chapter  3
20 Pages

Creative and Embodied Methods to Teach Reflections and Support Students’ Learning

WithPhaedra Petsilas, Jennifer Leigh, Nicole Brown, Catriona Blackburn

Dance education in the 21st century has started to shift with the evolution of contemporary dance techniques and the introduction of more holistic somatic practices into dance training. Nowadays, the idea of developing ‘professional self-sufficiency’ is at the heart of the learning experience for young dancers. We believe that, in response to these shifts and in order to future-proof dance education, there is a need for a renewed focus on theoretical approaches and academic engagement; a focus reminiscent of and aligned with the conceptual frameworks commonly associated with social sciences, in which the process of arriving at ‘professional self-sufficiency’ is inextricably linked to reflective practice. In this chapter, we describe a project at the Rambert School of Dance that introduced the use of creative methods for teaching reflection and reflective practice. After a brief introduction to the specific context of Rambert School, we will provide an overview of dance education and reflective practice. Subsequently, we describe the reflective-practice project with its session contents as it was delivered over the course of several weeks before providing a critical evaluation. In the final section, we offer concluding thoughts regarding the relationship between reflective practice and dance education.