Friday, 31 October 2014

Holding back...

It has been an interesting week and on a late Friday night reflection, I wanted to share with you my thoughts around trust, contribution, and value.

On trust...
I had a discussion a couple of weeks ago with some undergraduate dancers, stemming from their suggestion that 'students trust their teacher as given, but students have to earn their teacher's trust'.  So alongside a broader discussion of these two (assumed separate) roles, we talked about the notion of trust.  My belief being that this is something pretty pivotal to 'good' teaching practice and that it is something to be mutually earned by all in the transaction of sharing and learning.  It was really interesting to hear from others of their perception of roles and of the value and place of trust stemming from their own unique experiences of learning.  Some, through more traditional learning environments felt this 'automatic trust' was something naturally embedded with the student/teacher relationship, and had felt that it was within their (pre)defined role as student to gain the trust of the teacher.  They had never considered that trust within this context had the potential to be fluid on all parts.  Conversations developed through other sessions over the past couple of weeks, with the same, plus other students and encompassed debate on language, perception, autonomy, finding your voice, sharing, contributing, being honest, putting your ideas out there and being prepared to listen, respecting and valuing difference and diversity.  (I said it had been an interesting week!)

The terms, and ensuing notions of 'student' and 'teacher' really struck more of a chord with me as the week progressed and I continued to review my own feelings on, and observe these relationships in different contexts.   This evening, reading some of your blogs, your thoughts on these roles, your experiences (directly and indirectly) and in particular an interesting thread from Rose, Mary and Maria, on holding back from getting thoughts out there at times, through feeling the need to really digest and clarify what it is you want to say first made me want to share in this blog.

Really pleased that you put this up Rose, however 'late night, unconsidered' it may have felt to do so.  I think this is a significant step in letting thoughts exist in a wider space than your self, and in doing so inviting others views and comments; in having opinions and not being afraid to voice them openly; in accepting a certain vulnerability that we all (as humans) have I believe, and the possibility of stumbling, maybe even falling at times, actually being a great thing - a great way of learning.

A couple of references are coming to mind to me now as I write this, so I'll through them in for you to build your own thoughts on too, Emilyn Claid, 2014 On Falling About (a research report for/from/with Roehampton University) and A TED talk by Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability.  Both examples talk about our capacity as humans to interact to learn, to fall to learn, to accept vulnerability rather than holding back in case..., to learn.

We all have our own stories to share, our own unique experiences, and have the potential to share these through different means.  It is through sharing and interacting, acceptance and value of both our self and others, that learning takes place for all. Please don't hold back from rambling your way through your thoughts on your blogs, these are the perfect place for sharing and learning in the environment of the MA.

Keen to hear your thoughts...rambled or otherwise!


Monday, 20 October 2014

Sharing good practice...

This may be something those of you on Module Three would like to consider? The call is out for proposals to share your research, give it a go...

NDTA Annual Conference 2014
Pedagogy, Practice and Partnership: the future for dance education
Saturday 22 November 2014 / Birmingham Ormiston Academy


Making a difference to dance education through research

This year’s NDTA conference will focus on delivering high quality dance practice in and beyond the curriculum. Through keynote presentations, panel discussions, workshops and seminars the day offers a stimulating professional development opportunity to support and inspire dance teachers working at all levels.

In collaboration with DanceHE, Pedagogy, Practice and Partnership will again feature research by and for dance teachers. Focusing upon or related to children and young people's dance education we invite proposals for research led presentations that address (but are not limited to) the following areas:
·       Approaching dance education pedagogy, including through partnership
·       Dynamics of dance learning
·       Dance education research methodologies
·       Professional development for dance teachers

We hope the sessions will represent a mix of researchers at different points in their careers. So whether you are researching at M level, as part of a CPD initiative, a PhD, an early career researcher or experienced researcher we would like to hear from you.

Presentations will be 30 minutes within one of two research sessions followed by time for questions and debate. The two sessions will be facilitated by Dr Kerry Chappell and Professor Vida Midgelow.

Application process
Send an abstract of 400-500 words detailing the research you wish to share. This should include a short statement as to the relevance young people's dance education and the NDTA conference delegates

Please also include the following details:
       Name /address /contact telephone number/email address    
       A short biography of no longer than 100 words.

Proposals should be sent to:
Debbie Poulton NDTA Conference Manager:

Extended Deadline for applications : Monday 27th October

Successful applicants will be informed by end of October.
Proposals will be assessed by the small team involved in co-ordinating the research sessions.

Further information for Pedagogy, Practice and Partnership

Monday, 13 October 2014

Hearing from others...

A series of guest speakers in dance at Middlesex University this term.
Take a look at who's coming, there may well be some of particular interest to your research projects.  You are most welcome to attend any/all you can make, do let me know if you intend to come, it would be great to see some of you there!

Dance at Middlesex
2014/15, term 1

Tuesday 14th October 2014
Professor Sherril Dodds, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
1-2pm, Grove Dance Theatre (G190)

Tuesday 28th October
Robert Cohan, CBE, Founding Artistic Director of The Place
1-2pm, Grove Dance Theatre (G190)

Tuesday 4th December
Prof Fátima Campos Daltro de Castro, Universidada Federal da Bahia
1-2pm, Grove Dance Theatre (G190)

Wednesday 10th December:  Inaugural Professorial Lecture
Professor Mark Franko, Temple University, USA / Middlesex University
Drinks on 2nd Floor Mezzanine from 5pm. RSVP to
5.30-6.30pm, C211 Lecture Theatre

At a date to be confirmed, David King, International Theatrical Producer and Founder of Spirit Productions, will also visit to talk about how to be a successful show producer.
In February of Term 2, we look forward to welcoming Prof Janice Ross, Stanford University, who will talk on Leonid Yakobson's use of ballet as a cultural weapon in a totalitarian state. Date tbc.
All interested members of the staff, faculty and students are welcome to attend. Please contact Dr. Alexandra Kolb if you wish to bring small groups of students.