New East Aiken School of the Arts teacher brings passion for the dance

New East Aiken School of the Arts teacher brings passion for the dance

From the Aiken Standard:

Story and photo by Rob Novit

When she was 3, Adrienne Robinson’s mother decided her daughter walked too much like her dad.

So soon, the child began ballet lessons and remains immersed in the dance. She would later graduate from the Davidson School of the Arts.

Robinson recently was appointed as the new dance teacher at East Aiken School of the Arts.

“Kids want to learn and get excited,” the Augusta native said. “That’s what drives me – a passion for the kids and their education. I want to share what I know and have something special.”

While many people might not be familiar with Suzanne Farrell, the legendary ballerina and teacher, Robinson certainly is.

While at Columbia College in 2007, she was accepted for an internship at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

“I would get to watch Mrs. Farrell and interact with her (high school) kids from all over the world,” Robinson. “I attended workshops to see how to put on a program.”

After graduation, she worked in arts-related and other fields before seeking a position as a dance teacher. Robinson heard that East Aiken was seeking someone for that position and was amazed and delighted that the school is a formal arts facility – focusing in large part on arts integration with other subjects like English, science and math.

Robinson’s arrival completes an arts journey for the school. She has joined Kathy Linton, physical education; Carrie Power, visual arts; Megan Jensen, the music educator; and Chrissie Sturgis, the drama teacher who arrived in August.

“It’s so exciting to have new full-time theater and dance teachers,” Power said. “Now we can give every student a comprehensive arts education.”

Principal Lisa Fallaw said East Aiken is fortunate to find Robinson.

“She has so much energy and fantastic ideas and comes with really good experience,” Fallaw said. “Her Kennedy (internship) really stood out.”

Tonya Johnson directs an after-school dance program at East Aiken and has served as substitute to help with collaborative arts programs – such as the holiday concert scheduled on Thursday.

“I shadowed her in the classes and bounced ideas on how she has done things,” Robinson said. “I’ll bring in some things I can add on to that.”

She plans to introduce the children to dance history, dances new to them and others they can create themselves.

“We’ll do the shag, too,” Robinson said with a smile. “I had no idea it even existed at one time. I just want to expose them to different things.”

Image: Adrienne Robinson, the new dance teacher at East Aiken School of the Arts, is joined by students, from left, Anna Thompson, Angellyna Ergle and Kaylin Kight.