Through their work with CandoCo dance company, Stine Nilsen and Charlotte Darbyshire have independently developed their approach to teaching inclusive classes. Supported by Independent Dance (ID) to continue their professional development, they have:
- taken time to reflect together on their practice
- formulated their ideas into a discussion paper
- led a Thursday Group discussion
- contributed to a conference on Strategies for Inclusion in HE and beyond
- led several Delving Deeper sessions looking at integrated class principles
- exchanged their ideas with ID teachers
Stine and Charlotte wish to share their experience with dance leaders that are eager to make their classes accessible, encouraging reflection on their own teaching and exchange with other practitioners. Both dance artists believe that integration is a process, and that continual reflection on our teaching practice is the way to find solutions that work in the moment. There are no set answers, but ways into supporting the individual and encouraging dialogue within a class.
As part of their investment from ID they were commissioned to write a paper between 2005-2006 entitled Investigating Integrated Teaching Practice. This document should be seen as a discussion paper, rather than a definitive guide. It was originally created to be handed out as a support to the practical sessions Stine and Charlotte led for ID teachers, and later for professional dance artists. As inclusive practice continues to develop and change, this paper should be read with that context in mind.
There is also an informal email discussion group of past workshop participants, Stine and Charlotte, and those interested in engaging further in dialogue with other artists interested in this area.
Dance and Disability: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education and beyond
Independent Dance worked in partnership with Sarah Whatley at Coventry University in 2007, with support from SCODHE and CeMAP to plan a one day networking conference to debate issues and models of practice for the teaching of dance to students and dancers with and without physical disabilities. This day was to draw together dance teachers in higher education, professional practitioners, students and all those who have an interest in dance and disability or integrated environments.