Meet Felipe Oyarzun Moltedo!

Danny Stock
As part of our ongoing series Meet Our GDS Faculty and Staff, we are excited to present: Meet Felipe Oyarzun Moltedo!

Read the Q&A below to learn more about Felipe, Middle/High School dance teacher.
What do you love about GDS?
I love the experience that GDS provides to the community every day. Every minute is packed with excitement, discovery, creativity, learning, joy, and growing. GDS is not only a place for the students to become better world citizens but also for the adults to keep exploring and be amazed at what they can achieve.
Why do you teach?
These last couple of years have been difficult for all of us, and I believe that we need the arts now more than ever. Dancing can be therapeutic; having the opportunity to work with young dancers and helping them connect with their emotions is the reason I go to work each day.
A favorite lesson to teach or favorite part of your job?
I love the moment when we get to “performance week.” There is an excitement in the air that is present and evident. There is so much happening during that week! And then, when it is all over, each one of the dancers feels successful and proud of what they have achieved and how far they have come.
Other GDS activities or roles community members may not know about?
8th Grade Dean, MS Light Club Lead, and MS musical dance director (before COVID)
Your teaching or work style in three words?
Analysis — Discovery — Creativity
A top hope/wish for your students and/or colleagues?
I hope that we all take a minute to pause, breathe deeply, and recognize how far we have come, how much we have already achieved, and that the road ahead is not as scary as it may seem.
Personal passions/hobbies/pastimes?
This past summer I spent most of my time doing competitive ballroom dancing, which was very fun but kind of time-consuming. I also enjoy cooking and staying active. I love spending time reading a book and drinking coffee.
Various favorites…?
As far as favorites go, I fall in love with new things too easily! Still, right now I’m enjoying reading The Body by Bill Bryson, and I have a bread recipe that I really like baking.
A note about family?
My family is my friends! And as all my family members are in other countries, my best friends here are my family. They are wonderful and as close as any family could be.
One thing about yourself your students/colleagues/others probably don't know?
Every month, I receive a box of snacks from Japan.
One thing on your life "bucket list" you've already accomplished?
Meditate at a temple in Thailand
One thing on your life “bucket list” you have yet to accomplish?
Years at GDS...
Three years down and more than two months into year four.

With a tip from Felipe, we reached out to hear what a colleague had to say...
Middle School instructional coach Jana Rupp said, “Felipe is a consummate educator. Not only is he passionate about teaching dance, but he is also a dedicated mentor to students and teachers through his work as an advisor and dean. His thoughtful planning and energetic instruction provide a space for our students to reach new heights as dancers and humans. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from Felipe, as well as for the chance to watch his students develop and perform powerful dances. Additionally, I've had the privilege of watching him perform with the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company everywhere from the Smithsonian to the Kennedy Center and even right here at GDS!”
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