Part of where I believe “sophomore hell” comes in to play is that as second-year students in the dance department, we are required to take the intro level courses to the multiple aspects of dance we began to see emerge through Freshman Seminar. For me this includes History Theory Literature 1 (Dance History), Kinesiology, Movement Analysis, and Composition 2 alongside my movement practice classes. I’ve begun to call this “diving down the rabbit holes”, as I feel myself looking down deep pockets of possible exploration and knowledge as I take in each course. While I am busy with work, and face the challenges of accepting dance’s applications through desk work, I love my courses.
To finish off our year in Freshman Seminar, we have been learning about dance pedagogy (teaching dance). This has been a great lesson for all of us, because even though some members of my class have taught dance classes at their studios or otherwise, it has been helpful to take a collegiate approach on the subject.
When given the assignment “teach your classmates a dance class”, we were told to break into groups of 2 or 3 students and work collaboratively to design and structure content to teach. I was accompanied by my classmates Amy Allen and Natalie Newman in this task of teaching, and we decided to make a class aimed towards an “advanced 14 to 16-year-old” group. We began constructing our course by reflecting upon subjects that we had learned throughout the year, as freshmen in college. We wanted to create a class that introduced ideas that we all wish we had been able to grasp earlier in our dance experiences (namely concepts we wish we knew when we were 14-16). We decided upon “understanding space as three-dimensional” and “initiation points of movement” as the two main ideas to center our class.
This past week, our Seminar class has had different faculty members come in to talk about their research, and about dance research in general. We heard from Harmony Bench, Bebe Miller, Norah Zuniga Shaw, and Candace Feck. Each person was equally excited about their research, and each project was entirely different. And the range shown in the research opportunities through dance was the most important thing that I have taken away from this week. Hearing from these artists, I am reassured that there will always be something new to explore in the dance field and a way to dive as deep as I want to answer any question. The dance research lectures have inspired me to question dance in every way I can. Whether that means asking how I can move in a new way or taking a critical eye to dance as an institution, every part of this thing that I love deserves proper analysis. Continue reading