Inclusion in a Dance Class

A research about the conditions of a danceclass that people with disabilities participate in

By: Danique Jongbloed
Position: ArtEZ Bachelor Dance in Education, Arnhem, The Netherlands

This is a short introduction to the BA thesis Danique Jongbloed has written for her final exam at ArtEZ BA Dance in Education. The thesis is also written on behalf of the Erasmus+ project “Next Move”. The text of the thesis, to be found after this abstract, is in Dutch.

The paper can be downloaded here

This research is about inclusive dance (dance classes of mixed abled groups, participants with and without all sorts of handicaps) and the conditions for a successful dance class. The goal of the research is to clarify these conditions and make them a support for teachers that will start giving inclusive dance classes. Besides that, there will be clarified

The researcher started with a desk research. She was looking for the meaning of the definition ‘Inclusion’ and  the different levels where inclusion was operated. The researcher  was working towards the inclusion in the dance field and the way the teachers work. During the study of this subject, the researcher found a lot of general terms, which also reply on for instance theory lessons. To look for specific conditions of a dance class, she went into the field. For her field research she did in-dept interviews with different people who are already working as an inclusive dance teacher and observations of mixed abled dance classes to find an answer to her question and a logbook to record her experiences during the inclusive dance classes she joins.

The field research resulted in the conclusion that the approaches reproductive (coping the teacher) and creative/expressive (improvisation assignments) are the most workable for an inclusive dance class. It is also possible to let them make a ‘choreography’, the choreographic approach, but good guidance is required. The exercises of the lesson should be build up in small steps, so every participant can join the group.

Dance educators who will start with teaching inclusive dance classes are recommended to use a clear build up and one or more of the tree approaches.

After the research, the researcher made an article about her experiences during the study, this is her professional product. This book is formal and fact-based documentation of the research, the article will be more informal and written from the point of view of the researcher. For this article, the logbook will be an important sources.

The paper can be downloaded here