National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) has made HDC founding member and Past President Andrea Downie's article Equity-Informed Dancer Wellness open-access for the months of August and September. Read the article at Journal of Dance Education: Full article: Equity-Informed Dancer Wellness (tandfonline.com).
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
Texas Tech University Associate Professor of Dance, Dr. Ali Duffy seeks participants in a research project about women’s negotiations of their careers in dance with pregnancy and/or motherhood. Participation in this study consists of an online survey which will take approximately 20 minutes to complete, and a virtual (video conference or phone) 60-90 minute follow-up interview. Interview questions focus on the participants’ experiences in their careers in dance relevant to their experiences with pregnancy and/or motherhood. Participants’ names and contact information will be kept confidential and no names will be used in published or presented materials. The results of this research will be published in the forthcoming book, Dancing Motherhood: Contexts and Perspectives from Working Mothers in Dance, under contract with Routledge. To participate, individuals must: be over the age of 18, have experienced pregnancy and/or motherhood in any form (through pregnancy, surrogacy, adoption, etc.), and have held at least one job in the dance field during pregnancy and/or motherhood. Please participate by clicking on the survey link below. Please contact Dr. Ali Duffy (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions. This study has been approved by the Human Research Protection Program Institutional Review Board at Texas Tech University.
Thank you to Conference Coordinator Hailey McLeod and the HDC Conference Committee for their excellent work on HDC's Annual Conference 2017, from November 10-12 in Calgary, AB. Canadian and international attendees and presenters enjoyed an educational weekend of eclectic performances, thought-provoking presentations, lively panel discussions, engaging workshops and plenty of networking opportunities.
Congratulations to Siobhan Mitchell, recipient of the 2017 HDC Research Award.
"I have a greater understanding of the issues involved in maintaining dancer wellness, particularly in young dancers. I enjoyed seeing young dancers, experienced dancers, teachers, and healthcare professionals come together to network and discuss how to make dance better for everyone. I particularly enjoyed the panel sessions, where people from a range of backgrounds (academic, studio-based, healthcare-based, performance-based) shared insights on the same question or challenge posed. I also thoroughly enjoyed attending an open rehearsal of Decidedly Jazz Dancework’s upcoming show, and appreciate how dance from the host city of the conference was represented.
I was particularly impacted by Erika Mayall's session about dance’s role in social media, and how what we endorse or post on social media impacts dancers’ aspirations for their bodies and careers. I am inspired to create positive content for social media in different ways moving forward. I also enjoyed the session on the healing power of hoop dancing, and would love to see dance from more cultures represented at these conferences in the future. I am grateful to the Healthy Dancer Canada Financial Assistance Program for providing me with funding to attend this conference." (Mariel, Masters Student)
Call for abstracts International Conference on Performing Arts Medicine (ICPAM2018)
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