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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE dance instructor honored for inspiring students

Jason+Floyd%2FThe+Collegian++Dance+instructor+Jamie+Perrin%2C+winner+of+the+Chancellor%E2%80%99s+Award+for+SE+Campus%2C+teaches+hip-hop+on+SE+Campus.+Perrin+also+leads+the+SE+Rhapsody+Movement+Company+dance+group.+
Jason Floyd/The Collegian Dance instructor Jamie Perrin, winner of the Chancellor’s Award for SE Campus, teaches hip-hop on SE Campus. Perrin also leads the SE Rhapsody Movement Company dance group.

By Mathew Shaw/se news editor

Jason Floyd/The Collegian  Dance instructor Jamie Perrin, winner of the Chancellor’s Award for SE Campus, teaches hip-hop on SE Campus. Perrin also leads the SE Rhapsody Movement Company dance group.
Jason Floyd/The Collegian Dance instructor Jamie Perrin, winner of the Chancellor’s Award for SE Campus, teaches hip-hop on SE Campus. Perrin also leads the SE Rhapsody Movement Company dance group.

Part four in a five-part series on winners of the Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Teaching, an annual recognition of faculty who impress and inspire their students.

Dance instructor Jamie Perrin felt a mixture of different emotions when she won the annual Chancellor’s Award for SE Campus.

“It was very shocking, surprising, surreal and humbling all at the same time,” she said. “I honestly was not expecting to win.”

This is Perrin’s seventh year teaching on SE, primarily jazz and hip-hop dance as well as leading the SE Rhapsody Movement Company dance group.

Perrin said jazz and hip-hop are her favorite styles.

“I find that there’s a lot of room to add your own personal style to them,” she said.

SE student Dakota Byrd described Perrin’s dancing as “captivating.”

“When she’s moving, you can’t take your eyes off of her,” he said.

SE student Tiffany Greenhaw, who has known Perrin for four years, also enjoys watching Perrin dance.

“I could watch her dance all day,” she said. “We call her style ‘J-ography.’”

Perrin was instrumental in establishing Rhapsody and one of her favorite memories is of its first concert on SE in 2008. Perrin was at first unsure of the reaction, but the concert ended up selling out.

“Just seeing the level of support for dance, it was overwhelming in a good way,” she said.

Rhapsody was conceived as something more to offer for more advanced and serious dance students, Perrin said.

SE student and Rhapsody member Nicholas Levingston has known Perrin since 2009 but danced with her for the first time last semester.

“She just really helped me grow as a dancer,” said Levingston, who now assists with Perrin’s classes. “She’s just very hands-on, very detailed.”

Perrin is responsible for managing Rhapsody, according to SE liberal arts dean Jerry Coats.

“She does a wonderful job of balancing an active family life and a successful career,” he said.

Perrin manages the dance programs, including arranging its classes, helping hire and evaluate adjuncts, providing choreography for campus musical productions and collaborating with the music and theater programs, Coats said.

“She is a powerhouse,” he said.

Yet Perrin manages to sustain a consistent personality through all her endeavors, said SE student development associate Natalie Gamble.

“I’ve seen her as a mom. I’ve seen her as a teacher. I’ve seen her perform. I’ve seen her volunteer,” she said.

Another fond memory of Perrin’s is the approval of a new state-of-the-art facility for the dance studio.

“The space we were in before was very small, and it was not conducive to our classes,” Perrin said.

Now, more students are enrolled in dance than when Perrin started teaching at SE.

“When I got here, the highest enrollment had been 88 students,” she said. “Now, there are 348.”

Byrd was encouraged by Perrin when he was beginning to doubt himself as a dancer in her course. Now he wants to double major in English and dance at the University of Texas at Austin.

Another student who was inspired by Perrin is Courtney Self, a 2010 TCC graduate.

“In teaching, we lead by example,” she said. “We don’t just yell and scream. We encourage students to do the best they can.”

Self said she would consider teaching after attaining her goal of a master’s in dance.

Perrin said she plans to teach as long as possible.

“I don’t do what I do to get awards,” she said. “I do it just because I love it.”

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