Posting Date: April 20, 2011
Dance professor to visit Taiwan for performing arts exchange
Sandra Parks will teach and choreograph during visit
By Megan Roberts
Kennesaw State University Assistant Professor of Dance Sandra Parks will visit the National Taiwan University of Arts from May 16-20 as a part of the performing arts exchange program. Parks will teach dance classes, choreograph a dance piece, attend Chinese dance history classes and observe ballet and modern technique classes. The trip is funded by a Global Learning Faculty Grant. After Parks returns, she will integrate Chinese dance repertory and Chinese dance history into her regular courses as well as present guest lectures in fall 2011.
In addition to learning from her experience at NTUA, Parks will impart dance teaching philosophies and represent the KSU Program in Dance. “I believe this exchange is an opportunity for me to share my knowlege and experience with the students and faculty in NTUA and vice versa,” she explains.
The idea for the exchange came to Parks after a group of professors from Shanghai visited KSU last fall. Parks found that they were able to gain a new way of viewing a subject by seeing it through a different culture. “I decided an exchange like that would broaden my horizon in investigating different ways of teaching and creating.” She then contacted the National Taiwan University of Arts.
Parks is originally from Taiwan and understands the impact different cultures can have on an individual. She believes traveling to experience different cultures, or having other cultures brought in, is beneficial for any undergraduate student to become a well-rounded individual. When Parks goes to Taiwan, she will witness different teaching styles and compare them to her own. Growing up in Taiwan, Parks studied Chinese dance and the way that Chinese dance and Chinese philosophy fit together. For her, the opportunity to go to the NTUA will mean a chance to converse with the professors there about the connection between these two important aspects of Chinese society.
In the spring of 2012, Parks will conduct a special topic course on Chinese dance and culture at KSU. “I hope to bring back more knowledge about this so I will be able to offer a well-rounded special topics class,” Parks says.
In the future, she hopes to see students exchanging between the two universities. “I hope this trip and program is a successful one so we can continue this kind of exchange and expand it to include music, theater and visual arts.”