Teaching is an Art

Teaching is an Art

Amanda Flahive takes a traditional selfie with students after a showcase performance on Raue Center’s stage. 

Teaching artist Amanda Flahive shares why performing arts education is so important to her.

As a kid growing up in rural Kankakee County, IL, I always knew I loved performing…but didn’t have quite the right place to do that.  I sang “The Sound of Music” into my Fisher-Price tape deck for an audience of stuffed animals, I danced through the living room and entertained everyone who would listen with dramatic interpretations of my favorite Little Golden Books—so it was pretty clear early on that I was headed for the stage!

In spite of my performing ambitions, my small community didn’t offer much in the realm of arts opportunities—it was during my time at college studying for my career as a performer that I discovered my love of sharing the magic of theatre with kids like me.  I love teaching all ages of kids about the joy of theatre and how it can make a difference in their lives, or even become their career.  While I am fortunate enough to call myself a working actor, I often say that teaching is the other half of my “theatre soul.”  As much as I love getting on stage in front of an audience, belting a big number, and digging deep into a role, I also love teaching young performers how to harness that same energy that gets them singing into their hairbrushes in their bedroom mirrors and turn it into a compelling onstage moment. 

As we’ve built the RCSA program, I’ve been fortunate enough to witness many of our students grow from their first class as “dramatic personalities” into confident, vibrant young artists…some of whom have already started incredible professional careers.  While not everyone ends up on a Broadway stage, it’s what we learn along the way that shapes us as human beings—and it is such a gift to meet these kids as they discover their path. Teaching them is my honor and privilege—and I look forward to being part of their journey, wherever it takes them!

Amanda Flahive is an actor and instructor with Raue Center School For The Arts. She will be teaching RCSA’s High School Musical Theatre Workshop June 6 – 17, 2022. For more information about this and Raue Center’s other education workshops and summer camps visit rauecenter.org/education.