. It is in my personal interest to touch the lives of those that step into my space, showing character and vulnerability, both characteristics that I hope they take with them wherever they go!


Teaching Philosophy, POETRY

Writing runs through my veins. It is as much a part of my academic being as my spiritual. Although I have different excitements as a teacher, my passion ultimately aims to discover the fullest potential of the learning student, for I continue to learn still, as well. I anchor my teaching pedagogy in developing the artistry in the student, and pushing them to reach a more holistic mentality when developing their artistic “voice.” I focus greatly on the physical, mental and spiritual attributes the student can posses.

 

Firstly, I believe teaching creative writing (poetry) should encourage students to continue their search for advancement and allow them to fall in love with what they have: their minds are the instrument in the musical piece we call life. One of my goals is to offer positive examples in the classroom setting. I want to motivate students to work hard and learn the artistry of playing with language; the knowledge of knowing that traditional views in the writing society at times likes to remind of us of, is not necessarily needed to become a successful writer. It is important for me to believe in my students and learn along side with them, furthering my knowledge of this magnificent art form. Inside the classroom I like to submerge the student in improvisational, creative, and performing skill making, allowing the individual to express themselves to their maximum. I believe it is very important for writers to know they are a hybridity of machinery. I am notorious for having a high level of enthusiasm. My smile is the first and last thing students see when they walk into my class, because I am always happy to be where I am, do what I do, and see what I see. The student sees this and their energy is altered, their mind is open and they feel comfortable in the space. That is my goal. A simple smile can change everything!

 

Furthermore, I agree that to set high standards inside the classroom, is to prepare the student for when they are ready to leave the nest and fly! With their own wings, take a wrong turn, and know how to get back in the right direction. I always seek to prepare my students for more than just an academic track, if that is something they are interested in. They must be able to acquire tools for the real world as well, know how to survive in difficult situations, and know how to critically think about creating art. I believe in promoting an open-minded environment in the hopes to support students in opening up and feeling comfortable to voice their ideas, which will ignite the possibility of learning from one another. I believe working in teams in class can teach the student value in respecting their peers’ beliefs and permit their workmanship qualities to strengthen as well. By setting high standards in the classroom setting, I will hopefully push my students to work tirelessly, and still ask for more! Poetry is addictive. Therapeutic even.

 

My personal style of teaching promotes a positive learning atmosphere. I try to create a comfortable space for students from all backgrounds, in hopes of making it a home away from home. I listen to my students; focus on the need to work together, and to advance together, succeeding one day at a time. I also concentrate on the process of practice and on the actual road to improvement, not just on the outcome or result of the hard work. Rewards will come in time. I believe this promotes student growth. It’s about how you glue the fake eyelashes, and not about how they look in photographs. It is important for me to stand behind my students as they seek help when they cannot continue swimming, when their personal issues begin to destroy their ability to perform well in class, it is then I step in as a guardian and show them how to swim again. I believe this can build trust and confidence. Students bloom more naturally when there is someone actively willing to listen to him or her, for some of them might not have that at home.

 

In conclusion, I treat my students how I treat family, building a relationship with them that introduces trust and admiration into the learning experience. I seek to teach others the beauty of poetry, the power of the human body, and the importance of feeding ones’ artistry. It is in my personal interest to touch the lives of those that step into my space, showing character and vulnerability, both characteristics that will hopefully form within the learning student as he or she progresses in this art form. 

          

          

 "Everyone has a story. You can dance it. You can write it. But please,

you must tell it!"

© 2017 Luis Lopez-Maldonado | All Rights Reserved