Professional dancer leads Liberty Arts students

LIMA — Experiential education is a teaching philosophy in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values and develop people’s capacity to contribute to their communities.

Countess Winfrey spent three days in Lima at the Liberty Arts Magnet dancing with students. They are working on choreography for a concert happening later this year.

“I feel pretty lucky to get to do what I’m doing. And it took a lot of time. It also took me being able to see other dancers before my time doing what they were doing.”

Winfrey began her dance training at Dance with Stacy Dance Studio, where she danced more than five years. She also attended Wharton Arts Magnet School where she majored in dance and art. She later continued her training at Nashville School of the Arts. Attending college at the University of Memphis, Countess graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree in health and human performance and with a minor in dance in 2011. She joined the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in 2014. She has performed works by Paul Taylor, David Dorfman, Rodney A. Brown, Rob Priore, William B. McClellan Jr. and many other choreographers.

“So it’s been going pretty good. They seem to be open. I think me being here a couple of days is helpful so that they kind of get a feeling of what class is going to be like the next day. You know the classroom climate gets a little better each day.

“It’s an honor to be able to share that with younger dancers or younger aspiring dancers or even those who don’t aspire to dance just to share my love of dance with them. Even if they are just enjoying it just with the class that one day. You just never know like what kind of seed is going to plant inside of them, so it feels like an honor and it feels like a reciprocal exchange. I get to feel fulfilled with teaching them and they get to feel fulfilled with having a new experience.”

Student Arazah Bowie said, “I love the movement, I love how you can just make things in your head and improvise and how it can be a huge thing when you grow up. I love the movement that she’s teaching us, especially because we can show everybody in our Christmas concert. It’s just going to be amazing.”

As a quote often attributed to Winston Churchill says, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409

Dean Brown
Dean Brown joined The Lima News in 2022 as a reporter. Prior to The Lima News, Brown was an English teacher in Allen County for 38 years, with stops at Perry, Shawnee, Spencerville and Heir Force Community School. So they figured he could throw a few sentences together about education and business in the area. An award-winning photographer, Brown likes watching old black and white movies, his dog, his wife and kids, and the four grandkids - not necessarily in that order. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0409.