Dance teacher “a model of what she brings to the world”
The standards are high. Robertson and her team prepare students to dance as a college major, whether or not they choose to. Stivers has 75 students enrolled in the dance program, and of the 15 seniors, 3 enter dance at university – all boys, including one who started dancing just two years ago, she said. declared.
“But because we’re looking for excellence, they can go for anything,” she said.
She credits many of her own opportunities and successes to people like Jeraldyne Blunden, the founder of DCDC. As a child, Blunden and her mother had to look for a place to practice and dance because many studios wouldn’t teach a black girl.
“We lean on the shoulders of many,” she said.
The Sierra Leonean poet and writer named Robertson a gem of the Dayton Daily News community. Leone, who has known Robertson as a professional colleague and friend for 15 years, praised her commitment to her students and to excellence.
A June 19 celebration where his students danced stands out from Leone. As the world came to a standstill in the midst of a pandemic, her students brought movement, life, and a glimpse of the future.
“It shed light on the experience that was needed at so much higher level than I could have ever imagined,” Leone said.
In addition to dancing, Robertson teaches her students life skills such as how to treat others and how they themselves should be treated, Leone said. She is a role model for her students, and the experiences she gives and prepares them both inside and outside of the classroom are invaluable.
“She’s a role model of what she puts out into the world,” Leone said.
Robertson said students rise to the standards given to them.
“Dancing makes them feel invincible,” said Robertson, who lives in Dayton with her husband, Alex, and their 15-year-old son, William. She calls her husband, an elementary school principal, her biggest influence as an educator.
While her students at Stivers are there for the dancing, Robertson knows it’s also her words that affect every child.
“All you have to do is love the kids 1,000%,” she said.