ARTs + Change Virtual Conference
Virtual Event

Over the past years, the pandemic has reminded dance educators of the power of arts and creativity for reflection and for processing one’s own thoughts and voicesbot h individually and collectively. Within a dance class setting, these can deepen students’ learning and growth while using movement and creativity to explore and address the ongoing injustices at every level of U.S. society, which have been revealed by the pandemic. Intentionally providing opportunities to ground these themes and creative processes in equity and inclusion frameworks in class and/or in a choreographic process deliberately guides students in exploring some important issues surrounding equity and justice that emanate from individual experiences and can aid in developing new approaches to learning and creating.

The proposed session highlights ways to link social justice and inclusion with choreographic and creative curriculums. Its aim is to demonstrate a way to empower and uplift participants’ voices on the topic of inclusivity through movement and creative processes. The session will present some basic background research on critical pedagogy in connection with dance, and include visuals, quotes from different people’s lived experiences, movement and creativity explorations, and reflections on equity, justice, and performance. Best practices for implementing inclusive pedagogy within a dance and creative process context will be discussed, including topics such as setting communal agreements, facilitator sensitivity, handling “uncomfortable” moments, accommodating students’ risk and comfort with somatic explorations, and effective debriefing procedures to promote reflexivity.

Hannah Park is an associate professor and director of dance program at Iona College, NY, where she also serves as the artistic director of the residential dance ensemble. Her current research interests encompass dance and creative processes—the application of somatics in dance and social justice education, community engagement, and arts entrepreneurship education. She holds a PhD in dance education from Temple University, an MFA in dance performance and choreography from Tisch NYU, and a BFA in dance performance and choreography from the SUNY Purchase, and is a somatic practitioner certified in Laban Movement Analysis/Bartinieff Movement Fundamentals and Body Mind Dancing.

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