chapter  2
The displacement of Ling for Laban
A growing alliance of dance with the arts
ByPatricia Vertinsky
Pages 22

The criticism implied that the women had unduly limited the prospects of female physical education by focusing too long on a dull and narrow medico-health framework based upon the rigid structures of Ling's Swedish gymnastics. A first summer school, held in Newtown, Wales in 1941, followed a conference of the Ling Physical Education Association and demonstrated the need for professionally informed training, both in dance and in physical education. Rudolf Laban's Modern Educational Dance, clearly echoed the inspiration of a growing number of female physical educators to apply his views on movement forms and analysis of modern dance techniques to extensions of the field of gymnastic training. The problem with such a stark analysis is that our received views our grand narratives about the history of the physical education profession and concepts of professional work have been so closely bound up with traditional assumptions about appropriate contours' of pedagogical training, physicality and the gendered body.