Good End, Good Beginning…

Fives Ideas for an Interdisciplinary Research Paper:

-The psychology and application of empowerment through dance. Why DOES dancing make us feel empowered? This truly interests me because I personally feel very empowered when I dance. There are many different reasons that I can explain, but I want to know scientifically speaking what the reason is for WHY dance can be empowering. By this, I would be able to come up with best practices for applying dance empowerment. The disciplines would include dance, social work, and psychology.

-Comparing the empowerment of performers vs. audience members. As we know, the performers of a piece of theatre, song, and dance have a very different experience than the audience members watching it. Both can be empowering for different people or in different situations. I would compare and contrast the feelings of empowerment through the same piece, for the audience member and performer to get a better understanding of how and maybe why this form of empowerment works, and when is the best time to use it. This would include music, theatre, or dance and social work, psychology, and maybe social justice.

-How does music improve learning? You constantly hear on the radio or TV that playing music improves test stores. Learning songs help memory… why is that when we are also constantly told one side of the brain is creative and the other numerically smart? What is the proof and how can we use that to better our music, education, and music education? The disciplines for this would be music, education, and neuroscience/psychology.

-What are the best practices for cross-cultural dance exploration? Is it possible to truly understand or “dance” the dances of other cultures? What would be the barriers to learning dances from around the world, and how could we apply them in culturally sensitive ways? Is there a way to make World Dance classes more interactive? The disciplines for this would be anthropology, dance, and social justice/work.

-Ableism in dance/theatre. I would study how the current dance/theatre world is inclusive and neglectful of people who are disabled. Hopefully, I would be able to challenge the pieces that are ableist, and create a manual for dance studios, companies, etc to model when trying to be more inclusive. This would combine social work and dance/theatre.

Five Ideas for an Applied Project:

-Organizing and Directing a benefit production of The Vagina Monologues. This play tackles important issues regarding violence against women, feminity, and challenging gender norms. This will use the disciplines theatre and social work.

Empowering Youth Through Movement course. I will help to run the workshop for the Empowering Youth Through Movement course that I created alongside social work Prof. David Lynch and IDS alum Marina Phillips.I will be able to document the journey of creating the course, running the course, and passing the course on for future courses. The disciplines this will include is education, dance, and social work.

-Empowerment Dance Class- many people feel empowered by dancing but why? Is there more than one way to dance for empowerment? Can you actually train someone to be empowered by dance? These are the questions I have. Using dance and social work/psychology techniques, I would create and run a dance class (similar to zumba, without latin influences as I am not trained that way) that focuses more on the empowerment behind the dance, than the dance itself. The mission would be to get the dancers to love themselves and their bodies, or the way they feel when they dance.

-World Dance Tourism Program- someday, I would love to work for a nonprofit. I am very passionate about the importance of cultural exchange through fair-trade learning opportunities. I would love to create a program that providers dancers from around the world the opportunity to travel to countries, learning their heritage, cultural, and dances. This would give dancers the experience to recognize different forms of World Dance as an experience unlike the dance world in America. And it would allow for cultural exchange, which is incredibly important in breaking down stereotypes and helping to find the universal oneness within us all.

-Emotion Improv- create a course based on theatre improv and empowerment that would allow students to express themselves while being faced with important social questions and constructs. This would require me to pull from Social Work, theatre, and education.

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7 thoughts on “Good End, Good Beginning…

  1. I love all of the RA ideas except maybe #2, which just feels a little harder to focus and research. AP’s all look good though maybe the Vagina Monologues is coming up a bit quick to really figure out how to make it a project for this course. But all in all, no question you will be producing AMAZING work this Spring!

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  2. These are all great ideas! For your research article I really like your first idea. I think it would be really interesting to learn the science behind why people feel empowered when they dance. I know when I dance I feel confident and free, but why? I think this goes hand in hand with your third applied project idea. Using your research would help you conduct a dance class that is focused on the empowerment behind the dance. You have a very positive outcome to your project that would benefit the community. I look forward to seeing what research and applied project you decide to go with!

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  3. You have some really awesome ideas here and I’m excited for you to start! I also love the first idea for the research article as it asks why dance can be empowering. I think in some ways, that may be more interesting than conducting research on different ways dance can be empowering itself. I also like how involved you want to be with your applied project ideas. No matter what you choose, I know you’ll have fun doing it!

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  4. Taylor,

    I loved your ideas you had for your research article. The one that stood out to me the most was about how music improves your learning, I feel as if this would be fun to learn about! One of your ideas for your research ideas stood out to me as well. Empowerment dance class sounds like it would be a blast! I have learned that dancing is such a fun and great way to get in a workout. I really enjoyed reading your ideas and thoughts on what you’re planning on doing for the article and project!

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  5. All of your research article ideas seem great! I especially like your idea about how does music improve learning.” You constantly hear on the radio or TV that playing music improves test stores. Learning songs help memory… why is that when we are also constantly told one side of the brain is creative and the other numerically smart?” I think these are all great points to talk about in your research that have a lot of controversy! These are examples of things we often wondered about and can be very interesting to find more information about. All of your applied project ideas seem like great hands on experience that will help you along the way and I am looking forward to seeing which one you chose, best of luck! 🙂

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  6. All of your research article ideas seem great! I especially like your idea about how does music improve learning. “You constantly hear on the radio or TV that playing music improves test stores. Learning songs help memory… why is that when we are also constantly told one side of the brain is creative and the other numerically smart?” I think these are all great points to talk about in your research that have a lot of controversy! These are examples of things we often wonder about and can be very interesting to find more information about. All of your applied project ideas seem like great hands on experience that will help you along the way and I am looking forward to seeing which one you chose, best of luck! 🙂

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  7. Hi Taylor!
    Empowerment though dance?! That is so interesting. I would love to see what you do with this.

    As for your Applied Project I love the Vagina Monologues!! One of my favorite performances.

    Some great ideas from you all would be amazing.

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