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Towards an innovative model of teaching Greek traditional dances

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This article describes an experiential qualitative research project related to dance education, in which the authors examine the effect of teaching Greek traditional dances to a group of students in a Preschool Teachers' Education department. The research process focuses on methodologies that can support Preschool Education students (future teachers) to utilize embodied-creative practices in learning traditional dances and, thus, to expand their views about culture as well. We would like to argue that dance education could be a means of self-knowledge, which contributes to self-development. This goal is approached by using an innovative model, which applies somatics along with creative dance methods in order to support students to explore traditional dance through movement improvisation. We also suggest that somatic practices are not to be considered as natural but culturally specific and developing in particular contexts. Indeed the findings illustrate that the practice gave students competence in involving themselves in a dialogue, through which they gained self-awareness in dance practice, they realized changes in body/mind perceptions and became confident both about their bodies and their cultural identity. The text is divided into the following sections: introduction, the aim of the study, the methodology of the study, findings, further considerations on the cultural construction of body movement, and epilogue.
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Keywords: Greek traditional dances; body/mind practices; dance creativity; improvisation; movement exploration; somatics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Peloponnese. 2: University of Thessaly.

Publication date: 01 December 2009

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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