I recently had a situation at work which left me with a feeling of deep disappointment and frustration. This is why I want to write a short post about exchange. I believe that the subject fits very well in this programme, especially at the beginning of a new term.
I'm not sure if it is because I'm doing this programme and meeting so many people who are keen to exchange ideas, or if it is a character trait.... but I am wondering why are people not willing to open up and to pass on their knowledge and experience? Why do people fear that someone would steal ideas and copy their classes if they let them into their studio? Don't we all have one main goal in common as teachers, namely to provide the best possible training for our students?
I guess in this programme, we all are convinced that the learning process is never over and that there is always more to discover. Yesterday, Samantha commented my previous post by saying that she is excited to "learn" from her students and determined to open up. Having this platform for exchange gives me a feeling of not being alone in my job and being surrounded by people who believe that it is important to stay connected. We accept our weaknesses, or we know where we could learn more, and we are aware of our strengths and willing to share them.
My previous post was about responding to stories and letting experiences converse with each other. If we close the door to our studio, how can someone respond to our story, how can we start a conversation?
In dance, exchange is vital. Exchange occurs in the breathing, between the dancers in many different ways, within the body, between the dancer and the environment... dancing, we constantly exchange movement. In fact, "(...) exchange is a tool for engaging, communicating and responding spontaneously with the world around us; it is how we experience life and is the teacher of many things (...)." Even though Karin Rugman wrote this in her article about 'Contact Unwinding' in order to talk about a specific technique which focuses on partners bodywork, this citation nicely expresses what I believe should happen between us teachers. I wish that we all would use exchange as a tool for engaging in our profession, communicating between practitioners and responding to our environment in order evolve and learn or teach. In order to do so, I cannot think of another way than by simply opening our doors.
I'm excited to exchange with you this term, and hope that I will continue to do so in the MAPP Alumni group and I'm looking forward to reading and listening to your stories.