Mirror Salon 2: Sharing Session with Dance Teachers

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October 2015 Fontys Dance Division organized an Intensive Study Program (ISP)  in Re-Designing Spaces. The week approached the topic of dance in public space with a group of international dance teachers, currently teaching at a dance academy.

The teachers had 3 intensive days of lectures and topics on different contemporary topics, which challenged them to re-think dance education, the dance career and skills of a dance artist. After these days they gained intellectual input to take into a work session to work out new ideas together. The core theme of the day was understanding skills of a dance artist and the possibilities and necessities to transfer these skills into other work areas or within society. Behind this idea there is a strong conviction that dance as an artistry is more valuable than providing isolated products and performances. Education and research in dance and developing skills by an embodied practice contains an integrative methodology for learning. What does that bring to the dance artists and how can this be of value for other practices in society?

The concept idea for this day was founded by Kai van Hasselt. The working method was founded on design thinking, a method to prototype your ideas into practice by brainstorming and developing in immersive collaboration. Facilitation was performed by Kai together with Dirk Dumon. Teachers that participated came from the Conservatory Antwerp, Duncan Centre Conservatory, Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds and Fontys Dance Department in Tilburg.

Based on this unusual, fresh and inspirational session we created a Mirror Salon Series to share all the gathered knowledge and experience with the professional dance field on the platform www.inclusivedance.eu. This series will not provide final answers. It is a nuanced registration of a process that is still continuing within the academies that participated and within a larger discourse on artistic careers in contemporary society.

Below a video report on the sharing session with teachers. Here they were asked to exchange ideas and design it into some kind of first conceptual prototype. What is their common ground? What do they recognize? And what needs to be addressed in re-thinking professional dance education?



Erasmus+ Project: Inclusive Dance is a 3-year collaborative research program initiated by the Conservatory Antwerp, Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, Duncan Centre Conservatory in Prague and Fontys Dance Department in Tilburg since September 2014. These academies in dance share a research program in the transferable skills of the dance artist by inclusive dance based strategies.

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