About This Artist
Maryland Wolf Trap Baby Artsplay! Trained
Maryland Wolf Trap Teaching Artist
National Residency Teaching Artist Credential Recipient
Teaching Artist Institute Graduate
Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist
About this Artist
Valerie Branch graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance. She has experience touring as a performing and teaching artist both nationally and internationally. Valerie has brought dance into schools throughout South Africa and St. George’s, Grenada and has received an invitation from the Danish Embassy to participate in a Cultural Arts Program Exchange Visit to Denmark. As a Master Teaching Artist with Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and a Teaching Artist Fellow with Arts for Learning Maryland (formerly Young Audiences of Maryland), her mission is to bring dance to schools throughout the DMV area and beyond. She is a company member and Managing Director of Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company and is the Founder and Artistic Director of VB Dance Ensemble, a professional contemporary dance company focused on bringing social and cultural awareness and change through the power of dance into schools around the nation.
I believe that dance has the power to transform, enhance, and open the mind to new and different possibilities. Integrating dance into the traditional classroom setting helps children gain confidence, increases their memory, assists with their social developmental skills, and helps them to think more creatively, critically, and outside of the box. For me, it is important to work in schools and with children, because I believe that children need as many positive role models and mentors as possible to support healthy development. I also believe that using dance as a tool for learning helps children to understand different logics and also to assist with independent thinking. Children become smarter because their brains are being targeted and challenged in a different way. As a dance teaching artist and educator, I believe in the importance of sharing the culture, knowledge, and history of dance with under-served youth to enhance growth and development within their communities, while empowering them to make strong independent choices now and
in their future.