Chloe's two weeks with Stopgap
Placement student, Chloe, writes about her experience on spending two weeks working with Stopgap and how it has opened her eyes to dance and accessibility…
My name is Chloe Greer and over the last fortnight I’ve been gaining work experience with Stopgap Dance Company. As part of my Third Year studies at Falmouth University, I am undertaking a ‘Practice in Context’ module, where I shall be exploring my own practice, as well as the avenues that I hope to pursue post my degree. When I graduate, I should like to teach, and so, during this module, I hope to gain as much knowledge and experience in this respect as I possibly can.
My project, entitled ‘Differentiated Dance - A New Way to Learn’, looks at how one must adapt the way in which they teach, dependant on who(m) is being taught. Stopgap has been incredible at facilitating this. As an organisation that prides itself on its seamless integration of disabled and non-disabled dancers, it was interesting for me to see how Stopgap adapted their teaching practice when working with mixed groups.
What stood out most, was Stopgap’s notion of accessibility, not only in relation to accessing to the venue, class etc, but also to the language they used. It is important that dance language is not glossed over with a ‘one size fits all mentality’, but instead, that it is available to everyone. This can be exemplified by, instead of asking a class to plie, instead, ask them to bend, soften or fold at the knees. This way of working makes perfect sense, and highlights the fact that, it is possible to teach and work with disabled and non-disbaled dancers in the same way.
Thanks so much to everyone at Stopgap for making me feel so welcome and giving me such a fantastic two weeks!