Out of London, into Seoul

This autumn, I was pleased to be invited by Dance for PD ® founding teacher David Leventhal, to collaborate with him on a CPD programme in Seoul, South Korea.

Taking my practice, from a place / location / situation in which I have been exploring, moving, thinking, delving and discussing for the last 10 years, and placing it outside of all the usual cultural and practical understanding I’m surrounded by in the UK, was both a lesson in communication and a challenge of my unvoiced bias or assumptions.

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aep skills exchange: being good enough

news from the aep...

Finding your axis

On day 4 of the skills exchange, Laura was moved to share her experiences and strategies for managing self care, resilience building, and knowing when you are enough. In an industry in which we set up environments and strategies to support others, Laura talked about how we can find mechanisms to support ourselves and be honest about how we are coping. In her own words she shares her reflections following on from the Skills Exchange week, and some of the practices that support her in her personal and professional work, following struggles with self worth, confidence and emotional value...

If you're a person who finds it hard to believe in yourself, find strength in what you have to offer, or fear that you don't have what it takes to cope, Laura's reflections will give you the support and strength you need to know that you're not alone.

aep skills exchange: awareness, responsibility

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touch, breath and tuning in

On day 4 of the Skills Exchange, Clare Reynolds offered some warm up exercises with a focus on touch, increasing our awareness of our own bodies and breath, considering our responsibility to ourselves and others when in 'service' to dancers who have limited understanding of the moving body. In her own words she shares her thoughts:

In my work with Restoke we work a lot on 'tuning in' to our own bodies; as an ensemble of diverse participants; and to the sites we work in. The dancers I work with have to model what it is to fully inhabit our bodies, to make genuine and often unspoken connections and to support others to feel comfortable to do the same.

Inspired by the previous days discussions about balancing the duty of care we all hold in community dance, with artistry and integrity, I thought I'd look at some physical ways we could practice this...

aep skills exchange: Activism, autonomy and agency

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Rachel's workshop as part of the Skills Exchange drew on the notion that our art form has influence outside of the creative process and product. It reflected on ideas about how our personal politics and values drive our practice. 

Some of the core values of the work that were explored included:

  • It is important for self-belief to see ourselves as individuals as well as part of communities
  • A combination of contributions can only make life richer for all
  • Equality can be built through fostering empathy, acknowledging and celebrating difference, and opening our eyes to the value of others

aep skills exchange: self, support and emotional vulnerability

news from the aep...

resilience

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I have spoken about burnout and resilience building to many dancers across my work and I have been personally affected by the negative impact that lack of support for resilience as an individual and in organisations can have for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. In my research preparing for the AEP launch, I was interested to hear that many artists are struggling in the same way to find a sense of self, life and work balance and to stand up for their values when under pressure to survive. As part of the AEP Skills Exchange Sarah Lewis offered a workshop and discussion on resilience practices to support the artists to understand their values and what they are uncompromising on...