Saturday, April 13, 2013

Still Dance – A Dance in Education Project

I am honoured to be funded by the Laois Arts Office to teach dance in the schools of the County Laois. In my first project (Sports Dance) taught at Portlaoise College, I worked with the relation between Dance and Sports, emphasising the physicality needed in both areas to achieve their goals. Working now at Timahoe National School with the project "Still Dance", I continue on supporting children to ‘read’ movement as emotional expression, exploring their creativity and their excellence in what they do. Both projects were born from a desire to search for other venues that may lead people to dance or to see dance with other perspective. I want them to enjoy dance from the simple to the most complex movement and to understand that when you move to the music, a dance happens.
‘Still Dance’ is a project focused on the relationship between dance and Arts (Sculpture). Or in other words, my proposal is to find in the stillness of a sculpture feelings and ideas that may lead us to create a dance. 
Creativity is part of me both as artist and tutor. Therefore, I find very important to lead my students to find their ‘own treasures’ and to refine it to the finest that they can. In that way I feel I am not only teaching the students new steps or a technique but to become responsible for their own dance and to accomplish goals that may add solid skills into their lives.
Still dance suggests research, meditation and concentration. It seems difficult to require all that from children in their 5th and 6th class, however, when they find in the theme an interesting history behind, they become so involved that they may go even deeper than expected, showing great results at end. 
At the Timahoe N.S, our theme is related to ‘The Salmon of Knowledge’ sculpture made by the students and placed in the main entrance of the school. There are some unique movements coming out of it and a solid and consistent passion for dance that I pray will endure for the rest of their lives.