Good Evening,

What a better way to start the third day of Summer School today with glorious weather was with a morning Traditional English Folk Dance Classwith Liam Robinson. Dancing with new people in the room and remising the joy I had as a child when you were finally in the year to do maypole at our yearly June Fete was something I loved having with me! I also thought back to the days when working with Bill Brookman and dancing to maypole on grass which meant that worms started to rise to the surface (weird I know!) It was a wonderful day to kickstart our Thursday!

Today was a bit of a solid day, I took in a lot of information which I am not fully digesting (yet!) We had Chris Stenton first to talk to us about ‘Survival Skills’ or known to me as the stuff I will try and avoid at all costs!.. The understanding of budgets, contracts, tax, becoming self-employed.. HELP. However we was given a great insight in what we should be thinking about, stuff that at university is never mentioned (it is very sugar coated and hidden!) and there’s a lot of reading material to allow us to fully digest and understand it all. This part of the course was probably the most important after creativity especially as we start out as new leaders in dance.

Next we had Anna Leatherdale who went into discussing the National Occupational Standards (NOS) which from what was told seems to be a must online tool to reflect and evaluate yourself as a dance leader. It’s known as a ‘Development Needs Analysis’ (DNA) and is really important in your professional development. I think I need to sort out my membership ASAP and do it!

After a few more tea and biscuits (honestly I haven’t had so many cups of tea in ages!) Ruth Bates and the group went into ‘Networking’. We did one particular exercise where we established for ourselves what personal and professional relationships. We had then where we would like to go, which relationships needed work on and which ones either needed a halt or not having at all. I think one of the most important things to remember when Networking which Ruth brought up and was told to me by an advisor at university a few months ago… ‘It’s important to know what your networking and why? What are you getting out of it?’ I think we so often want to build relationships that they may have no importance whatsoever in terms of your professional career or development. I think this is a general point I want to carry with me as I continue to build on the networks I want to.

Lastly for the day we had a huge session into Introduction to Choreography with Community Groups. This was about giving ingredients from smaller exercises, for examples the one we worked with during the course and helping the group you’re working with stitch those together to create something. It was also about thinking that choreography which isn’t heavily dependent on memory, after all we must consider as leaders the people we are working with. Some of the exercises we worked with today including ‘Chance Dance’ I have moved within the past and could see how this could be developed into a piece which a group could perform. It gave me that notice that it does not have to be technically correct but in fact it’s about having fun! It was also good to make notice to evaluation and how we can evaluate our practice and all the ways in which we can. 

thanks for reading,