During parent-teacher conferences today I realised something that shouldn’t have really been as such a revelation as it was. A parent asked what style of dance I teach and I started (as always) explaining I don’t teach any particular style but tools with which to create, and design dance. Then, out of my mouth came “I don’t teach dance. I teach creative process through movement.”
And this is what I am trying to do. The students have taught skill sets to develop movement from any starting point through interpretation and then how to to organise it. They are encouraged to try out different possibilities and evaluate them, knowing that there are an infinite number of combinations in any given task. And I’m nowhere perfect in making this happen, it’s my challenge and I am getting better at it.
The parent listened to me and then turned to her son and said “…but there are still valuable things you can take from class like presence, presentation and good body posture.”
Its moments like these where one sees the huge disconnect that can occur between parents, their kids and their education. Without being careful we become those old dogs that cannot learn new tricks by thinking that education cannot change . As a parent and educator I beg you to stay informed about what your child is doing at school, trust the teachers and try to learn from them but importantly question them and try to understand what they are striving to accomplish. Most educators are on the ball and really giving it their all to prepare your child to deal with the world around them, preparing them to tackle it alone once they leave school.
I will endeavour to continue teaching the creative process above and beyond “presence, presentation and good body posture.”
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