Monday, 13 February 2017

A little bit of breath...

There were some interesting areas raise in both the Skype discussion groups on Sunday.

Ones that resonated with me were those pointing to the following;




Being 'in limbo'

Willingness to accept change


Each notion here needs some unpacking, some unraveling, needs to enter into a process of interpretation, evaluation (upon reflection of that interpretation) in order for any of the notions to carry meaning for any of us.  The meaning we attribute is to do with the choices we make, affected by the context we're in, our values, what we know as 'known' and what we do not yet know...and this will be different for each of us.

There is no universal meaning.  
But there is space to breathe. 

There is a little bit of breath for all of us here.  

Brandon offered the phrase, that I've adopted here 'a little bit of breath' as a feeling for him in response to the discussion he was a part of yesterday. That this programme is not telling you what to do and how to do it. That there aren't right or wrong answers (actually that we're not posing questions seeking answers at all). There is room for individuality and that is valued. There is a valuing of your experiences and those experiences being meaningful through a process of reflection. There is choice... and there is always the spaces between.

The space between is where we breathe.
Take in what's around us...let things affect us...consider how we experience them... and choose how we may respond.

In this MA try not to position yourself in opposition to things ...Academia...versus...Us

Try to question what you believe to be Truths.

Look for Validity of you, of your experiecnes from within them, not external to.

Accept the in-betweens, moment of being 'in limbo' and recognise the space they offer to breathe.

Harness a willingness to accept change as inevitable, fundamental, rather than resist it by sticking to patterns you hold habitually perhaps.

Try to see teaching and learning as Transactions, more than an offering and receiving of knowledge. 

Enjoy the spaces you find this about them through your blogs... 
I look forward to sharing them.


  1. Thanks Helen for explaining these terms. Everything at this point of time seems very hard, however, one thing I did not understand is that the statment which said " teachning and learning should be seen as transaction". How does this help us to perceive things? Please clarify. Thanks.

  2. Thank you Helen, for your posting. I do identify with all those points esp Academia versus us, Validity, Being in limbo, Willingness to accept change....
    I think as trained dancers, most of our training has been studio based and our work has mostly been experiential. For the most part of my career, I certainly have put Academia in opposition to what we do (practised based). It's good now not to position myself in opposition to Academia - rather maybe now, I'm formalising what I already know (through experience).

    Validity - I find so often as dancers, we do not give ourselves enough validity - just because we do not hold an academic qualification or degree. Again, because our knowledge has largely been experiential, somehow that does not put us on the same pedestal as someone with a university degree. Does anybody agree on this??

    Being in limbo - it's all very well when one is still dancing or performing but when one stops with the performing career, where does one go? Until we know what we can transition to another career path or what kind of study route we want to take (to retrain), I think we are in this in between `'limbo'

    Willingness to accept change - ha! Accepting that it is just as valid to now put our knowledge into words and formalised academia, as it is when it was practical. To accept that while we used to think and express (or might still do) with our bodies, we can also do it with our minds and with written words.

    I love the 'little bit of breath', the spaces between. I like that there is 'room for individuality' and that is valued. I like that our experience is valued.

    I too, would like more clarity on 'seeing teaching and learning as Transactions, more than an offering and receiving of knowledge'

    Seemed like a really interesting discussion on Sunday! So sorry I missed it!! Apologies! Have a good weekend everyone!

  3. Thanks for your comments... the notion of transaction, learning through experience comes from John Dewey's philosophy of education.
    Dewey, J., 2007. Experience and education. Simon and Schuster.
    Dewey, J., 2005. Art as experience. Penguin.
    are good places to start...