Instructor Spotlight: Kim Bunker
1. How long have you been teaching at Garden Street? I started teaching at Garden Street in October of 2016.
2. What do you teach at Garden Street?
At Garden Street, I teach Ballet, Musical Theatre classes. I also get to teach dance and lead theatre games at Kid's Nights and at Birthday Parties. I look forward to teaching some camps this Summer!
3. What is your favorite thing about Garden Street students? I love working with Garden Street students because they are smart, creative, gifted and kind. Many of them jump at the chance to be a leader - which I find inspiring! They sure give me a run for my money sometimes, but I love my students and cherish the time I get to watch them grow and learn about the arts and themselves.
4. What initially drew you to the performing arts?
When I was about 9 years old, I saw a production of "Brigadoon" at my small town's junior high school and I fell in love! I had been raised on all the classic movie musicals (The Sound of Music, Singin' in The Rain, West Side Story) but I had never seen people singing, acting, and dancing live in the theatre - it was mind blowing! I wanted to perform from that moment on.
5. Where do you draw your inspiration from when choreographing?
For me, everything is about the story when I'm choreographing. I pull from the words, dynamics, or mood of the music to create a distinct beginning, middle, and end to my "dance story." I always like to throw a goofy move in there as well - because this should be fun!
6. Where are you from and why did you move to the area?
I was born in Utah, but grew up in Fort Worth, TX. I moved to New Jersey to be closer to New York City so I could get my toe in the professional acting world.
7. What advice do you have for performers?
Embrace your you, always seek to improve yourself, schedule your time effectively, and practice, practice, practice!
8. What is your teaching philosophy?
I want every student to learn that they are able to accomplish hard things through developing self-discipline and a positive attitude. I also love to expose students to the best of the best! I love to show them clips from a Broadway show or an expert from an A.B.T. performance. I think we all are inspired by the excellence we see in others and it pushes us to keep improving.
9. What is your favorite performance memory?
I have too many favorites! But if I must choose, I'd have to say performing and working with Audra McDonald in a special masterclass my senior year of college. Also, I got to play Mary Poppins regionally and flying into the theatre over the audience every night was pretty amazing!
10. What would you do if you were not a teacher?
I would have to magically have millions of dollars, but I would audition and take class 24/7!
11. Do you have any dream roles?
Maria Von Trapp (The Sound of Music), Sibella or Phoebe (A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder), Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing), Margaret (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Fantine (Les Mis), Anyone in "Come From Away" and any character in the Harry Potter World! The list could go on...
12. What is an interesting or unexpected fact about you that most students do not know?
I grew up playing lots of sports including volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball and I am the youngest of 7 children in my family!