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Integrating somatics and science

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After four decades of exploring various avenues of exchange, dance science and somatic education (somatics) face new challenges in integrating theory with practice. In earlier decades of interchange, these challenges largely revolved around finding compatibility between the somatic personal narrative and the positivist models prevalent in science. Today human movement science embraces phenomenology, neurophysiology and cognitive science, providing models for embodied learning. These fields of study have forged new pathways for dialogue and have offered new paradigms through which we can revisit and reimage long-held beliefs bearing on somatics and science in dance training. One emergent paradigm – embodied cognition – affords possibilities for integrating somatics with dance science. In this article, three academic educators raise questions bearing on the current potential for advancing the integration of somatics within dance science. They consider embodied cognition as one viable model of rigorous yet flexible study of somatics and science in dance.

Keywords: dance science; ecological affordance; education; embodiment; integration; somatics

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Winston – Salem State University 2: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 3: University of Wyoming

Publication date: 2012-04-27

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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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