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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

Q&A with SA's New Dance Teacher Heidi Murr

9 Questions with Heidi MurrHeidi Murr joins the Performing Arts Department as our new dance teacher. Heidi has spent the last several years as a dance instructor and coordinator at Westinghouse Arts Academy Charter School in Pittsburgh, where she developed their dance program from scratch. Skilled in modern, ballet, and jazz, Heidi has also been a guest artist at Shady Side Academy’s Junior School, working with students in their after school program. She is also the founder of her own Modern dance troupe, MURRdance, and has performed locally in the Kelly Strayhorn NewMoves Festival. Heidi holds a BFA in Dance, magna cum laude, from The Ohio State University.

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

HM: I'm excited to teach cross-divisionally to such a wide age range of students! I see a great opportunity here to continue the growth of the dance program and introduce new movement ideas to students through class and choreography.

SA: What motivated you to become a teacher?

HM: I'm motivated by the experience that movement brings to students. Regardless of age or experience, movement can bring joy, teach self-awareness, and build community.

SA: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

HM: I love guiding my students to build confidence through movement by teaching that all bodies are capable of dance!

SA: What is the most important life lesson you want your students to learn in your class(es)?

HM: I want my students to understand empathy when they leave my classroom. I want them to leave my class a little kinder to themselves and one another, understanding that we are a community and we are all capable in our own individual ways.

SA: How do you keep current with the subject areas you cover?

As a working professional dancer, I actively engage with movement research through taking technique class, choreographing dance pieces, watching performances, and teaching outside of SA with the partnership of other professionals in my field.

SA: What was your favorite book as a child?

HM: Any Junie B. Jones book!

SA: What is your favorite book as an adult?

HM: Currently I'm digging into dance history and dance technique books focusing on ballet and modern dance.

SA: What are some of your interests/hobbies?

HM: In the summer, I love boating and spending time with my dog outside. When football season rolls around, you can catch me at Heinz field every Sunday with my family - Go 'lers!

SA: What are you most looking forward to this school year?
HM: I look forward to collaborating with other faculty and staff, especially the awesome performing arts team I get to work with day-to-day, and getting to know my 200+ students throughout the year!

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Topics: Faculty