The Place of Dance within an Arts Education Program & Its Relationship to the School Curriculum Ann Kipling Brown, Ph.D. Arts Education Program Faculty of Education University of Regina Saskatchewan, Canada
My work focuses on dance education within an Arts Education Program in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. In this presentation I present a brief overview of the Arts Education program and the content of the K - 12 dance curriculum in the province of Saskatchewan. I also take a look at the role and history of creative dance in Canada.
Arts Education Program In 1982 the Arts Education Program in the Faculty of Education, University of Regina was born.
<ul><li>It has always been the intent of the Arts Education Program to provide clear and purposeful goals for its students. When students embark on those program activities in which the purpose is not clear,there are always questions. Why are we expected to do this? What is the purpose of this activity? Over the years it is accurate to report that the Arts Education Program has steadily maintained that purposive programming is best for everyone. Admittedly, there are times when students don’t see the whole purpose of some activities at the beginning; however, upon completion, when they experience new ways of thinking about something, they almost always bring to our attention their new insights. Our purpose is to prepare them as professional arts educators open always to new possibilities and new dimensions of learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Openness is, thus, a continuing facet of the Arts Education Program that is important at all levels. We call our students to reflection on numerous occasions throughout any term to hear from them, to let them speak to us and to each other. Those seminars have proven themselves to be invaluable. Students and professors treat each other as colleagues and equals and all perspectives are honoured and respected. There is little doubt that we know our students and they, in turn, know us. This is an important feature of the Arts Education Program that could easily be overlooked but it has become central to our view of program development. </li></ul><ul><li>Marlene Taylor 2001 </li></ul>
The program offers: <ul><li>A five year BEd degree in Arts Education </li></ul><ul><li>A BEd After-Degree in Arts Education for students in one of the arts areas – dance, drama, literature, music, visual art, Film & Video, Indian Art, or another suitable area </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate courses (both masters and doctorate) and supervision in Arts Education </li></ul>
The program includes: <ul><li>Study in five arts areas – dance, drama, literature, music and visual art </li></ul><ul><li>Major and minor in the arts areas </li></ul><ul><li>Full teacher certification </li></ul><ul><li>BA embedded in the Bed Degree </li></ul><ul><li>K – 12 School, community and off-campus experiences </li></ul>
The program consists: <ul><li>First year introductory courses in arts, fine arts, and education </li></ul><ul><li>Second year education course in the 5 arts areas – dance, drama, literature, music and visual </li></ul><ul><li>Third year students choose areas of major and minor specialization </li></ul><ul><li>Fourth & Fifth years students continue courses in education, aesthetic education, educational psychology and methodology in the arts </li></ul><ul><li>Preinternship and internship experiences </li></ul>
Graduates of the program: <ul><li>Teaching positions in K- 12 education as specialists or general classroom teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Community settings </li></ul><ul><li>Gallery and museum programs </li></ul><ul><li>Other related fields </li></ul>
Connections with public school curriculum: <ul><li>The Arts Education curriculum has been developed for all students in the province of Saskatchewan. For this reason, the program is broad in scope and includes a diverse range of arts experiences. "Arts" includes fine arts, popular arts, traditional arts, craft, commercial arts and functional arts, with the understanding that there is much overlap among these categories. </li></ul><ul><li>To fully appreciate the arts throughout life, students need to study each of the four strands of the program. </li></ul><ul><li>The Arts Education curriculum is structured, through the inclusion of the three following components, creative/productive, critical/responsive, cultural/historical. </li></ul>
Saskatchewan Arts Education Curriculum Dance Strand <ul><li>The dance program encourages students to explore and to discover dance in a meaningful way, and enables them to express themselves through a non-verbal means of communication – the “language” of dance. </li></ul>
The dance strand provides students with opportunities to: <ul><li>participate in creative dance and learn social and cultural dances </li></ul><ul><li>develop their dance techniques and deepen their spatial and kinesthetic awareness (the internal feelings of the body's muscles and joints) </li></ul><ul><li>create dances using a problem-solving approach when exploring and developing movement to express personal ideas and feelings </li></ul><ul><li>further their understanding of dance by examining the role of dance in cultures and societies, past and present </li></ul><ul><li>view and respond to dances of various styles. </li></ul>
My responsibility in the Arts Education program: <ul><li>dance educator </li></ul><ul><li>professional studies in dance </li></ul><ul><li>dance content design </li></ul>
Dance Major and Minor students follow specific courses in: <ul><li>Anatomy and biomechanics </li></ul><ul><li>Creative dance </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary dance forms </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum in dance </li></ul><ul><li>Dance in a cultural context </li></ul><ul><li>Choreography </li></ul><ul><li>Notation </li></ul><ul><li>History of dance </li></ul><ul><li>Social and folk dance </li></ul>
<ul><li>I would suggest that today the educational aims for dance might not be so distinct or divided. Dance educators are reassessing what is taught in both dance studios and public school settings. It is suggested that dance teachers should be concerned with the overall development of the child and that dance experiences should be age appropriate. The specific and distilled vocabularies of recognized dance forms should be introduced at an age when the child is able to understand and make choices about the style of dance they wish to follow. Experiences for the young child should be more comprehensive and concerned both with personal expression as well as technical ability. The process of dancing with experiences in creating and expressing ideas as well as performance opportunities in the classroom and public arenas should be part of the program. </li></ul><ul><li>In consequence the study and application of creative dance becomes an important component of the study of dance in the Arts Education program as well as the form used in schools for the general dance education of school age students. This is not to say that other dance forms are not introduced and studied. </li></ul>
Frivolous or serious endeavour! What is the story of creative dance in Canada?
<ul><li>One of the most difficult myths that dance educators face is that dance is often positioned in contrast to more “a c ademic” disciplines. We see its marginalized status when it is used for the purpose of increasing students’ engagement or advancing understanding in another subject. It is praised for its role in improving students’ self-concept, enhancing social skills, developing motor skills for everyday activity, it is described an non-threatening, non- competitive, encouraging individual differences, good exercise and as therapy! And these are all praiseworthy attributes but should be viewed as by-products of the engagement. The claim that the teaching of creative dance d o es not require the years of training demanded by other dance forms (Bergmann Drewe) is not substantive. First and foremost creative dance should be viewed as an art form. Like any other art form creative dance has aesthetic qualities, such formal qualities as line, design, shape, and so on. The most critical attribute is that it draws on the students’ own imagination and allows them to create their own movements and style and not only those already ascribed and distilled in a recognized dance form. </li></ul><ul><li>I believe that dance educators have been forced to defend its inclusion in the curriculum through these secondary features because of one of the most fundamental misunderstandings about dance and those that participate in dance – it is a mindless activity that has little value beyond entertainment and personal amusement! And unfortunately, there are those dance educators who do not understand the significance of creative dance. I don’t want to go further with this - we all know the criticisms and the central misinterpretations. We have all been looked at with skepticism or glazed expressions as we describe what it is we do for a living! </li></ul><ul><li>Many scholars in dance education – and I want to focus on Canadian scholars – have made a case for creative dance – Sheila Stanley, Rose Hill, Joyce Boorman, Colla MacDonald, Sheryle Bergmann Drewe, Nancy Murray, Shirley Murray, Redfern, and many more. </li></ul><ul><li>And many experts in related fields would support their claims: Best, Dewey, Eisner, D’Houbler, Duncan, Gardner, Dimondstein, Hirst, and Rogers – from fields of dance, education, psychology, arts education, etc. </li></ul>
To Dance an Art Form <ul><li>I believe that dance educators have been forced to defend its inclusion in the curriculum through these secondary features because of one of the most fundamental misunderstandings about dance and those that participate in dance – it is a mindless activity that has little value beyond entertainment and personal amusement! And unfortunately, there are those dance educators who do not understand the significance of creative dance. </li></ul><ul><li>We want to study dance to explore the movement and aesthetic qualities of the various dance forms, to develop creative abilities and imagination and to create dance. </li></ul>
So, where did it all begin? I think most of us are aware that Rudolf Laban (1879 - 1958) initiated this work and in his seminal text, Modern Education Dance , first published in 1948, we see the foundations for the work that many have supported and extended into many areas of education and with many people. It is well-known that his i n itiating ideas in dance theatre, dance scholarship, dance therapy, choreology, ethnochoreology, dance literacy, dance as recreation, drama, movement profiling and dance education reveals a breadth of influence and as Preston-Dunlop says is “ s tounding”. She also said of him, “t h roughout his life he needed people to work with him, to provide reliable support for his own innovations and to act as equal collaborators, people with whom he could share his ideas and get a response. He was fundamentally a unique mix of creative artist and avid researcher, irritated by administration, an inspiring guru, never a daily teacher”.
<ul><li>Laban with Lisa Ullmann, Joan Goodrich and Diana Jordan (1941) </li></ul>
Die Welt des Tanzers <ul><li>“ dance reaches the dream world; it is the way in which the human being reaches the deeper levels of consciousness. The rhythms and patterns of the dance mirror the rhythms and patterns of the mind and spirit. They do not depict or denote but neither are they meaningless. Images of the dream world, things larger than life, are the dance subject”. </li></ul>
1912 - 1937 <ul><li>Directing the State Berlin Opera and Ballet School </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining his own small school </li></ul><ul><li>Creating works </li></ul><ul><li>Struggling with the role of dance that promoted Nazi dogma </li></ul><ul><li>Fighting battles over the acceptance of a notation system for dance </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to establish the concept of dance as a literate art </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting the value of individual movement vocabularies as well as received movement vocabularies </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting the role of men in dance </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying the essential role of movement expression and the art of movement </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasizing community and the central role of movement in the life of everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Using his earlier concepts of movement choirs and community dance as art </li></ul>
His time in Britain <ul><li>Douglas Kennedy developing the work of Cecil Sharp in English Folk Dance & Song </li></ul><ul><li>The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (Ruby Ginner) expanding range of styles </li></ul><ul><li>Revival of Greek dances </li></ul><ul><li>Laban’s and Wigman’s work was well-known </li></ul><ul><li>Laban-trained Annie Boalth was teaching movement to dancers and actors </li></ul><ul><li>Several British schools introducing German dance experimentally </li></ul><ul><li>The Dancing Times reported that the introduction of “these ultra modern methods have made good” </li></ul><ul><li>Jeanette Rutherston said that German dance had influenced choreography for the corps de ballet, who were no longer “a vague accompaniment to dress the stage” </li></ul>
Laban’s work <ul><li>Role of movement in education </li></ul><ul><li>Role of movement in the arts </li></ul><ul><li>Role of movement in industry </li></ul>
Dance for children <ul><li>“The innate urge of children to perform dance-like movements is an unconscious form of outlet and exercise, introducing them to the world of the flow of movement, and strengthening their spontaneous faculties of expression”. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Therefore, he said: </li></ul><ul><li>To foster and encourage the urge in older students and to help them understand the principles of movement </li></ul><ul><li>Preserve the spontaneity of movement </li></ul><ul><li>Foster artistic expression in not only their own dance compositions but also those established forms </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the role of movement in our everyday lives </li></ul>
Joyce Boorman - Canada <ul><li>Joyce Boorman was born in the United Kingdom. She received her teaching certificate at St. Gabriel’s College, London, and an advanced diploma from the Laban Art of Movement Studio. She taught in England until the late 1960s, when she emigrated to Canada. There she continued her studies, earning an Master of Arts from the Department of Ballet and Modern Dance at the University of Utah, and a PhD from the Department of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta in 1980. She taught in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and directed the Alberta Children’s Creative Dance Theatre there. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Joyce authored several important works on creative dance for children. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative dance in the first three grades 1969 </li></ul><ul><li>Creative dance in grades four to six 1971 </li></ul><ul><li>Dance and language experiences with children 1973 </li></ul><ul><li>The Joyce Boorman Papers date from 1968 to 1983 and contain papers, brochures, memoranda, correspondence, reel-to-reel tapes and videotapes. They are housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro </li></ul>
daCi <ul><li>Joyce is widely known to be the driving force and organizer behind the First International Conference on Dance and the Child held at the University of Alberta in July of 1978. </li></ul><ul><li>The Conference was subtitled “T h e Child As Spectator, Creator, Performer ” and was sponsored by the Dance Committee of CAHPER, and Alberta Culture at the University of Alberta. The organization has continued to this day with triennial conferences and a vibrant and interactive membership. </li></ul>
daCi <ul><li>As chairman of the conference perhaps the most significant aspect, for me, throughout the years of planning and even now in retrospect, was the feeling I had that we needed to remove the aloneness and isolation felt by so many people in relation to dance and the child. The letters which crossed my desk were an evidence of a reaching out from individuals in many parts of the world to share their visions, dreams, aspirations, concerns, knowledge and problems. Increasingly it became evident that language was a barrier to communication in words only but not to the deep-felt empathies and concerns that we held that we must do something for our field, identified as dance and the child. Continually, I was alerted to the incredible differences in our background experiences, expertise, cultures and stages of development in this field. But as the differences emerged so did the common focus, a reaching out of hands to each other. The richness in this unity was overwhelming. (1978) </li></ul>