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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Books: Psychology of Dance


Dance_Scholar_London

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Dance_Scholar_London

Avalon,

 

Maybe you want to PM? I am sure we would have some interesting discussions. As you are a new member you wont be able to use PM but I am more than happy to provide my email address. :)

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dance_scholar -

 

yes i DID know lucinda sharp, superficially only (in western australia), until she moved back to melbourne where the australian ballet school is.

 

if you have in the future any need to refer to me, she would know me as "the west australian writer for 'dance australia' magazine".

obviously, my name is not 'grace'!

 

hope the connection is a valuable one for you. she's a nice lady. :)

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Dance_Scholar_London

Thanks grace, it is definitely a valuable connection :)

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Dance Scholar,

 

I would welcome a chance to PM. I am not sure where you are permitted to post your email address; I think the Adult Ballet Buddy Board is one such place for me to check.

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I am not questioning whether or not there are psychological components to dance. The example of motivation is excellent. Motivation is a characteristic of behavior, there are clearly individual differences in motivation, and certainly one must be highly motivated to dance. I know there are tons of studies regarding motivation, and I assume several different theories of motivation have been advanced. What I was skeptical of is whether there is something in dance that results in say a motivational theory that is unique for dance, and not an application of an existing theory.

 

It would seem entirely reasonable to me for a dance company (or any employer for that matter) to employ counselors (psychologists or social workers) for their employees. Being a dancer is a low paid, low status job that is highly likely to produce significant stress. And I do believe in the health benefits of counseling. But again, is there something unique to such counseling for dancers as opposed to others in stressful jobs?

 

And the bigger question, at least from my point of view and the basis for my original comment, is whether knowledge about psychological facets of dance really produces better dancers? How would one ever possibly know? How could one ever validly measure dancing ability well enough to do any research along that line? That is the basis of my skepticism. I’m unmoved by things like self-reports and attitude changes as proxies for ability.

 

Whether or not knowledge of psychological facets actually improves ability, I do think it is good for both teachers and students (and people in general) to understand individual differences. I also believe in counseling. I’m not challenging the existence of psychological components to dance, just their uniqueness to dance and effect on development.

 

Other than in measurement, I certainly claim no expertise in either dance education or psychology for that matter, so certainly I can be wrong. If so, I would really find interesting a specific example of uniqueness or development effect.

 

I also am not trying to devalue anyone’s study of the psychological facets of dance either. I believe that the academic study of dance and all of it’s components is great and should be applauded. I’m just not counting on such academic work (and knowledge of it) improving my dance ability, that’s all.

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Dance_Scholar_London
What I was skeptical of is whether there is something in dance that results in say a motivational theory that is unique for dance, and not an application of an existing theory.

 

 

 

And the bigger question, at least from my point of view and the basis for my original comment, is whether knowledge about psychological facets of dance really produces better dancers? How would one ever possibly know? How could one ever validly measure dancing ability well enough to do any research along that line?

A) Academic research is about testing existing theories that then (can) generate new theories and ideas. The fact that motivation theory does work in one field does not mean that it is the same in another. B)

 

:) Good question - but this is all about development. If one does not try it out, one will never know. Ballet has been a constant evolution though a very slow one in comparison with other disciplines. IMO, dance education, however, is seeking for new ways of teaching to improve not only the technical dancer, but also artistry and personal development. The results become certainly more visible in the long term. I quite dont understand your question about valid measurement? Why should one not be able to measure dance ability? :blink::green:

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oh dear - i hope that the questions in the above post don't send us entirely off the topic of this thread.

 

here is the first sentence from garyecht's first post in this thread:

It is highly unlikely that any book having to do with the so called “psychology of dance” will go beyond a certain level for the dancer who is somehow looking to use psychology to become a better dancer
gary - no one has stated this, nor, as far as i as see, is anyone trying to assert this, except perhaps yourself (in the negative).

 

you seem to have set yourself up to be disappointed.

 

whether or not an element of psychological information is UNIQUE to dance is irrelevant, IMO. what matters is whether it is A) true and :D useful to an individual, whether that individual is a dancer or not.

 

likewise, whether the books contain anything which is UNIQUE TO DANCERS is irrelevant, as long as what they contain is RELEVANT to dancers and the people working with them. on these grounds, IMO, these books are in general useful, and this area of study is, in general, a valuable one.

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Dance_Scholar_London

I found the other book I was talking about. It is called "Psychology for Peforming Artists" by Glenn D. Wilson. It mainly concentrates on stage acting + music but there are various chapters that apply equally for ballet dancers such as "stress in performers" and "stage fright".

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Guest En ballade

Hello

I'm a french psychologist. I just wanted to say I agree that dance should be an important field of psychology research, but could also become a field of practice. It's a matter of choice, for the people who educate the dancers.

I've done my master's degree research from my work with dancers (so it exists!!).

I would be very happy to meet and help you dance scholar, I live in London at the moment.You can contact me at enballade@hotmail.com. Hope to hear from you soon.

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Dance_Scholar_London

Hey thats great, I have done my Masters degree as well in ballet research.

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