The students I work with range in both age and ability but we all enter the dance studio with an open mind. I encourage both peer and group discussion and self reflection. The students are never without their smartphone and are constantly capturing their technical progress. This enables the students to monitor and critically assess their developments. Through the use of apps that can slow down footage students can use the visual feedback to calculate the transfer of weight and correct their alignment and placement. This week I discussed digital technology and how it can enhance learning in the classroom. The discussion was enlightening but I began to lose their focus when they suggested a simulation like the training session from the ‘Hunger Games’ or an aptitude test from ‘Divergent’…I think popular culture has created a generation hungry for a classroom that can encompass a virtual reality. Miller (2011) discusses cybernetics towards posthumanism and how machine and technology can process information to aid technological embodiment. Valverde & Cochrane (2014) alongside Hayles (1999) have helped navigate my understanding of how virtuality can help dance education and that it is not simply a visual experience but a multi sensory one (Sterne, 2006). Even if the learning experience was artificial like the aptitude test above and only experienced in the mind then the body can still learn movement and motor skills through neuromuscular patterns. Rhythm is influenced by music and by listening to the beat sound can help the student visualise their body moving through space sending messages to their muscles despite the lack of mobility and learning only taking part in the mind.
The following posthumanist points by Miller (2011) has me considering ways in which dance education may evolve in cyborg constructions and conversation of the material: conversion of flesh into data and data into flesh.
Hayles, N. Katherine (1999) Towards embodied virtuality from Hayles, N. Katherine, How we became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics pp.1-25, 293-297, Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press. (e-reserve, pdf)
Miller, V. (2011) Chapter 9: The Body and Information Technology, in Understanding Digital Culture. London: Sage. (e-reserve, pdf)
Sterne, J (2006) The historiography of cyberculture, chapter 1 of Critical cyberculture studies. New York University Press. pp.17-28. (ebook)
Valverde, I., & Cochrane, T. (2014). Innovative dance-technology educational practices within senses places. Priced Technology, 13, 122-129.
— Linzi McLagan (@LinziMclagan) February 1, 2017