The Student News Site of Taipei American School




From Tiger teacher to Tiger parent


Although Ms. Deborah Flemming had originally planned to teach at Taipei American School for only four years, she has actually served as an Upper School dance teacher since August 1995. 
Before working at TAS, Ms. Flemming started a dance studio in Canada teaching all types of students. She then taught in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Ultimately, Ms. Flemming and her husband, Mr. Ken Flemming, decided to teach at TAS because many of their friends were also teaching in Asia. 
During her time at TAS, Ms. Flemming has seen many changes in both the dance program as well as TAS as a whole. “Dance is now taken seriously and there’s a lot of respect for the hard work that dancers do,” Ms. Flemming said.
There used to be only one dance class for the high school and the dance program was very small. The Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools was also the only event available for dancers to showcase their ability. TAS now had nine upper school dance classes, two upper school dance teachers and many overseas dance events. 
Ms. Flemming remembers very specifically the first time she took her dancers to Bangkok to perform. They had to adapt very quickly to their new, thin stage. The dancers originally created a performance involving lots of circles. “Our circles very quickly became ovals and rectangles,” she said. Now, TAS dance students are very fortunate to be able to work with professional guest artists. 
As for the changes Ms. Flemming has witnessed in TAS, she says that the spaces between the Upper School and the lower school used to be very different. There used to be less separation between the two grade levels. Now, there is complete separation between the Middle and Upper School courses, even though some of the faculty work cross-divisionally. 
Ms. Flemming has a very close connection to TAS as her daughter graduated from TAS in 2013. Because she has taught at TAS for a long time, many of her students know her  teaching style. Her close relationship with her students was another reason on why she decided to continue teaching at TAS. “My favorite part about teaching at TAS is watching my students develop into confident young adults,” Ms. Flemming said.

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