Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Framework and Freedom

Through the discussion on the Sunday 5pm chat I feel that framework and freedom came into everything we were discussing.
We discussed the use of syllabus and creativity as teachers, validity of traditional and classical dance vs more modern and contemporary styles, verbal language and body language and literature reviews.

All of these topics, from my point of view, required some sort of framework. We could all see the benefit of having structure or a guide but as artists and creators we all like to have our own freedom to allow our own expression and ideas to come through, whether that is teaching, communicating or writing. When it comes to getting things down into words and finding other people's literature to support our own words to help form a structure but still being allowed the freedom to be us, sometimes can be daunting and possibly confusing. I feel it is this balance of framework and freedom that will help me on my own personal journey as I am coming to the end being in module 3.

Adesola said during the chat 'at MA level work,  it is about communicating to explore and not persuade, particularly.' which is what I'm going to take with me as a progress though module 3 and try and formulate my interpretations. I'm going to remember to explore and let my ideas run as well as pulling back and remembering to have a structure. I think finding the right balance will be a challenge over the next few weeks but hopefully this will be able to show MA level work and thinking and allow me to grow in all aspects not just my writing, analysis and reflection but my teaching too.

Monday, 25 September 2017

And we're back ...

After a very transitional period in my life, feeling like I have been caught up in a whirlwind and my feet haven't hit the ground in a while when I received feedback it came completely out of the blue and stopped me in my tracks. 
I always get nervous when I see a feedback email, it takes me a while to actually open it as I have to mentally prepare myself for every situation. I found module 2 the most interesting challenge to my career thus far, my research proposal is something I can't wait to start and I can guarantee it will be the first of many, but it was a big challenge...
Through reading through all of the comments I found my feedback to be fair and constructive. There will always be room for growth and I now understand my key areas for development which I will have to push as we enter module 3 (yikes!) .
 I have found the feedback for module 2 to conjure up the image of a stepping stones in my mind. To move forward I have to walk across all 'stepping stones' to get to where I want to be, to skip a stepping stone or to land on it only for a second can lead to falling off or completely going the wrong way.
With my planned research proposal into 'How might dance be experienced as a sense of home? in third culture children?', constructive feedback and a lot of hard work a head, I am now excited to begin module 3.

Sunday, 2 April 2017


After talking today about various things within the 11am conversation.
I found simplicity to be a theme that came to my own mind as I sat back and listened for the first half of the conversation and stumbled my way through the second half.
Having the confidence to form your own ideas and present it to others for discussion required more than we had all considered.
It was the confidence to stand strong about what we wanted to talk about and our own understanding of that topic.
I felt like I was swimming and being too 'free' with my non positivist approach and could feel the structure of my research slipping away! Not expecting anything and wanting to do too much to make sure nothing was missed, structurally,  analytically, ethically and questioning the exact effects my presence would on my research.
Trying to be able to organize everything into a phenomological approach to qualitative  research was driving me slightly mad!
After throwing my words around Joanne very kindly told me to keep it simple... though directed at a particular part of my research It was relevant to the whole process. To narrow down, to keep it relevant means keeping it simple.  Filling all the relevant gaps along the way starting to form a structure and if necessary develop and add on to ideas but trying to do too many things at once makes it complicated and hard to find the 'core' or the starting point. To be able to write and start to produce a useable structured framework.

Simplicity I think flows through within my own professional practice, though performance and choreographing sequences will be complex and require many different aspects Aswell as movement, to teach we break it down to simpler forms dependent on the learner. Trying to do too much in a lesson or teach too many techniques at once can cause chaos and I felt like I was swirling around within this chaos I had created for myself. To keep it simple and still also relevant going back to last months chat I can  figure out how to guide my research into a framework and form structure. It doesn't mean I discard all  my ideas it means I know bring a focus to them. Once this is done I can allow the collies on the water colour painting to blend! ( analogy we all liked by Helen) Making a start on a framework which is a revelation as I couldn't see at which point to start before!
So thank you guys super helpful chat to just spark ideas in each other.

Sunday, 12 March 2017


Through discussing things on skype as a group, reading blogs and reflecting upon my own personal and professional journey so far while completing this MAPP DTP a theme of voices has arisen.
Originally going back into education ,pulling upon previous experiences, I was expecting everything to have an answer and to be essentially told how and what to do.
I can't believe how wrong I was!

Before I started studying again I felt my 'voice' had been stripped away from me so I chose not to speak up and use it. It was a very strange feeling to be asked what I have done and what have I learned, how have I achieved things? Although there is always references to others who have done the same thing it was to almost back up my own voice.
Now entering module 2 and looking at research I'm being asked what am I interested in? And this is where I feel the MAPP is helping me to fine my own 'voice'. My research and all my studies are now relevant to myself, to what I think!
I look at the students in my classes and I see that even at a young age some of their 'voices' are already slipping away from them. Within my professional practice I focus on enhancing creativity with my students and hopefully give them the confidence to be comfortable enough to use their own 'voice'. As there is no right or wrong and what they have to say matters.

I think this is something for us to remember as we journey further into our modules and inevitably come across hurdles and bumps in the road. I think if we keep it relevant to us as individuals this course offers a great platform to express our own voices and be heard by others who are open and willing to listen!
Don't forget you have a voice and don't forget to use it!

Monday, 6 March 2017


Through the Skype call yesterday at 5pm many themes emerged which took out discussions down many different avenues and interests. We explored what each other wanted to discuss and through each of us adding our own experiences and ideas it seemed to spark another and it became a discussion and expression of out own ideas and opinions.

The way we veered off track and explored these tangents was a mirror image of the struggle I was having in beginning to formally write my literature review inline with my own research! squashing it all down and trying to get all of these interesting topics, articles and ideas that have formed my discovery of literature. Helen offered the party comparison and I had a light bulb moment! To invite/include in the review the people that should/need to be there.  Keeping it relevant to my ideas, to my research and to the direction I am going.  I am now working on my 'guest list' and figuring out and narrowing down the voices I am going to include. I now feel that will keeping all of it relevant to my inquiry and relevant to my practice  it will allow me to put pen to paper. Parimala offered that I create a skeleton and fill it in as I go along. I think be creating my 'guest list' I will be able to form the bare bones and have a clear aim and idea of structure of how I will go about writing.

Throughout the discussion there were question of validity of sources as they may not be recognized or supported within an academic setting. Some body may not have conducted research formally yet are a critique of performances and share ideas of influence and effects on audiences. I feel this comes under the branch (we seemed to like tree analogy's in the skype call)  of RELEVANCE as well. If it is relevant to your practice, if it is relevant to your questions and ideas, then it has validity and you should be able to include and use it to support your work and ideas . Same with those on Module one discussing figuring out AOL'S and  Module Two discovering research and interests, it's relevance! It has to be relevant to me and my practice and that's what I took away from the conversation last night ,as my eureka moment, no matter what module we are on or where we are in this journey whatever we write must remain relevant and have meaning to us as individuals.

This has sparked an idea of voices for me, which I am going to post a reflection blog about  another day. How I feel our 'voices' are central to our writing and our practice and how this course has helped me find my own 'voice' and possibly amplified it!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Do we realise the benefits our students gain in our classes and studios?

 I have found myself interested in many directions with regards to philosophy and dance, from Katahrine Dunham and her racial, anthropological acceptance and equality to Sondra Fraleigh and her links with movement and healing.

With looking at what other practitioners have achieved as they have looked outward at the communities, countries and philosophical and political effects. I found my self wondering why I was unfamiliar with some these practitioners as they have paved the way for my own learning and teaching. Martha graham and her manipulation of gravity and use of breath has been the foundation of what I was taught and performed and now pushes through within my own teaching, yet I was unaware of the origin. As i start to delve into other literature and start to look at my own interests, the possible effects we have on a child's development keeps pulling me back, I wonder what and how exactly it does benefit the children I teach, if at all?

I think it's something we can overlook as we focus on the routines, the spacing, their technique and how well they're advancing and how to help their progress it can all become localised to within the classroom.
Yet to explore the possibility of developmental benefits as a direct result of what happens within Dance classes is a wondrous concept to me.

This is an article, one of many, that has lit a dozen light bulbs within my own mind triggering heaps of questions and a want to explore these avenues further. Are there any direct developmental effects from my own classes? and is it a direct causation? If their are developmental benefits then would this be enhanced as I am made aware of them and can work towards or enhance any qualities found? Are their exiting methods to use dance as a tool to enhance development? Would that make a difference or would does it occur naturally and exist with no causation to individual teacher?


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Embodiment and Dualism

Well hasn't this sparked off some discussions within my household.
Making use of my 'in-between time' I have been reading through the module 2 handbook and reading and researching influential practitioners (currently adoring Katharine Dunham and Sondra Fraleigh).
Yet it was not til recently I thought to ask others how they thought of our minds and bodies. Do they lean towards dualism or embodiment?
As soon as I read both definitions there was no doubt in my mind as to my own opinion. I believe the mind and the body are connected and the body can influence the mind.
Yet having very technological people in my life this has sprouted heated discussions of how their opinions differ, they believe the body and mind are two completely separate entities and we are no different to a computers core processor.
It's interesting to hear others opinions from a modern viewpoint and their own interpretations and explanations.
It has caused me to look deeper into what I believe and why ? Is it because of my chosen profession and my own understanding and connection with my own body through dance and movement that I believe in a link and the influence of the body?  Have I actually read, understood and researched into both embodiment and dualism enough to be so certain about my own beliefs? Did I just to jump to a decision?
Though still leaning towards embodiment I will continue to research and understand both to find out exactly what I believe and hopefully why?
I found this article really helpful to put things into perspective and help with the debates going on within my family as I feel this puts embodiment into a simpler form and also pushes through clear research (it was also pretty helpful it used references to computers to help my own case while debating).
Wondering how everyone else is getting along and if you have any thoughts or have come across any good articles or books.
I have just started reading moving consciously by Sondra Fraleigh ( recommended on my very first blog post by Helen) so will hopefully feedback on that soon!