Long-term substitute Ms. Arianna Kioski takes vacant teaching position in dance department


Looking over dance contracts for the spring show, Ms. Arianna Kioski teaches her second day as a long-term substitute for fifth period Dance I. Photo by Reilynn Roux

On Jan. 9, all odd-day dance classes welcomed their new dance teacher, Ms. Arianna Kioski. She stepped into this teaching position to fill the vacant spot left by the previous dance teacher, Mrs. Amber Rodriguez, who resigned at the end of the semester. 

“I am currently enrolled at William Jessup getting my teaching credential, so I thought this would be a really good opportunity to work on my teaching skills. I love dance, so this is like the best of both worlds,” Kioski said.

Not only does Kioski teach dance, she has also taken dance classes and danced for more than 10 years. 

“My parents first put me in a studio class and they just said, ‘She likes to dance,’ so that’s kind of where it started and it kind of grew from there,” Kioski said. “I was on the dance team [at Woodcreek High School] and I coached dance there. I started dancing when I was a kid.” 

Dance is known as a way to express emotions by embodying what people feel and adding facials. 

“I love jazz. I really like contemporary also; [it’s] not my best style but I like jazz, that’s my favorite,” Kioski said.

Kioski said she gets to temporarily teach something she enjoys. Although she is still working on earning her teaching credential while holding onto the weight of being a teacher halfway through the school year without a master teacher, she said she is enjoying her position so far.

“It’s definitely strange, knowing that there is no master teacher for this position, so [it] definitely feels weird filling in a position that’s vacant,” Kioski said. “But the [other] dance teacher is great, Mrs. [Mallory] Ansley, and so far I really enjoy it.”

Ansley decided to switch to teaching on only even days to give the new long-term substitute a longer time to teach at the school.

“The main reason was so that it could be the same substitute teacher for all of second semester. A substitute permit right now allows 60 days in the same assignment — if the substitute taught on both days, the 60 days would have run out in April and a new substitute would have needed to be brought in,” Ansley said.

Ansley said she is adjusting to the switch in classes, having to leave students she already created a bond with and meeting completely new ones.

“I was sad to leave two of my classes, but it helped knowing that I will see them again while directing both the Dance I Show and Advanced Dance Show,” Ansley said.

Initially, students enrolled in dance classes taught by Ansley and Rodrigez voiced conflicting opinions. The students said they had to get used to the change and leave behind the connections built with their previous teacher. But as the situation unfolded, students adapted in positive ways.

“There’s just a few changes, so [it’s] a little bit [different], but I really like the new teacher a lot. At first it was kind of confusing, but now I think it’s kind of normal,” Brooke Hauan, a third period Dance I student, said.

The dance interns were also affected by this switch, working with a different teacher and having more responsibility. 

“We have to teach a little more now, like a little more combos and a little more technique than we did before. But it’s not a big difference quite yet,” Dance I intern Morgan Kazel said. 

Interns also said they had a special bond with Rodriguez during their time together in the first semester.

Kazel said, “We had a good connection, especially between the interns, [with] Ms. Rod and then the kids. [I] love Ms. Rod and her energy. But Ms. Kioski is so great … and Ms. Ansley set us up really nicely over the break, too.”