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Maria Tzianabos


The teacher that you are is the person that you are. My role as a teacher has always been the most gratifying for me. My motivation to keep learning about the magnificent tool we call "the body" and about the ways in which it works in terms of anatomy, kinesiology, energy and imagery prompt me to be deeply engaged in finding creative ways to approach learning and teaching. As such, I am contributing to society by shaping the way students view art.

José Limón and his work have always been and continue to be the largest influence on my dancing style and teaching. There is both a classic simplicity and an honesty in his practice as a whole that remain true to this day, even after his death.

As a teacher, I must be able to clearly communicate my personal conceptualization of my art practice and theories concerning art.  I cultivate my personal movement and envision how that movement coalesces.  I take my emotions and translate them into movement, finally piecing them together to create a collage.  As an artist, I must maintain a continuous inner dialogue in order to understand my views on the artistic subject matter.  My work as an educator keeps me humble because it forces me to constantly question myself and my motives for making artwork.
The most powerful way to share my art is through the medium of teaching. 


After years of experience in the traditional dance world, I came to the realization that the best way for me to teach is to incorporate both rigor and discipline from within a strength-based model.  My personal style of dance incorporates a sense of lyricism with a feeling of groundedness.  From the core strength emanates the grace.  The foundation of my focus  is a student's strengths; I offer constructive criticism, while emphasizing dancer's attributes and building self-esteem.  It is my belief in order to help create a strong dancer, one should work from the inside out, as opposed to working from the outside in.
My work is now centered on the continuation of the process of self-exploration.  Within this process, I integrate ideas from dance, other art forms and from my personal experiences.  I find that working with other artists feeds my hunger for knowledge about other art forms, in turn, raising new questions about the hows and whys of artmaking. This educative, interactive process, for me, is simply an extension of my art.  Moreover, the reciprocal nature of teaching, both with students and colleagues, resides within the core of my work.


Our pedagogical approach to dance instruction is as follows:  our program aspires to instill a strong sense of community where the student/teacher relationship is as important to us as the subject matter.  We believe that a low teacher/child ratio perpetuates a safe and productive environment in which your children can explore, express, and challenge themselves.  Adhering to  this  methodology  brings a sense of belonging and fosters self esteem.  This follows our mission of reciprocal learning.  Each of our teachers brings a unique skill set to the classroom.    Providing a collaborative teaching platform serves as a model for a cooperative creative process.   This platform reinforces our philosophy that success depends on the path taken and not just the destination.



Director and Owner

Maria A. Tzianabos received her B.F.A. from The Boston Conservatory and her M.F.A. from Goddard College.   While at the Conservatory, she studied Ballet and Modern extensively with members of the Boston Ballet and Jose Limón Company.  After graduating, Maria performed for noted choreographers from the  American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Granite State Ballet.   She has been a lecturer in Dance at  the University of Southern Maine’s since 1999 as well as an artist in residence at several schools and colleges throughout Maine.  In 2009, Maria fulfilled a lifelong dream when she opened Terpsicore Dance Inc./Maria’s Danceworks Inc. in South Portland.  At Danceworks Inc. she teaches children of all ages and directs her adult repertory company.  Maria is dedicated to her mission of  building self esteem through dance. 

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