HDC Past President and BIPOC Advocacy Working Group member, Andrea Downie, had the opportunity to interview Dr. Janelle Joseph of University of Toronto about the importance of representation in dance and academia.
AD - How does lack of representation impact dancers’ / athletes’ health, wellbeing, and performance?
JJ - Lack of representation impacts dancers’ / athletes’ health and wellbeing as it can lead to enhanced feelings of being an imposter and doubt over one’s inclusion and talents. When Black dancers don’t see themselves represented in the teachers, dance school owners, administrators, or educators they may not imagine that those roles are for them. They might limit their imaginations and restrict their roles. As a Black dance teacher and educator, I have acted as a role model and mentor for many people. Black leaders provide guidance to all learners, but especially People of Colour, to understand how to navigate their careers.
AD - Please discuss the importance of representation in academia.
JJ - Representation in academia is essential for the same reasons. Faculty have to not only guide students but decide on curricula, syllabi, and do committee work within the department that helps to shape the departmental and faculty culture. Without racialised and specifically black faculty the knowledge that is produced about black communities will be limited. This will affect student learning, which ultimately has an impact on the broader culture as students with understanding of and respect for Black peoples and cultures will end up influencing many different industries in anti-racist ways.
AD - What are some of the barriers that Black dance scholars face in the academy?
JJ - The barriers faced by Black dance scholars are replicated in many different faculties. It is clear that hiring practises are not equitable. In addition to being excluded from hiring and promotion, there is an over-burden of equity work in addition to academic work even if one’s research and teaching do not focus on Black issues. Many Black faculty feel obligated to make things more fair for the next generation to come and end up doing more service work. The burden is especially heavy for those socialized as women who feel pulled into caring and administrative roles. Another important issue for black dance scholars is that we often have to be away from our campuses for research. There is great research happening on black dance in Canada. However, many dance researchers need to travel to Brazil, the U.S., the African continent or across the Caribbean for their research. This can add additional strain to our faculty members role and our personal lives. I don’t think scholars in bench science or humanities consider these additional pressures.
AD - How would you describe your research to those not in academia?
JJ - To those not in academia I say my research relates to ideas of movement (including dance, sport, and martial arts) and ideas of culture (including race, multiculturalism, and nationalism). I love exploring the meanings we make from, communities we form within, and stories we tell about the moving body.
Dr. Janelle Joseph is an Assistant Professor in Critical Studies of Race in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and Founder and Director of the Indigeneity, Diaspora, Equity, and Anti-racism in Sport (IDEAS) Lab. Dr Joseph studies broadly defined movement practices including dance and carnival culture, and produces award-winning research including three books. https://kpe.utoronto.ca/faculty/joseph-janelle
We have seen the struggles and resiliency of dancers, dance educators and healthcare professionals as you have adapted to a continually changing environment. We have watched you rise to the challenge of finding new ways to teach and take dance classes online, consult with clients, share performances virtually, and build community. We applaud your creativity and perseverance!
Healthy Dancer Canada is here to help you rebuild and reconnect. We are committed to giving back and helping support the Canadian dance sector as we venture forward. As such, we are offering a significant discount on our annual membership from December 16, 2020, through January 31, 2021. Save 50% on studio/clinic and individual Healthy Dancer Canada memberships by using the discount code welcometohdc50 when you register!
Your membership not only gives you access to practical resources for improving dance performance, reducing injuries, and handling stress but it also connects you with a network of dance healthcare providers and like-minded dance educators and artists who care about dancers' health and wellbeing. We invite you to join us in our efforts to connect the dance community and provide much needed resources that support dancers, dance teachers, and dance healthcare professionals to improve the health and wellbeing of ALL dancers.
Click the link below to register today (don't forget to use the discount code above).
HDC member Dr. Blessyl Buan has initiated the BIPOC for Dance Health Directory. The intention of the directory is to provide a resource for BIPOC dancers and dance artists to find a support system to address and validate their unique needs. Visit the directory at drblessyl.com/bipoc-for-dance-health.
Congratulations to Donna Krasnow, winner of the 2020 IADMS Dance Educator Award! Dr. Krasnow is one of HDC's founding members and an internationally recognized dance educator, researcher and author. Congratulations!
We are thrilled to announce that two of HDCs founding members, Donna Krasnow and Andrea Downie, are on the list of nominees for this years IADMS Dance Educator Award! Congratulations!! Check out the full list on IADMS Facebook page and below.
The IADMS Dance Educators' Committee is very excited to share the nominees for the 2020 Dance Educator Award! These 22 astounding educators were nominated by their colleagues and students for masterfully integrating principles of Dance Medicine and Science into their teaching practice and inspiring future generations of dance teachers to do the same. Nominators spoke passionately about these studio teachers, clinicians, healthcare providers, coaches, and classroom lecturers. Each of these professionals has devoted themselves to improving the health and performance of dancers through education and we thank them all for their service. The winner of the Dance Educator Award will be announced this October.
Please, join us in celebrating these educators:
Daan van den Akker
Hyp-Access (Audre Wirtanen & Laura Tuthall)
Healthy Dancer Canada has issued a Statement on Racism as well as published a new resource, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Resources with a dance-specific focus. We invite our members and the wider dance community to share this resource, and are open to feedback on how we can improve both.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with your suggestions.
Are you dancing during isolation? Getting ready to return to the studio with distancing protocols in place? HDC partner organization, Safe in Dance International, has Guidance for Delivering and Taking Dance Classes Online. Also visit Dance/USA for three informational papers that offer guidance to help the dance sector navigate this challenging time.
HDC connects dancers, dance educators, health care professionals and researchers across the country via our News blog and Members' Newsletter. Share our news and newsletters in your studio, school or clinic!