Dancers’ Scholarly Writing Skills Amid a Climate of Virtual Gratification

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Teresa Heiland, Professor of Dance Education (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: For the past twenty years, reflective writing has been emphasized over expository writing in education. This tactic has encouraged more involvement in writing, due to reflective writing’s emphasis on understanding of self in relation to the world. While this focus has been positive, I argue that our writing culture has become less aware of how to communicate deeper expository skills. Dancers are often asked to write about their dancing, dances, and personal life experiences and they have become good at this skill. Because we are living in a culture of fast paced, virtual communication and an increasing focus on advanced technical dance skills, dance majors are increasingly devaluing the time-consuming task of carefully crafted, scholarly writing skills. Much hand holding is often required to prepare dancers for the requisite writing tasks they will face when they emerge from the academy and have to cope in the business of shaping their careers. The cultural milieu fostered by both the virtual world and a focus on competitive dance has bred a mindset for today’s dance majors that physical training must take precedence over intellectual pursuits. While we may not be able to change this culture, I am recreating and researching the writing pedagogy for the dance major.

Additional Information

Proceedings from the 2010 National Dance Education Organization Conference
Language: English
Date: 2010
dance scholarship, dance education, National Dance Education Organization

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