This blog is created to support conversation generated from and about the learning process for MA Professional Practice (dance pedagogy) at Middlesex University.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

February 24th - sharing practices

Key Note Speakers: Rosemary Lee and Richard Walsh

Key Note Movement Workshop: Jackie Guy
Workshops, performance, film and discussion with...
Namron, Sandra Golding, Pawlet Brooks, Louise Kateraga,                                                                                                                     Mary Grigg, Chikukwango Cuxima-Zwa, Akosua Boakye,                                                                                                               Dominique Rivoal, Jacqueline McCormick, Anton Califano,                                                                                                                 Adesola Akinleye, Helen Kindred,
Stephanie Scheubeck, Eline Kieft, Nina Atkinson & Vivian Barbosa.
and ISTD Open Day

also the launch celebration of the new book edited
Narratives in Black British Dance: embodied practices.

Where: Middlesex University, London Hendon, Grove Theatre
When: 9:00 for 9:30 start to 6pm Feb 24th 2018
Tickets for the day: £5 (students), £10 (individual), £20 (institution)

This Symposium follows on from August 2016 event

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Sorting information and aiming Knowledge

Thinking about information, learning and knowledge: I am considering why people get so up-set when they don't feel things are clear straight away. A 'Google' expectation that if you ask you should get 'the answer'. If the answer doesn't make sense then there is something wrong with the the 'thing' /person giving you the answer and you have to draw attention to the issue. This is a new phenomena, I think, of expecting information to be knowledge. It involves by-passing any uncomfortable feeling of 'not knowing' - outsourcing the sorting of ideas to the thing or person you are asking...
This Ted talk discusses this further -
What do you feel?

Sunday, 18 February 2018

CADD conference

This weekend I have been at the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) Conference . This is the third Conference they are held every two years. This year is called Dance Black Joy: Global Affirmations and Defiance. Last year I presented a dance here. This year I have presented on research I am currently doing Movements, Narratives and Meanings and also on the book I wrote/edited that is just been published last week on-line and will be available in two week as a paperback.

The conference is always a reaffirming inspiring event. There are so many amazing people sharing amazing ideas here. It is held at Duke University in North Carolina.

The events I have attended have all been saying the same thing to me.
The importance of community, family, arts activism – what are you saying with that movement, with that way of teaching, being? and respect for those who teach us, those who have trailblazed the way we are taking – cleared space for us to be on the journey we are on.

Yesterday I started the day with a ballet class with Dr. Joselli Deans she was at Dance Theatre of Harlem when I was there. In class were also Theara Ward  (former soloist at DTH) and Dr. Kimberley Jorden. It was so nice to all be in class together again. As the conference is about Joy it was a joyful moment for me.  

At the start of the conference we Celebrated the legacy of Dr. Charles “Baba Chuck” Davis 

Baba Chuck had opened the first two Conferences and so we honoured his work and life to open this one. Have a look at the link. His work involved community dance. He is a part of our dance history. There was a panel of people discussing his legacy.  They were asked to summarise something to teach in his name. They said

As a teacher see the potential of the student/dancer /xxx in front of you even when they don’t see their own potential.
Dance is healing – he said the study of medicine is about the cure, dance is the prevention.
Become the rhythm be courageous and unafraid.

Today Dr. Brenda Dixon-Gottschild is giving a key note

I will share about other events I went to in another post.

House Keeping

Response to feedback

For Module Two and Three, as you have now received report from the submission of work from your last module you are working of your ‘response to feedback 300-500 words. This should be emailed to your advisor. NOTE Turnit-in is only used at the end of the Module when you hand-in final work. All other interaction (drafts etc…are formative feedback and happen via email with your Advisor)

It is less than a week until the event Narrating the Somatic; gathering voices, Sharing practices if you are in London we really hope to see you there. You can book on-line  (£5) – if the link is temperamental you can get a ticket on the day.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Staring back Skypes

This weekend we had our first Skype sessions back: Friday and Saturday. Skype sessions are an opportunity to discuss with other members of the MAPP Learning Community.

Shinny and new:  The MAPP course has just been revalidated. We have three routes now MAPP DTP, MAPP Dance and MAPP Somatic Studies. There is a new MAPP UniHub page (for those who are in Module Two and Three you will be ‘migrated’ over), read the most recent Handbooks. So this skype we had a mixed family group of MAPP DTP and MAPP Dance people.

-       Got questions about the course, dates, directions, word-counts etc… go to the Handbooks and UniHub folders
-       Got ideas to share, explore, practice writing, reflect…go to the blogs and post and comment on others
-       Practice talking about your work, your practice, what you are learning and doing …go to a Skype discussion.
-       Up-dates and current thinking across the MAPP learning community check Advisor’s blogs.

What are one to ones with Advisors for? These are to discuss feedback, ideas and developments in your work. So, having a one-to-one at the start of term before you get any feedback seems like you actually need Handbooks and UniHub. Likewise getting feedback and thinking about it but not communicating with your Advisor in Week 9 sounds like you should book a one-to-one!!

In the discussion groups, we talked about different aspects of starting, starting back, study, emotions. Here is an overview of some of the things that were talked about people attending are posting on the different points so have a look at what they say.

Notes from discussions:

  • It is good to hear other people’s feelings and realise I am not alone…
  • Time management is key – creating your own framework of deadlines is important. The Modules do not do this for you because they are designed for people with very different schedules and as professionals it is assume you are better at organising yourself and your work than someone else imposing on you would be!
  • The blogs have been very useful for keeping in touch – thinking of ways to keep them active and being active on them is important.
  • Work load balance…
  • Use resources – engage with the handbooks (read them more than once and keep notes), on-line library, each other your practice…
  • Be brave and share ideas - as professionals we are used to having to be ‘right’ all the time and not knowing seems scary
  • Have courage to learning something new – if nothing new seems to be manifesting it is not because it is not there – it is more likely you need to be more open and brave about not knowing. Not knowing is the vacuum that knowledge will fill. If there is no vacuum then it is hard to fit more into what is already organises and fits together. If you don’t know something the response does not have to be to get angry or assume it is because someone has been remiss in telling you what to do.
  • Recognise and own emotions: enthusiasm lifts the group – your confidence not to be down on yourself actually helps those around you. It is not their job to convince you, you are ok.
  • Time management again!!
  • Organise your equipment – book mark blogs, keep a pocket notebook etc…
  • As professionals it might be the fear of starting into something you have less experience of, rather than the actual work that you feel strongest now. Now is the time to shelve that and just get on with things as best you can, knowing you are in a learning community and not alone and that you have a personal history of success that brought you to this moment.
  • Think about how you want to contribute to the learning community.

Keep blog post to 400 words max so people have time to read and reply. Therefore, I am going to stop here…

Have a look at what people on the discussion said. If you were in the discussion and your blog address isn’t here or you are still making it please add it to the comments so people can click on it and visit you.

When you visit a blog post leave a comment even if it is just a word. But try to make it a critical reflective productive comment! Please note in the recently validated MAPP we have now put more emphasis on engaging with the blogs. Contribution to discussion and community is considered a post-Graduate skill. 

Also use the word tags at the side of my blog to look at other posts I have done about starting back.