CPD sessions - by Laura & Siobhan

Laura & Siobhan write up a summary about the 2 CPD days held in February…

It was exciting yet challenging to try two new CPD days Exploring Inclusive Contact Dance and our renewed Developing Diverse Dance Talent. On day one we lead an inclusive dance technique class, which gave an insight into how Stopgap leads professional classes to train emerging disabled dancers. In the afternoon we gave an insight into Stopgap’s choreographic methods with a focus on how to create high quality performances for a local community environment. Day two we explored translating contact improvisation for diverse dancers with a particular focus on those who use wheelchairs. We taught about our tools for teaching contact dance inclusively and ideas for how to use contact dance within inclusive choreography. It was an informative couple of days!

It was great to have such an internationally eclectic set of participants; From Italy, Malta, Holland, Cyprus, Leicester, Devon, Sussex and Abergavenny! Flattered is an understatement. All of which bought their own variety of experiences and views. Some had their own inclusive groups and others were in dance training with the ambition to teach inclusively once graduated. It’s fantastic to be part of all of their inclusive dance journeys, whether it’s an initial interest or a refresher. We also learnt from them! They reminded us of a few important things whilst teaching...

  • Tailor making a session – Always have options, a selection of tasks ready to teach with the groups needs in mind. Firstly ask what would be most valuable for the groups needs then chose the most appropriate task to address them.
  • Wheelchair translation – It reminded us of the complexity of wheelchair translation, although we use it every day our participants did not. It can take time to adapt movement and patience is key.
  • You are always learning – We have a huge amount of accumulative knowledge between us. But it is important to highlight there is not just one way to translate. Every dancer is different and this should be embraced and encouraged.

Overall it was an interesting, thought provoking and positive two days with a super group!

Thanks! Laura Jones and Siobhan Hayes.

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