Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) had successfully conducted a collaboration on Dance Education with Dr. Melanye Dixon, Associate Professor at the Ohio State University. The collaboration took place from September 14 – 28, 2018 in Bandung, West Java at the Faculty of Dance Education and Design Education.
Dr. Dixon said that working with the undergraduate and graduate student populations at UPI was truly gratifying. The students were gracious, attentive, eager and passionate about their work.
She worked with 20 graduate students in their education seminar. She was able to revisit her conference presentation on Empathy Training in Higher Education that included a close reading and discussion of her paper and power point presentation. Her host counterpart, Dr. Masunah served as her interpreter when needed.
At the conference, she asked the students to reflect on their graduate research endeavors and to cite connections regarding their experiences with employing empathy. One student noted her dance teaching research with Down Syndrome children and another cited his work in his childhood community regarding reinforcing cultural and ethnic identity through teaching traditional Sundanese dance.
She further said that the students were curious about Muslim students in the US in terms of their participation with creative and contemporary dance.
She also presented a lecture on “Teaching Creative Dance to Children” to 300 undergraduate students. She was able to encourage the students use innovative methods of working with young children through the use of children’s literature and motion picture films grounded in childhood fantasy narratives.
During the lecture, students asked questions about how to engage boys to embrace dance and innovative methods of encouraging their dance students to disengage with their smart phones and see the value in creative dance and learning traditional Sundanese dance. Their questions mirrored some of the same teaching concerns and challenges that is faced in the US when teaching the arts in the age of technology.
After the lecture, Dr. Dixon asked the students to share some examples of their performance work. Three extraordinary groups of students emerged from the audience with encouragement of their classmates to perform. There were two duet contemporary dance presentations and one trio Sundanese/Contemporary dance presentation. It was a wonderful spontaneous artistic sharing by immensely talented dance education students at UPI.
“Observing the stunning performances was wonderful!”, she said.
Dr. Melanye White Dixon is an associate professor in the Department of Dance at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She was awarded Fulbright Specialist grant in September 2018 for the Faculty of Arts and Design Education, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI).
Last Updated: Oct 18, 2018 @ 2:06 pm
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