Sunday, March 4, 2018

synonyms for relatability

Relatability is to understand easily and feel connected to something. Understanding. Comprehension. Providing for necessary in one genre versus required by another genre or course curriculum.

Where is the important focus? Should theory ever take a backseat to practice?Arts vs. science vs. society. It all leads back to objectivity and recognizing the need for how society seeks answers.

Does this go back to perception being impacted by perspective? How do we as instructors impart what we feel is vital and important to students without feeling like we have to beat them into submission? How do we accept that not everyone will find the same things important?


6 comments:

  1. Thank you Davis for this. My view on relatability is; Something that I feel I can attempt to understand as I have something I share with and therefore feel connected to. In this case we both share dance. Its the same with my students, I need to find common topic in order to make it relatable to them. This was very apparent from the Rosemary Lee lecturer I attended last week as she shared her methods of getting people (non dancers) to move, she found something relatable to each. In my teacher training I was always told to use the vocabulary of my class, so they could workout what I was saying and asking them to do. I try to make this a way I am relatable in dance class. This of course has changed over my many years of practice and is related to society.

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    1. Finding a common topic is often difficult to do. Sometimes dance from the point of being a teacher and being a student may be the only thing we have in common with our dance students. Bringing cultural or societal references into technique class can create issues with parents/guardians who only wish for students to learn dance and nothing but dance. Perhaps this is specific to American society, perhaps not.

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  2. Relatability comes back to empathy, taking time and caring enough to try to understand another person, situation in order to mutually grow through experience. Being able to put yourself in their 'shoes', ballet shoes, tap shoes, jazz shoes, no shoes (ha ha) or even anticipating their need to relate to you and assisting them in this two-way process. Great word, Davis - now can you write my research inquiry!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Sadly I cannot write your research inquiry. Over the Modules I have heard many classmates speak to how dance instructors do more than teach dance. Perhaps this is relating to the needs of the students or perhaps we inflate our importance and sometimes forget that even though we may have trained in multiple dance techniques and has some exposure to kinseiology or massage therapy or physical therapy we as instructors should not cross lines clearly defined by degrees/ diplomas or required certifications. This is often challenging for me as there is almost always that one student who pulls at your heart strings or may need advice on how to better avoid injury. The harsh reality is that I must teach dance and help people grow through dance. I am not certified in exercise science and am not licensed to provide medical advice. What may or may not have worked for me in my rehabilitation after injuries may not be what is right for any of my students. This brings back the analogy of is there one "right" way to teach a pirouette. Relating to the students does not mean we can befriend them or give unsolicited advice on matters beyond our training and professional experience. So again, I ask for synonyms of relatability. Some dictionaries write that this is not truly a word.

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  3. I think sometimes part of the education is students realizing that although something may not be important to them personally, it is still important to others and as such is necessary to learn. My students might really, really hate the bits of improv and choreography I weave into modern class, but a lot of choreographers will require them to have that skill. They might also find it important later--I can hammer students needing to know how to work hard and learn how to self-correct all I want, but it might not become important to them until they're older and really need those skills.

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    1. Accepting the students for where they are on their journeys in dance is most vital to surviving a career as a teacher in dance. Instructors can give steps, combinations, or theory to a class but not every student will absorb the material provided. As I have said and written many times "I hate improvisation." However, I love improvisational studies for my students as I know it is an area I loathe. Yes, loathe! After visiting the Picasso Museum in Barcelona a few years ago I actually emailed a high school dance instructor and let her know that almost 30 years after her monotonous trips to the art museum next door to the high school and her whacked out improv studies that her lessons had sunk in. Not every person gets to travel to see such museums but the different displays of art triggered unhappy memories which had become little "aha" moments. I believe the phrase is "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink." Some people use camel instead of horse.

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