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Rimmer-Piekarczyk, R., 2018.

Self-somatic authority: Exploring the cultivation of somatic intelligence through a dialogic approach to self-reflection in dance technique learning

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices
Volume/Issue:10 (1)
Pagination:pp. 95-110

This article contemplates the notion of a 'self-somatic authority' by exploring the relationship between dialogue, self-reflection and the cultivation of somatic intelligence. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin's notion of dialogism, and specifically his concepts of 'authoritative discourse' and 'internally persuasive discourse', the author explores whether a dialogic approach to teaching release-based contemporary dance technique in higher education can enable learners to meaningfully reflect on their practice, subsequently leading to a stronger sense of somatic intelligence. To examine the efficacy of this pedagogical approach, responses from a focus group discussion conducted with a group of first year students who participated in a cycle of action research are examined; the teacher's reflective journal notes are also analysed. Drawing on the data, the author proposes that a dialogic approach to nurturing self-reflection in the dance technique class constructs a particular kind of somatic-informed pedagogy that not only appears to facilitate 'self-somatic authority', but also presents unexpected challenges and contradictions.