Sunday, 1 October 2017


The 11am Skype this morning was the 'wake up call' I needed to get going on the final chapter of this journey I have been on for the past year.  In the lonely world of distance learning, it is easy to forget that others are also struggling with similar issues be it understanding what is required for the MA course itself or the wider issues that dance teachers face.  Hearing other teachers questioning how their 'status' , for want of a better word, is perceived by employers, other professionals and even ex dancers made me realise that I have the same fears.  The diluting of knowledge by teachers setting up schools in my area, often unqualified, has become even more of a pressure of late as classical ballet does not have the same attraction as the funky street dance or acro or hip hop, and as was mentioned this morning, young dancers often have a 'quick fix or give up' attitude with little or no regard to traditional world of discipline expected in ballet.

I think this need to keep ballet more current for today's young children was actually one of the underlying thoughts of my enquiry....questioning if syllabus music restricts motivation and artistic expression and leads to boredom.  Like many community schools, trying to retain young teens in ballet class is a problem once they discover other dance styles (and in my area, parents can't afford both so it's ballet or hip hop) and whilst music may not be factor, it's an area I am going to explore in the coming months.  Will allowing non traditional classical ballet music to become part of the learning environment encourage teens to stay interested or are those that are ready to try new forms of dance going to move on anyway?  I was interested to hear that Barbara has 'returners' to her classes, adults coming back to something they once tried and I was also interested to realise that belly dancing has a following in the UK by non Eastern Europeans.  As part of my enquiry is to look at non traditional classical ballet music, I may start my search with finding out more about the music Barbara uses!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Beginning to explore ideas for module two but while I'm 'thinking' about topics I'm also aware that the whole idea of research, methodology and terminology is daunting when it's not a world I have been a part of.  What a breath of fresh air "Doing Your Research Project" by Judith Bell is proving to be.  For anyone like me who is a bit worried about the 'jargon' this book explains all in a very approachable way, can really recommend it (and I picked it up on eBay for £2 !)