Former ballerina uses movement and play in her teaching

Stephanie Albanese:
A quick look

Srephanie AlbaneseStephanie Albanese:A quick look

Resident of Providence

Teaches at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island’s Early Childhood Center (ECC)

Years teaching at the ECC: 3

Graduate of the Professional Children’s School and the School of American Ballet (the school of the New York City Ballet)


Q: What age group do you teach and what do you teach?

A: I work with young toddlers – children between the ages of 18-months- and 2½-years-old.

I teach the toddlers simple concepts through exploration and play.

Q: You’re not Jewish, yet you work to impart Jewish values and traditions to your young students. How do you do that?

A: We have a wonderful teacher and curriculum coordinator, Esta Yavner. She instructs us – the teachers – about Jewish values and holidays so we are able to implement those lessons in our classrooms.

Q: How do you get ready and motivated for a new school year?

A: I read and review books that focus on early education to get ideas and to get inspired. I will also get inspired through the arts, especially dance, since the age group I work with are toddlers and are very movement driven. As a former ballet dancer in New York City, I find movement and physicality very important for children of all ages as I feel it helps them with their overall coordination. It gives them a connection with their bodies, which helps them gain greater confidence.

Movement is also a way of expressing one’s self emotionally; I believe children are more apt to express themselves physically before they can express themselves verbally.

Q: Do you have any particularly memorable teachable moments or teaching experiences?

A: The most memorable moments occur when we have worked on a particular idea during the week and then we see the children very focused and absorbed in the activities we have created. Also, our children have at times, weeks later, expressed what we had previously worked on and applied it to their own play. That is very rewarding!