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Why I Dance Art Ed 2

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Melanie B

on 30 January 2014

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Transcript of Why I Dance Art Ed 2

Why I Dance Art Ed 2
Hello All,

In this Prezi, our example is the Ontario Art’s Council video: “Why I dance”:

As part of your participation in the Prezi, you are asked to respond to the questions: What assumptions about social life are evident in this video? How does the video illustrate the kinds of assumptions that are foundational to education and the arts?

Don’t forget to leave your initials on your post and to provide a direct reference to the material.

Looking forward to reading your submissions!
M
The assumptions about social life evident in this case study is the sense of community it provides for individuals. Similar to the students in a educational environment. Dance generates a community that embraces dance students. In "Why I Dance" there are several scenes that demonstrate different males and females participating in the activity itself. There was a scene that demonstrated inclusivity. By doing so, it provided proof that the activity of Dance could be participated by anyone including those of special needs (as shown in one of the scenes). Furthermore, as a result of its ability to transfer to several different individuals, it extends the activity's ability to encompass different multicultural societies. While dancers are learning how to dance, they are also in the process of self-discovery. Dancers uses dance as a means of discovering their identity - the culture (traditional dance and heritage). Dance in this sense becomes the students' mode of communication where it evokes self-expression and self-discovery of the individual's interaction with the world.

The case study illustrates the kinds of assumptions that are foundational to education and the arts by: sense of community, inclusivity of students needs and multiculturalism, and arts education as a mode of communication for students to be used to discover their identity. In Paulo Friere's article "Pedagogy of the Oppressed", it is stated that the "banking method" is the method that we should avoid. Thus, in arts education, I believe that students should be allowed to wander their minds in producing critical thinking. To allow students a space to adventurously explore the world by using the arts as a tool will benefit their educational learning experience. While this space is provided for students, any discrimination should be averted. Therefore the education system should include multiculturalism and inclusivity. As mentioned in my previous post, I've stated that in Bell Hook's "Embracing Change" we as educators should diversify our pedagogical philosophy by integrating and recognizing that culture plays an important factor in helping students future. The arts, particularly, act as a great asset in the commencement of expanding this new pedagogical philosophy.

On a side note, within the case study there were a few things that I found felt quite unsettling. There was a scene where an individual stated “If one genre doesn’t work for you, try another one. Keep trying until you find the thing that is your thing.” While stating that it’s okay to not ‘fit-in’ to the original standards of that genre of dance it’s telling us that technique and perfection is still sought after. Social hierarchy and social standards is subtly and discreetly implicated through the video. It could be interpreted this way from the choice of words these individual’s use such as: ”I think i was being drawn to the idea of discipline and being determined to get a move”. “Once you have ability to move. You can dance. You have rhythm. It’s your own rhythm. But we can work with it” the phrase stated by a gentleman seems very contradictory. It is the most contradictory message that i’ve received while viewing this case study. I felt that he was strengthening the idea that dance was a community that accepted all difference. But, if only that individual had the criteria or had perfected to the social standards would there be acceptances. As educators, especially in the visual arts where it is has the ability to be open-minded, should not set formal concerns as the priority rather, how it is expressed and what we are able to obtain from it.

Another unsettling element that I have found is the fact that there was some sort of stereotype and cultural discrimination. There were scenes that showcased professional dancers cultural styles and traditions. However, these professionals again acted as reinforcements that outsiders are able to be included if techniques are perfected. What I meant by cultural discrimination is that different cultures of the different dances are already stereotyped to encompass their traditional dances. There were no variety of ethnicity that was shown to have been a part of their traditional dances. This contradicts to the recruitment of a variety of individuals by building and reinforcing the block towards an accepting community.

These are, again, my thoughts which I thought were interesting and somewhat unsettling. Just a forewarning that I do not intend to ,in anyway, state a negativity or issue any sort of discontentment ! I apologize in advance if it so happens transfer that way.

- A.C.
1/5/14
SENSE OF COMMUNITY
This video is very interesting to examine from an education and the arts perspective. One assumption of social life that I believe is evident in this case is that everyone is capable of coming together and reaching their full potentials. According to this video, “no matter who you are” you are able to dance. Much like Education, they’re strongly suggesting a sense of inclusivity. I think that this assumption is true to a certain extent. For example, I think it is a natural reaction to move our bodies in some way when we hear music. Having said that, not everyone has the same capabilities or talents. Not everyone can physically go to a studio/space and be able to dance in the same way they do in the video and not everyone will feel the same passion.

If someone with zero dance experience were to enter a studio for the first time, they would likely feel very out of place. But like anything else, they can join a class and begin to learn to try something new. The teacher would likely start with some simple moves in order for the new dancer not to get overwhelmed or discouraged. Much like Freire describes in his article “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, in Education, “the teacher makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize and repeat” (Freire 58). There is that same notion that “the teachers teaches and the students are taught” (59). I think however there is an opportunity for the student to learn from themselves as well and not just their teacher. Through their mistakes, they will make discoveries about their capabilities thus allowing for self-teaching.

The case study illustrates the assumption that the arts are only for those that can open their minds to creativity and real talent or in other words, creativity is only for artists. Even though it welcomes and encourages individuals who don’t have experience in dance to dance, the actual videos appear as very professional dancers. I think some people might watch this video and say to themselves, “I could never do that” because they might think they lack the creativity/capability. In my opinion, creativity is not only ignited by ‘artists’. Everyone is capable of being creative in his or her own way and everyone can benefit from creativity and a sense of play. It may not mean that they every individual will be capable of dancing as they did in the video but everyone is capable of being creative in their own right. The individual may not feel/experience the same strong emotions articulated by the dancers in the video but they may find dance to be a source of exploration.

-AB
Freedom and Bliss
It’s a waste of time. It’s a useless endeavour. There’s no profit from it. These are some of the assumptions that are held against in the arts. However, in this video, it shows an intangible aspect to the arts.

There is much more. Through the arts, we can communicate. We can express ourselves. It is therapy. It is freedom. It is a way of life. It brings joy and bliss, and it is free. There are no limitations to how one can express themselves. And it is key to keep this in mind as we prepare to enter into the world of teaching. We can use art to foster a community; to allow those who rarely speak up in class another outlet of expression.

Recalling a story from my professor, she never knew of the skills her students possessed until she allowed her students the freedom to choose how they wanted to demonstrate their knowledge. My professor had invited two of her students to speak about their projects, and much to our surprise, one had created a dramatic performance while the other a painting. And even more amazing, the final project required the students to complete a literary analysis and to demonstrate their findings, which both had done splendidly. There are more ways to express yourself than by writing an essay. To reiterate, the arts provides endless possibilities for students to communicate, even for a course culminating project.

Foundational to the arts is safety. And in the video, it repeats that it’s never too old to try. Even if you’re 60, there’s still time to learn. In education, this is the message that must be passed. It is never too late to try.

- EC

Bell Hooks explains that many educators were taught from a single norm of thought and experience, which they were taught to believe was universal (Hooks, 1994). Supposedly “universal” ways of thinking have forced the education system into the tendency of favouring the majority population and has since required a major reworking in order to allow for more inclusivity, a greater appreciation for diversity, and so on. Dance is a hobby that tends to attract specific people in specific ways. Dance classes are categorized into types of dance. For instance, tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, and contemporary are all styles of dance in which courses are usually taught. Classes are therefore exclusive to those types of dancers. Very slowly are we being exposed to the mixing of these styles of dance, and very rarely are courses offered in which styles of dancing are mixed. Based on the fact that there are specific courses available to people who have specific talents, dance tends to be avoided by many, and it is therefore not for everyone. The man that rolls into my store in his wheelchair would likely oppose almost all of the views presented in this video. Along with any elderly person who has lost their ability to walk, anyone who might have a hearing impairment and is unable to hear music, etc. Because of this, dance as a hobby has something to prove.
Dance as a course in the midst of a high-school curriculum has something to prove for very different reasons. Dependent on demographic, dance is often considered a waste of time, a waste of class space (especially when large dance studios are in order) and a poor choice of elective. The arts in general are something that many people have had to defend in the education system for a long time. Historically, according to Axelrod, women studied art and music so as to provide them with a “veneer of middle class refinement” (Axelrod 1997). The arts were very much a gendered component of the education system. In other words, the arts created a foundation of segregation between the sexes, and in many ways has contributed to the gender bias evident in arts programs to this very day. Boys therefore might feel reluctant to take ballet, and girls might feel reluctant to engage in say hip-hop or breakdancing. This is not a generalization and is basely solely on the fact that over time, the arts have evidently contributed to biased views of gendered roles in the arts.
Dance might be an example of a course that struggles to be inclusive of the smaller populations of special needs students, or physically handicapped students, or students who come from lower income earning families who can't afford the materials required of a dance student. Dance will also not likely contribute to a child's success in the business world, or their road to Parliament, or their precision as a surgeon (unless their clients/coworkers have a passion for ballets/performances) and parents are often going to suggest they choose other courses first. As I said before, based on demographic, dance can be seen as indispensable in some communities, or very much disposable, and this is the reason for the lack of dance programs in the education system today. Dance therefore needs to be defended, the arts in general are constantly having to be defended and are often compared to core course giants like Math, Science, History, etc. A business person, a politician or a doctor might find pleasure in dancing for a hobby, in taking dance lessons with their significant other, or simply dancing around their house when no one else is looking, but the reality is that dance as a program is not seen as a valuable way of contributing to lucrative successful occupations that are risk and worry free.
This video proves that the arts are constantly having to defend themselves. If there were videos made of the passion and joy people feel when they close a case in a court of law, or the freedom someone feels when they suture a wound, it would indicate to me that those fields of work are struggling to maintain interest, and are therefore having to advertise in order to expose others to the positive rewards gained within that occupation. -H.C

Axelrod, Paul. 1997. “The Promise of Schooling: Education in Canada, 1800-1914. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated.
Hooks, Bell. 1994. “Embracing Change: Teaching in a Multicultural World”. In Teaching to Transgress, New York: Routledge.
Dance: Indispensable or Disposable?
What assumptions about social life are evident in this video?
- Dance is an inherent part of social life, for most people it presents itself as a night out to a club or lounge where people can dance and have fun however this video presents dance as a means of therapy, freedom and/or a spiritual experience. Togetherness and belonging are also apparent as the dancers all present a sense of community as many testimonials tell the viewer that dance erases differences, promotes friendship and creates a sense of bonding. Other assumptions about social life that are apparent in the video are statements about discipline, determination to conquer despite age or physicality, cultural belonging and communication.
- However I see many statements in the video that make it obvious to me that dance is something different to everyone. The groups that speak about its cultural significance tell the viewer that when they live in Canada they are disconnected from their African ancestry, dance helps them find a way to learn more about world traditions. At 3:58 a male dancer says, “no matter who you are you can join the community and feel welcome”, however this is not the case. Some other dancers tell the viewer that they dance to become more inclusive towards other groups of people yet all the viewer sees is groups of segregated people, i.e. only African dancers, only Swahili dancers and only middle Eastern dancers. This shows me that dancing is not as inclusive as the video tries to convey, it shows me rather that only people of that culture group can dance with them. Furthermore the video tries to convey that “don’t be afraid you’re enjoying yourself you’re having a good time” (3:30) then at 4:55 a male dancer says, “once you have the ability to move you can dance, you have rhythm, it’s your rhythm but we can work with it”. It should not matter if your rhythm is bad or not as perfect as the other dancers but that you are trying your best and using dance for what you want it to be. This lastly shows me, the viewer, that I will be judged if I dance in front of these people, that is not a comfortable feeling.
How does the video illustrate the kinds of assumptions that are foundational to education and the arts?
- Friere states that peoples thinking is rooted in rethinking their assumptions, producing and acting upon their ideas – not consuming those of others – must constitute that process (109). Every scene in the video documents the life and experience that these people have with dance. The assumptions about learning dance vary between each individual as they have differing levels of experience however one thing that they share between themselves is the want to dance. They all want to dance despite their ability. This goes into the want to learn for art. Despite age, despite gender, culture, physical ability or mental ability each and every person has a want to learn as much as they can about this art form. They all have an idea of what dance is but bring many different moves to the table. Friere states, the educated individual is the adapted person, however this suits the needs of their oppressors, the free person can use what they have and learn from themselves.
AB 1/12/14

Diversity and Community:

The Individual Voice/Rhythm
Why We Dance
highlights dance as an art form that offers a sense of community to its participants, consequently stressing our intrinsic need, as human beings, for inclusion within a social setting. The video depicts dancers that are diverse, of various ages, cultural backgrounds, and physical and intellectual abilities. One dancer states, “no matter who you are, you can join the community and feel welcome” (
Why We Dance
). Dance is the shared commitment and common good that brings these diverse people together to form a community that celebrates individuality and inclusiveness. Dancing is instinctive and within every human being capable of movement. A dancer within the video states, if “you have the ability to move, you can dance. You have… your own rhythm.” (
Why We Dance
) The dancer is stressing that everyone, despite his or her conventional skills, has the capacity to become a dancer. Within each dancer is a unique rhythm. Similarly, within each individual in a community is a unique voice influenced by their experiences and backgrounds.
Why We Dance
makes various assumptions about social life, emphasizing the importance of community, while stressing that everyone within a community brings with them a unique background and individual voice.

The video ties perfectly to our sociology module’s readings. Similar to the video, our readings have emphasized the importance of inclusion while celebrating the value of each individual voice within a community. Both Freire’s
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
, and Hooks’
Embracing Change: Teaching in a Multicultural World
, place emphasis on the individual voice in a larger community, and how cultivating this individual voice has a positive effect on education. Freire calls educators to promote free and critical thinking by transforming the oppressive “banking” approach to education (Freire 58), stopping educators from regulating the way the world enters into the student, and putting a stop to students passively taking in information and adapting to the world as it is fed to them. Freire encourages students to become critical thinkers, equipped with their own individual voices. Similarly, Hooks calls educators to make the classroom a democratic setting where everyone feels a responsibility to contribute (Hooks, 105). Hooks encourages an approach to education that is mindful of cultural diversity in order to cultivate the individual voices of those who are often marginalized in a system that represses those outside of the dominant culture. The video Why We Dance, coupled with both Freire’s and Hooks’ works, brings to light assumptions that are intrinsic to social life, particularly a human’s need for inclusion into a community, and the importance of cultivating the individual voices (or rhythms) of each unique member within a diverse community.

These assumptions about social life hold great importance in education and the arts. One of our main priorities as an educator is to create a sense of community within our classroom that is inclusive to all students. We must nurture the individual voices within this community by differentiating our instruction in a way that makes it more inclusive to all cultures and lifestyles. Within
Why We Dance
, we see art as a representation of culture. The video incorporates various types of dance that are specific to cultures from around the world, including traditional Indian, African, and flamenco dancing. In this respect, the arts is a form of cross cultural communication. This notion of art as a form of cross cultural communication is also explored in Shinobu Price’s article, “Cartoons from Another Planet,” where he explores the role of Anime as a representation of Japanese culture throughout the world. As a representation of culture, the arts becomes the bridge that provides those often marginalized by the dominant culture with a link to their own culture that is often excluded. This is evident in
Why We Dance
, where we see a dancer disconnected from her African ancestry. She finally discovers a connection to her ancestry through dance, as a means of finding out world traditions and learning about culture. The arts provides people with a means of learning about different cultures, due to art’s capacity for cross-cultural communication, bridging the gap between cultures and in turn encouraging inclusiveness within a larger diverse community.

J.D.
The video Why I Dance provided insight into the insecurities that some people experience, and how those featured in the video used dance to overcome them. The art of dance was referred to as a community. This was a powerful reference to describe what humanity most often strives to be a part of; a place where people of like interests can gather together knowing they will be welcomed and not judged. This is an important benefit as many children and adolescents struggle with finding a place to belong. Today, society can utilize technology and social media opportunities to judge others all over the world; whereas in the past the judgements came only from our peers, neighbours, and the public at large. Society can and does judge from behind their computer screens; which can prove much more hurtful than in person. The video spoke of how when people dance, they are free to express themselves without judgement. For those in the video this point seemed most important. Knowing you are free to express yourself through the art of dance and that you will not be judged is very freeing. Unfortunately, discrimination abounds in our social life. It is experienced every day by peers who are not popular enough to be in a particular circle of friends, being segregated by class, abilities, age, etc. Many females of any age can struggle with body issues as discussed in the video by a person who talked about how through dance, she was able to overcome her personal issues (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). The video demonstrated that the individuals who were featured were struggling to find their own happiness, and peace while being able to express themselves in a world that can be very critical and judgemental. Through dance they were able to gain confidence and express themselves as to who they truly are.
Attending school and earning an education provides members of society a chance to discover what they are passionate about. There are opportunities to choose courses that cater to our interests where we can learn about, and explore certain topics. This is what I began to think about when I heard one individual mention in the video that dancing enabled them to find their passion (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). Education allows individuals to explore and discover what their passion is. An education offers opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge and learn about things that interest them. In discovering ones passion there is a lot of trial and error, meaning that some will excel in certain areas more than others. This process may result in some becoming discouraged and at times they might feel like giving up. The part in the video that I found very insightful was when one individual said to keep trying until you find your thing (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). This rings true to education, as well as the arts. There are many facets to the arts, it is not just painting and drawing. I feel that in art there is something for everyone, and just because you cannot draw a ‘life-like’ human does not mean you are not creating art. The same goes for other subjects as well. Students should take a wide variety of subjects, including art, to discover which ones they most enjoy. Dancing was also described as being able to speak without words. This also can be an excellent description for many courses in art education which present opportunities to be able to communicate without using your voice. Some may assume that by a certain age one should know what they are passionate about. The video demonstrated that there is no age limit to discovering your passion and becoming involved in the arts.

Floros, H., Gordon, E., Goulet, D., Gunter, K., Kenny, N., & Warren, M. (2012). The Ontario Arts Council: Why I Dance [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW8qUKxQiQU
S.B.



The video Why I Dance provided insight into the insecurities that some people experience, and how those featured in the video used dance to overcome them. The art of dance was referred to as a community. This was a powerful reference to describe what humanity most often strives to be a part of; a place where people of like interests can gather together knowing they will be welcomed and not judged. This is an important benefit as many children and adolescents struggle with finding a place to belong. Today, society can utilize technology and social media opportunities to judge others all over the world; whereas in the past the judgements came only from our peers, neighbours, and the public at large. Society can and does judge from behind their computer screens; which can prove much more hurtful than in person. The video spoke of how when people dance, they are free to express themselves without judgement. For those in the video this point seemed most important. Knowing you are free to express yourself through the art of dance and that you will not be judged is very freeing. Unfortunately, discrimination abounds in our social life. It is experienced every day by peers who are not popular enough to be in a particular circle of friends, being segregated by class, abilities, age, etc. Many females of any age can struggle with body issues as discussed in the video by a person who talked about how through dance, she was able to overcome her personal issues (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). The video demonstrated that the individuals who were featured were struggling to find their own happiness, and peace while being able to express themselves in a world that can be very critical and judgemental. Through dance they were able to gain confidence and express themselves as to who they truly are.
Attending school and earning an education provides members of society a chance to discover what they are passionate about. There are opportunities to choose courses that cater to our interests where we can learn about, and explore certain topics. This is what I began to think about when I heard one individual mention in the video that dancing enabled them to find their passion (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). Education allows individuals to explore and discover what their passion is. An education offers opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge and learn about things that interest them. In discovering ones passion there is a lot of trial and error, meaning that some will excel in certain areas more than others. This process may result in some becoming discouraged and at times they might feel like giving up. The part in the video that I found very insightful was when one individual said to keep trying until you find your thing (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). This rings true to education, as well as the arts. There are many facets to the arts, it is not just painting and drawing. I feel that in art there is something for everyone, and just because you cannot draw a ‘life-like’ human does not mean you are not creating art. The same goes for other subjects as well. Students should take a wide variety of subjects, including art, to discover which ones they most enjoy. Dancing was also described as being able to speak without words. This also can be an excellent description for many courses in art education which present opportunities to be able to communicate without using your voice. Some may assume that by a certain age one should know what they are passionate about. The video demonstrated that there is no age limit to discovering your passion and becoming involved in the arts.

Floros, H., Gordon, E., Goulet, D., Gunter, K., Kenny, N., & Warren, M. (2012). The Ontario Arts Council: Why I Dance [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW8qUKxQiQU
S.B.



The video Why I Dance provided insight into the insecurities that some people experience, and how those featured in the video used dance to overcome them. The art of dance was referred to as a community. This was a powerful reference to describe what humanity most often strives to be a part of; a place where people of like interests can gather together knowing they will be welcomed and not judged. This is an important benefit as many children and adolescents struggle with finding a place to belong. Today, society can utilize technology and social media opportunities to judge others all over the world; whereas in the past the judgements came only from our peers, neighbours, and the public at large. Society can and does judge from behind their computer screens; which can prove much more hurtful than in person. The video spoke of how when people dance, they are free to express themselves without judgement. For those in the video this point seemed most important. Knowing you are free to express yourself through the art of dance and that you will not be judged is very freeing. Unfortunately, discrimination abounds in our social life. It is experienced every day by peers who are not popular enough to be in a particular circle of friends, being segregated by class, abilities, age, etc. Many females of any age can struggle with body issues as discussed in the video by a person who talked about how through dance, she was able to overcome her personal issues (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). The video demonstrated that the individuals who were featured were struggling to find their own happiness, and peace while being able to express themselves in a world that can be very critical and judgemental. Through dance they were able to gain confidence and express themselves as to who they truly are.
Attending school and earning an education provides members of society a chance to discover what they are passionate about. There are opportunities to choose courses that cater to our interests where we can learn about, and explore certain topics. This is what I began to think about when I heard one individual mention in the video that dancing enabled them to find their passion (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). Education allows individuals to explore and discover what their passion is. An education offers opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge and learn about things that interest them. In discovering ones passion there is a lot of trial and error, meaning that some will excel in certain areas more than others. This process may result in some becoming discouraged and at times they might feel like giving up. The part in the video that I found very insightful was when one individual said to keep trying until you find your thing (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). This rings true to education, as well as the arts. There are many facets to the arts, it is not just painting and drawing. I feel that in art there is something for everyone, and just because you cannot draw a ‘life-like’ human does not mean you are not creating art. The same goes for other subjects as well. Students should take a wide variety of subjects, including art, to discover which ones they most enjoy. Dancing was also described as being able to speak without words. This also can be an excellent description for many courses in art education which present opportunities to be able to communicate without using your voice. Some may assume that by a certain age one should know what they are passionate about. The video demonstrated that there is no age limit to discovering your passion and becoming involved in the arts.

Floros, H., Gordon, E., Goulet, D., Gunter, K., Kenny, N., & Warren, M. (2012). The Ontario Arts Council: Why I Dance [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW8qUKxQiQU
S.B.



The video Why I Dance provided insight into the insecurities that some people experience, and how those featured in the video used dance to overcome them. The art of dance was referred to as a community. This was a powerful reference to describe what humanity most often strives to be a part of; a place where people of like interests can gather together knowing they will be welcomed and not judged. This is an important benefit as many children and adolescents struggle with finding a place to belong. Today, society can utilize technology and social media opportunities to judge others all over the world; whereas in the past the judgements came only from our peers, neighbours, and the public at large. Society can and does judge from behind their computer screens; which can prove much more hurtful than in person. The video spoke of how when people dance, they are free to express themselves without judgement. For those in the video this point seemed most important. Knowing you are free to express yourself through the art of dance and that you will not be judged is very freeing. Unfortunately, discrimination abounds in our social life. It is experienced every day by peers who are not popular enough to be in a particular circle of friends, being segregated by class, abilities, age, etc. Many females of any age can struggle with body issues as discussed in the video by a person who talked about how through dance, she was able to overcome her personal issues (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). The video demonstrated that the individuals who were featured were struggling to find their own happiness, and peace while being able to express themselves in a world that can be very critical and judgemental. Through dance they were able to gain confidence and express themselves as to who they truly are.
Attending school and earning an education provides members of society a chance to discover what they are passionate about. There are opportunities to choose courses that cater to our interests where we can learn about, and explore certain topics. This is what I began to think about when I heard one individual mention in the video that dancing enabled them to find their passion (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). Education allows individuals to explore and discover what their passion is. An education offers opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge and learn about things that interest them. In discovering ones passion there is a lot of trial and error, meaning that some will excel in certain areas more than others. This process may result in some becoming discouraged and at times they might feel like giving up. The part in the video that I found very insightful was when one individual said to keep trying until you find your thing (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). This rings true to education, as well as the arts. There are many facets to the arts, it is not just painting and drawing. I feel that in art there is something for everyone, and just because you cannot draw a ‘life-like’ human does not mean you are not creating art. The same goes for other subjects as well. Students should take a wide variety of subjects, including art, to discover which ones they most enjoy. Dancing was also described as being able to speak without words. This also can be an excellent description for many courses in art education which present opportunities to be able to communicate without using your voice. Some may assume that by a certain age one should know what they are passionate about. The video demonstrated that there is no age limit to discovering your passion and becoming involved in the arts.

Floros, H., Gordon, E., Goulet, D., Gunter, K., Kenny, N., & Warren, M. (2012). The Ontario Arts Council: Why I Dance [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW8qUKxQiQU
S.B.



The video Why I Dance provided insight into the insecurities that some people experience, and how those featured in the video used dance to overcome them. The art of dance was referred to as a community. This was a powerful reference to describe what humanity most often strives to be a part of; a place where people of like interests can gather together knowing they will be welcomed and not judged. This is an important benefit as many children and adolescents struggle with finding a place to belong. Today, society can utilize technology and social media opportunities to judge others all over the world; whereas in the past the judgements came only from our peers, neighbours, and the public at large. Society can and does judge from behind their computer screens; which can prove much more hurtful than in person. The video spoke of how when people dance, they are free to express themselves without judgement. For those in the video this point seemed most important. Knowing you are free to express yourself through the art of dance and that you will not be judged is very freeing. Unfortunately, discrimination abounds in our social life. It is experienced every day by peers who are not popular enough to be in a particular circle of friends, being segregated by class, abilities, age, etc. Many females of any age can struggle with body issues as discussed in the video by a person who talked about how through dance, she was able to overcome her personal issues (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). The video demonstrated that the individuals who were featured were struggling to find their own happiness, and peace while being able to express themselves in a world that can be very critical and judgemental. Through dance they were able to gain confidence and express themselves as to who they truly are.
Attending school and earning an education provides members of society a chance to discover what they are passionate about. There are opportunities to choose courses that cater to our interests where we can learn about, and explore certain topics. This is what I began to think about when I heard one individual mention in the video that dancing enabled them to find their passion (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). Education allows individuals to explore and discover what their passion is. An education offers opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge and learn about things that interest them. In discovering ones passion there is a lot of trial and error, meaning that some will excel in certain areas more than others. This process may result in some becoming discouraged and at times they might feel like giving up. The part in the video that I found very insightful was when one individual said to keep trying until you find your thing (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). This rings true to education, as well as the arts. There are many facets to the arts, it is not just painting and drawing. I feel that in art there is something for everyone, and just because you cannot draw a ‘life-like’ human does not mean you are not creating art. The same goes for other subjects as well. Students should take a wide variety of subjects, including art, to discover which ones they most enjoy. Dancing was also described as being able to speak without words. This also can be an excellent description for many courses in art education which present opportunities to be able to communicate without using your voice. Some may assume that by a certain age one should know what they are passionate about. The video demonstrated that there is no age limit to discovering your passion and becoming involved in the arts.

Floros, H., Gordon, E., Goulet, D., Gunter, K., Kenny, N., & Warren, M. (2012). The Ontario Arts Council: Why I Dance [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW8qUKxQiQU
S.B.



The video Why I Dance provided insight into the insecurities that some people experience, and how those featured in the video used dance to overcome them. The art of dance was referred to as a community. This was a powerful reference to describe what humanity most often strives to be a part of; a place where people of like interests can gather together knowing they will be welcomed and not judged. This is an important benefit as many children and adolescents struggle with finding a place to belong. Today, society can utilize technology and social media opportunities to judge others all over the world; whereas in the past the judgements came only from our peers, neighbours, and the public at large. Society can and does judge from behind their computer screens; which can prove much more hurtful than in person. The video spoke of how when people dance, they are free to express themselves without judgement. For those in the video this point seemed most important. Knowing you are free to express yourself through the art of dance and that you will not be judged is very freeing. Unfortunately, discrimination abounds in our social life. It is experienced every day by peers who are not popular enough to be in a particular circle of friends, being segregated by class, abilities, age, etc. Many females of any age can struggle with body issues as discussed in the video by a person who talked about how through dance, she was able to overcome her personal issues (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). The video demonstrated that the individuals who were featured were struggling to find their own happiness, and peace while being able to express themselves in a world that can be very critical and judgemental. Through dance they were able to gain confidence and express themselves as to who they truly are.
Attending school and earning an education provides members of society a chance to discover what they are passionate about. There are opportunities to choose courses that cater to our interests where we can learn about, and explore certain topics. This is what I began to think about when I heard one individual mention in the video that dancing enabled them to find their passion (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). Education allows individuals to explore and discover what their passion is. An education offers opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge and learn about things that interest them. In discovering ones passion there is a lot of trial and error, meaning that some will excel in certain areas more than others. This process may result in some becoming discouraged and at times they might feel like giving up. The part in the video that I found very insightful was when one individual said to keep trying until you find your thing (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). This rings true to education, as well as the arts. There are many facets to the arts, it is not just painting and drawing. I feel that in art there is something for everyone, and just because you cannot draw a ‘life-like’ human does not mean you are not creating art. The same goes for other subjects as well. Students should take a wide variety of subjects, including art, to discover which ones they most enjoy. Dancing was also described as being able to speak without words. This also can be an excellent description for many courses in art education which present opportunities to be able to communicate without using your voice. Some may assume that by a certain age one should know what they are passionate about. The video demonstrated that there is no age limit to discovering your passion and becoming involved in the arts.

Floros, H., Gordon, E., Goulet, D., Gunter, K., Kenny, N., & Warren, M. (2012). The Ontario Arts Council: Why I Dance [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW8qUKxQiQU
S.B.



The video Why I Dance provided insight into the insecurities that some people experience, and how those featured in the video used dance to overcome them. The art of dance was referred to as a community. This was a powerful reference to describe what humanity most often strives to be a part of; a place where people of like interests can gather together knowing they will be welcomed and not judged. This is an important benefit as many children and adolescents struggle with finding a place to belong. Today, society can utilize technology and social media opportunities to judge others all over the world; whereas in the past the judgements came only from our peers, neighbours, and the public at large. Society can and does judge from behind their computer screens; which can prove much more hurtful than in person. The video spoke of how when people dance, they are free to express themselves without judgement. For those in the video this point seemed most important. Knowing you are free to express yourself through the art of dance and that you will not be judged is very freeing. Unfortunately, discrimination abounds in our social life. It is experienced every day by peers who are not popular enough to be in a particular circle of friends, being segregated by class, abilities, age, etc. Many females of any age can struggle with body issues as discussed in the video by a person who talked about how through dance, she was able to overcome her personal issues (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). The video demonstrated that the individuals who were featured were struggling to find their own happiness, and peace while being able to express themselves in a world that can be very critical and judgemental. Through dance they were able to gain confidence and express themselves as to who they truly are.
Attending school and earning an education provides members of society a chance to discover what they are passionate about. There are opportunities to choose courses that cater to our interests where we can learn about, and explore certain topics. This is what I began to think about when I heard one individual mention in the video that dancing enabled them to find their passion (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). Education allows individuals to explore and discover what their passion is. An education offers opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge and learn about things that interest them. In discovering ones passion there is a lot of trial and error, meaning that some will excel in certain areas more than others. This process may result in some becoming discouraged and at times they might feel like giving up. The part in the video that I found very insightful was when one individual said to keep trying until you find your thing (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). This rings true to education, as well as the arts. There are many facets to the arts, it is not just painting and drawing. I feel that in art there is something for everyone, and just because you cannot draw a ‘life-like’ human does not mean you are not creating art. The same goes for other subjects as well. Students should take a wide variety of subjects, including art, to discover which ones they most enjoy. Dancing was also described as being able to speak without words. This also can be an excellent description for many courses in art education which present opportunities to be able to communicate without using your voice. Some may assume that by a certain age one should know what they are passionate about. The video demonstrated that there is no age limit to discovering your passion and becoming involved in the arts.

Floros, H., Gordon, E., Goulet, D., Gunter, K., Kenny, N., & Warren, M. (2012). The Ontario Arts Council: Why I Dance [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW8qUKxQiQU
S.B.



The video Why I Dance provided insight into the insecurities that some people experience, and how those featured in the video used dance to overcome them. The art of dance was referred to as a community. This was a powerful reference to describe what humanity most often strives to be a part of; a place where people of like interests can gather together knowing they will be welcomed and not judged. This is an important benefit as many children and adolescents struggle with finding a place to belong. Today, society can utilize technology and social media opportunities to judge others all over the world; whereas in the past the judgements came only from our peers, neighbours, and the public at large. Society can and does judge from behind their computer screens; which can prove much more hurtful than in person. The video spoke of how when people dance, they are free to express themselves without judgement. For those in the video this point seemed most important. Knowing you are free to express yourself through the art of dance and that you will not be judged is very freeing. Unfortunately, discrimination abounds in our social life. It is experienced every day by peers who are not popular enough to be in a particular circle of friends, being segregated by class, abilities, age, etc. Many females of any age can struggle with body issues as discussed in the video by a person who talked about how through dance, she was able to overcome her personal issues (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). The video demonstrated that the individuals who were featured were struggling to find their own happiness, and peace while being able to express themselves in a world that can be very critical and judgemental. Through dance they were able to gain confidence and express themselves as to who they truly are.
Attending school and earning an education provides members of society a chance to discover what they are passionate about. There are opportunities to choose courses that cater to our interests where we can learn about, and explore certain topics. This is what I began to think about when I heard one individual mention in the video that dancing enabled them to find their passion (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). Education allows individuals to explore and discover what their passion is. An education offers opportunities for individuals to gain knowledge and learn about things that interest them. In discovering ones passion there is a lot of trial and error, meaning that some will excel in certain areas more than others. This process may result in some becoming discouraged and at times they might feel like giving up. The part in the video that I found very insightful was when one individual said to keep trying until you find your thing (Floros, Gordon, Goulet, Gunter, Kenny & Warren, 2012). This rings true to education, as well as the arts. There are many facets to the arts, it is not just painting and drawing. I feel that in art there is something for everyone, and just because you cannot draw a ‘life-like’ human does not mean you are not creating art. The same goes for other subjects as well. Students should take a wide variety of subjects, including art, to discover which ones they most enjoy. Dancing was also described as being able to speak without words. This also can be an excellent description for many courses in art education which present opportunities to be able to communicate without using your voice. Some may assume that by a certain age one should know what they are passionate about. The video demonstrated that there is no age limit to discovering your passion and becoming involved in the arts.

Floros, H., Gordon, E., Goulet, D., Gunter, K., Kenny, N., & Warren, M. (2012). The Ontario Arts Council: Why I Dance [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW8qUKxQiQU
S.B.



Assumptions and Why I Dance
From this video, I gathered the main assumption about social life is that we humans are afraid to look bad in front of other people, but we desire connection. Dance can give us that connection without the fear of rejection.

With regards to Education and the Arts, this video illustrates that Dance has educational value because it clearly shows their dancers have gained confidence, body awareness and proficiency by participating. It also leads to higher self-esteem and the ability to develop a skill that can be used people’s whole lives. Dance also lends itself perfectly to differentiated learning. People of all levels can enjoy dance. I worked for a number of years with young women with various disabilities on a Special Olympics rhythmic gymnastics team (which is a variation of dance). I will never forget the smiles after finishing their routine at a competition. No matter how talented they were, the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment this sport gave them was undeniable.


We saw in American Born Chinese, Jin Wang and Wei-Chen felt different from their classmates and longed for connection. This video showed numerous different cultures coming together and feeling united through dance. Perhaps through the arts, we should find a way to make new students feel welcome and help them find that connection they need – isn’t that what education is all about?

MM

Evident in the video are the assumptions that there are prejudices and judgements such as homophobia present in social life. These assumptions can be made because it is obvious to the general member of the society as audience of the video that they exist. For example, the man validating the worth of dance by saying “It’s so renewing to touch another man and just touch them” notes that in society there is a presence of homophobia. The fact that there is awareness of the problems is, in my mind, a positive point to be made. However awareness does not rectify the problem.

The video illustrates a foundational assumption to education and the arts that the arts need to be justified. Why I Dance, the title of the video, assumes the question “why do you dance?” suggesting that there needs to be a reason to perform, and by extension, a reason to teach art. As art educators we are asked to give this reason readily.

Luckily, the video acts as an emotive response to the question, suggesting that the arts are a necessary catalyst to change the status from awareness to action through creation. It argues that dance and the arts are at odds to those societal assumptions or prejudices. Throughout the video the answer of “Without fear of anyone judging me” is stated, that in dance there is the allowance for self-expression because participants are no longer afraid of judgment. Similarly, in the article by Anne Dyson "The Ninjas, The X-men, and the Ladies: Playing with Power and Identity in an Urban Primary School", the children are forced to no longer be the characters they wished to be because of social expectation and judgment. The girls who wanted to write stories where girls were ninja turtles could not due to the social pressures present in the classroom. As educators we must be aware of negative societal assumptions and work to break them down. The arts provide a means to this and videos such as Why I Dance, helps to demonstrate it.

Dyson, Anne Haas. "The Ninjas, The X-men, and the Ladies: Playing with Power and Identity in an Urban Primary School." National Writing Project. Quarterly, No. 70 (1994): 20. Document.
12/01/2014 K.C

This video is very interesting. It connects the art form of dance with the idea of being human. This
video displays that dancing can build a sense of community for the group of people dancing together. It
can also build a sense of self and a sense of humanness. Friere explains that the banking mode of learning
can turn people into automated answer-machines and ultimately makes them less human. This is connected
to the idea of teachers being life-long learners. We as teachers do not hold the answers to every question but
we should learn with the students. Friere explains, “the bank-clerk educator does not realize that there is no
true security in his hypertrophied role, that one must seek to live with others in solidarity. One cannot impose
oneself, nor even merely co-exist with one’s students. Solidarity requires true community, and the concept by
which such an educator is guided by fears and proscribes communication” (63). In order to be able to effectively
teach students anything, we must first allow our students to see us as humans. In the video many of the dancers
and dance instructors explained that they felt very vulnerable when they first began to dance. One woman described
the fears that she had about her body and explain that dance allowed her to feel more confident. The confidence that
she felt with her body during dance extended to confidence in her everyday life. This is how we need to teach our
students: the knowledge that we teach them should extend outside of the classroom and help them become people
connected with the world around them.


Friere also discusses the need to be connected with other humans in order to become liberated. He explains,
“Liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men upon their world in order to transform it. Those truly committed
to the cause of liberation can accept neither the mechanistic concept of consciousness as an empty vessel to be filled,
nor the use of banking methods of domination in the name of liberation” (66). This is important to take into consideration
when teaching: each student comes to class with knowledge gained outside of the school system. Each student has
different relationships, experiences, and opinions. It is important to look at each person as an individual but to also find
commonalities between the students in order for them to better understand each other. One man in the video said, “I love
the connection: it’s what you have with your partner when you dance.” I feel that this is akin to the relationship that teachers
should have with their students because each student and teacher bring very different types of knowledge into the classroom
and it is the teacher’s responsibility to use that knowledge to create something more. This is like inquiry-based learning: teachers
use the interests of their students to create lessons and to learn something together. Another man in the video describes dance
by saying, “No matter who you are, you can join the community and feel welcome.” This is what every classroom should feel like.
Dance is part of The Arts curriculum but in my experience does not get the same amount of consideration and time as the music or
visual arts. So we need to make the classroom feel like it is a dance classroom: everyone should feel welcome and appreciated.

This video reminds me of a program that takes place at one of the dance studios in my town. The studio has a program called
“Dance Ability” that allows people with a variety of needs to dance with a teacher or volunteer on a one-to-one basis. This program
is designed to be inclusive and allow all people to be able to express themselves through dance. http://danceelite.ca/programs/dance-ability/
-J.C

"BUT I CAN'T DANCE!"

One of the assumptions about social life that are evident in this video is the notion
of societal standards. There seems to be this standard or expectation of what qualifies as dancing, and if one falls short of meeting this standard, he/she is not considered a dancer. Aptitude tests are designed to look at your strengths and interest, and then determine within seconds what career path is right for you, all without ever having to meet you. The unfortunate truth is that “people are often looking for the ‘fast food’ answer for everything these days”. (Globe and Mail) While there are plenty of accredited online assessments tools available, they only provide supplementary information.
As mentioned in the video Why I Dance, people who convince themselves into believing that they can’t dance “live with a lifelong idea about themselves that they can’t dance”. The assumption that we have to maintain and live up to certain societal standards, in order to avoid judgement and ridicule is inhibiting. What happened to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10, 000 hour theory or even the common phrase, “practice makes perfect”? Why is there a sense of fear or a lack of confidence tethered to something we are considered to be less than expert at?
In the video, the interviewees shared their reasons for dancing, many of which had to do with the way dancing made them feel. “Joyous”, “takes me to another world where there’s no troubles or worries”, “In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire proposes the problem-posing education model, which “affirms men and women as beings in the process of becoming—as unfinished, uncompleted beings in and with a likewise unfinished reality” (Freire 84). The phrase, “it’s okay to make mistakes” is great in that it’s meant to be encouraging to students. That being said, I think we should be wary that it might suggest there’s a right or wrong or even an end point. Similarly, this idea that people are “uncompleted being” is a bit unsettling. This also makes me think that although we are not receptacles for information, we’re in the process of achieving a set of standards. As one gentleman in the film put it, “it’s your own rhythm, but we can work with it.” I think this is what Freire meant when he said that there are people who knowingly and unknowingly use the banking approach. We must celebrate one’s uniqueness and not simply acknowledge it.

Spandy, Bruce. “Are online aptitude tests worth it.” The Globe and Mail, June 13, 2013. Accessed January 18, 2014.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/experts/are-online-aptitude-tests-worth-it/article4256118/.

-NC
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