Thursday, October 10, 2013

And the Journey Begins! - ‘Mathematics – A dance concept’

 dance classes in portlaoise

I am once again honoured to be teaching dance in schools funded by Laois Arts Office. As life and circumstances changes, I also feel that I am changing in relation to facilitate dance in education. I feel that I am more concerned about the education in general and how much I can contribute to it as a dance teacher, instead of seeing dance as an extra activity in the schools.  I remember in my first dance project I kind had the idea of “converting” the children to dance and arts, neglecting to become part of their world in first place before sharing what was only about me. Then, in the next project I didn’t create many expectations; instead, I placed my feet solid on the ground until realizing students and school were expecting from me. I realized then that to be on the fence wasn’t a good idea either but to create a balance between giving and taking was what could make the project a success.
Now, that I am teaching dance in the same school that my daughter attends, I feel not only responsible to share dance and to contribute to the personal improvement of the child, but to contribute to the Education System in a generic form. The idea of associate dance and maths actually started by trying to help my daughter to do her homework, and now that I am living the project in a practical way, I am not only thinking about her but about all other children that are offered an education that in most of cases, don’t allow them to think beyond the box.
As ‘Mathematics – A dance concept’ reaches its third week, I start to wonder if the dance that I am sharing in the schools are a drop in the ocean or the beginning of a journey to many educators to change their methods of teaching and become more approachable to every child independently of their “I Q levels”.
As mentioned before, in my first project I got frustrated at the start because I thought all the students would somehow be “changed” by having me pointing them another direction of thinking, not realising that to change the thoughts is to change the arbitrary system of teaching people. To be on the fence and not creating a good expectation that those things can be changed isn’t a good idea either. Actually, it’s quite cruel to leave as it is because “things are the way they are”. I refuse to enter to a school in a hope of facilitating something if I still conforming to the methods of teaching that only treat people as if they were machines that stores information until the time it can be downloaded.
And what it has to do with dance?  If dance in education is to develop full self-expression regardless of age or experience, how could I be okay of knowing that children are having their confidence killed because they can’t learn in the same way that their peer do? If dance in education is to facilitate the discover that there will always be new steps to learn and to inspire people to try new things, why should I conform of knowing that some children are to be called dumb because they don’t understand the only possibility of learning that is offered to them?  
This is more than an update of the work that I do but an open call to all who are honoured to enter in schools to teach something. We must hold the responsibility of offering more than a subject but another way of expression and learning. The system will always be a bureaucracy and filled with no passion, but we, as humans’ beings can offer more than it’s said on the papers and change not only a small community but our society.