Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Those moments...

I'm really happy to be hearing from so many of you this past week that those moments of things 'clicking', questions coming, feeling your research has been kickstarted.  I know a few of you have already spoken in your blogs about waiting for those moments of productivity to come, about hoping that that flash of inspiration may just strike at the moment when you're in your study place, armed with computer, notepad, books etc..but also at how that is just not always the case!

I do think it's worth reflecting on those 'moments' though (after the flurry of frantically trying to get all the thoughts down on paper that is before the moment passes)! Maybe begin to identify if there is anything in particular which leads to them, a state of mind, a place, surrounding environment, activity you;re engaged with etc, that may be your trigger if you like to having that mind/body space for moments to occur.  It may be more sporadic and random than this, or you may begin to see a pattern, and so could use to learn to recognise how you learn/work/create most effectively?

I co-led a workshop last weekend called Creative Spaces, and found it really interesting to notice through movement patterns our habits, securities, insecurities, 'moments' and how these revealed themselves in different relationships with others, the space, time, music and conversation throughout the day.  As teachers we learn to recognise and pick up on a dancers habits (usually deemed as 'bad' habits) in terms of posture, alignment, tension etc, but once out of 'training' as such (though never out of learning at all) perhaps we don't benefit from the eye of another picking up on these for us.  Identifying them for ourselves becomes imperative and moves far beyond the studio (posture, alignment type references) to embody, I believe a more environmental consideration and observation.  How do we react in certain situations, where do we feel comfortable, where do we feel challenged, inspired, creative, how do 'those moments' occur for us?

Some food for thought anyway as you move through your modules at this stage.
Module Ones' identifying your Areas of Learning now, choosing one to work on initially with your advisor and then building and developing the others.  Remember the number so AOLs will vary between you, we're looking for somewhere between 5 and 8, do let Adesola or myself know your proposed titles so that we can advise you here.

Module Two's you've identified your area of research - great!  Looking back to the handbooks now and beginning to look at possible research methods, how are you forming your questions, what are you questioning, how will you gather data, what might that data look like...?

Module Three's, heads down and ploughing through!  Remember we're here when you need us, equally realise you've got plenty to be keeping you busy right now, so not going to prompt you with tasks as such.


Saturday, 12 October 2013

CPD workshop

Hope you're all beginning to get a workable balance between your home / working / studying lives this week?  Lovely to see the beginnings of your journey's through your blogs on this, and very pleased that you are realising you're very much not alone...we are all great jugglers!

I apologise for the lack of notice on this one, but wanted to flag up to you a series of CPD workshops I am co-running across this year with two other colleagues that I work with on the BA dance programmes at Middlesex.

It's called Creative Spaces, and it is essentially that;  us offering professional dancers / practitioners, post grad students, and final year under grad students, space and time within which to explore movement ideas collectively.  These sessions aim to be open to all, for whatever suits their needs that day, so participants are very welcome to fully engage on a practical level as thinking/moving bodies, on a choreographic/creative level feeding in thoughts and observations for extending explorations and / or engage purely as observers, maybe to view a way of working that is a different practice to your own.  Whichever mode suits, we hope everyone will find the day of value to their own professional development.

The first session is next SUNDAY OCT 20, 11.00-15.00, at our Hendon Campus.  Full details of the CPD programme including future dates are below for you.  Do contact me if you have any queries, would be lovely to see some of you some of the sessions if you can make it.



A CPD project offering time and space within which to experiment with movement, ideas, share practice, feed creatively from one another and enjoy some time, off schedule, on a Sunday just to move…

Creative Spaces will run as a programme of four days at intervals across 2013/14.  The days will take the format of open workshops facilitated collectively by Helen Kindred, Louise Kelsey and April Brown and are open to the professional dance community, inclusive of final year dancers in training, graduates and post-graduate students. 

It is thought that the concept of identity will offer a common presence throughout all sessions, with an encouragement on how we define, realise, embody and present this, through the explorations that will be initiated.

Schedule for Creative Spaces is as follows;

Session One:
11.00 – 15.00
The Upper Forum Studio

Session Two:
11.00 – 15.00
The Upper Forum Studio

Session Three:
SUNDAY FEB 9, 2014
11.00 – 15.00
The Upper Forum Studio

Session Four:
11.00 – 15.00
The Upper Forum Studio

All sessions will be held at Middlesex University London: Hendon Campus (NW4)
in the new Upper Forum studio, located within the Forum Sports Building.  The studio will be open from 10.30 to allow for registration, changing and time in the space to warm-up ready for an 11.00 start.

The cost of the sessions is as follows;
FULL RATE (employed, funded)
Individual sessions - £15

CONCESSION RATE (unemployed, post grad students)
Individual sessions - £8

Application is via email to

Booking is made one week in advance of the session via

Confirmation of booking will be the receipt generated through this store.

Any queries should be made via email to

Friday, 4 October 2013

Week One...

I hope you've all had a good week and managed now to get your heads around the module's you're moving through with us this term.

Those that have requested hard copies if module handbooks, these should have reached you now, if anyone else would like theirs sent please do let me know.

So, what has your week offered you?

Module One's great to see most of your blogs up and running now and that you're linking in with each other through them.  Don't forget to get into the habit of keeping your personal reflective journal also.  This is not for us to see or comment on, but may well be useful to feed into your writing (Review of Learning Essay) later in the module.  Equally Module Three's, good to see your presence back on linked-in as well as your blogs.

Tasks for the week ahead:
Module One - drafting, un-picking, re-drafting you CV's.  Taking your time to look at the learning embedded in each experience, and remembering that on this programme we value experience as knowledge, whether work has been paid or unpaid, long or short term, it's all part of your journey, and we want you to reflect on it in terms of your learning and knowing.

Module Two - Identifying your area of research now and starting to look at where you may position yourself in relation to it in relation to your stance in knowledge and learning.  Try to work through the initial tasks in your handbook and share with us your thoughts and findings through your blogs this week.  Look at the body of work from a dancer that inspires or excites you and try to relate it to notions of knowledge, certainty, body positivism; explore and expand your own understanding of these notions. 

Module Three - sharing with us all (if you haven't yet) your area of research.  Talking through what you're looking at, what your questions may be in relation to your research through your blogs can be a really useful way of moving forward in your understanding, maybe finding some resolutions, maybe finding more questions!  

Leaving you with this link, an article from Rebecca Enghauser, that I hope will resonate in some way with all of you and your journey on the MAPP.


Week One...

A very frustrated post, in a nutshell this is why...

'Imagine you've been working on a Blogger post for several hours.    It's finally ready: you've got the wording exactly right, everything is formatted with bold, italics and bullet-points, your pictures and links are all correct, etc.    

But then your internet connection stops working.   Or you click the Publish button - and get a message like  "Post cannot be saved due to HTML errors".  

OR, you try to add a link to an article that you think will be of interest to all across the three MAPP modules and in doing so you lose the blog you've just been writing!!

Sorry, calming now and trying to re-draft!

Hope you have all had a good week anyway, enjoying reading your blogs and seeing that you are beginning to connect with each other through them too!

In brief,
Module One - take a look at your CV this week, unpicking, re-drafting, unpicking some more, reflecting, knowing, re-drafting.  Email this to your advisor this week please, and continue to reflect on your learning and share via your blogs.  Try to get into the habit of using your personal reflective journals too.  These are not for us to see or comment on, but will be useful for you and may feed into your writing (Review of Learning essay) later in the module.

Module Two - identifying your area of research and beginning to look at where you sit within it in terms of your stance, experiences.  Take a look at the work of a dancer you admire and try to relate it to notions of knowledge, certainty, body positivism. This is in order for you to explore and expand your own understanding of these notions not to define right or wrong.  

Module Three - share (if you haven't already) your area of research.  Talking/writing about what you are looking at, what your questions are can really help you to both articulate with confidence what it is you're interested in, and may help you find answers, and hopefully more questions as you move forwards to critically reviewing your project.

The article I wanted to share with you is written by Rebecca Enghauser, entitled The Quest for an Ecosomatic Approach to Dance Pedagogy...daren't try to attach it again, I hope you can find it!!  Any problems, email me and I'll attach it to an email by return!

Good wishes for the week ahead!