Wow, I just realized how long it has been since I have entered anything into this blog. I guess I have been really busy. Hope to write a bit more now that I am taking the DEL Foundations course at the Y as well as continuing to study Flamenco with JoDe Romano. And I Am sure I will have a lot to say about the NDEO conference in Chicago next week. So stay tuned for updates and coming attractions.
Let’s start with the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL)
The DEL Foundations course, is allowing me the luxury to look at my own practice, solidify many of my current teaching methods, and learn some new approaches and techniques that will increase my effectiveness in the classroom. I have always heard such positive feedback about the practical tools and applications that DEL provides.
Here are some thoughts on my first two weeks in the program.
First week was fun and interesting from the name game right up to the road map of how we got there. I actually really enjoyed making my map and then hearing what others had to say about their maps. It is a truly intriguing group of students from all walks of life and levels of experience with the common desire for and love of dance and movement. What struck me strongly about the evening was the diversity of the people in the room from age, to race, to nationality, to experience, to professions, and to styles of dance backgrounds.
I must admit that I am anticipating that some of the material we will be covering will be redundant to me so I am looking at ways to see with a fresh eye, to find things that I may not have or do in my current practice. I am looking at this experience as a way to see the big picture not just what my practice is or what I can do in my own classroom. I am very interested in seeing what is possible outside of my own practice and what kind of impact the acquisition of new material combined with my experience will have on the field of dance and dance in education.
This led me to thinking about my dance education philosophy. At the center of my philosophy is my belief that dance is essential to the growth of each person’s search for authenticity, as well as each person’s individual expression of “self.” In addition to promoting physical well being dance expands the psyche, encourages social interaction, and promotes thoughtful critical thinking. It also supports the development of each person’s specific voice and his or her unique way of self-expression through movement (something which I got from studying with Erik Hawkins). I believe that promoting the pursuit of this authentic self-expression will produce the next generation of forward thinking dancers, choreographers, and educators and thus enliven the aesthetic elements of dance in performance, research, and education.
I am going to end here for the night and let my philosophy on dance and dance in education have time to sink in and work its way through my thought process. More to come soon. Stay Tuned!