Thinking about Dance is like Bungee Jumping

by Mei Qi Elizabeth Chan
7 March 2016

Traditional Chinese Dancing

Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I am a dancer from Singapore on the MA Dance Studies course. During my UG dance course in Hong Kong, I really enjoyed thinking and writing about dance, but I didn’t know where this could take me. All I knew is I wanted to learn more about dance theory/studies, so the research began. This research led me to discover Roehampton. Having been to London before for a dance performance, and absolutely loving it, it all fell into place – I should carry on my studies right here at Roehampton.

Being at Roehampton has brought me into a whole new world of activities I’ve never done before. I’ve joined the Dance Society and have been learning how to hip-hop which is completely different from my previous experience in Chinese Dance, but so much fun. I also am a student representative for the dance department, which means I attend meetings with our academics to voice the opinions of all the students on the course. I’m studying so many fascinating topics, I really could go on all day about it. I’m taking modules in Analysing Dance, Dance Philosophy and History, and Dance in Social and Cultural Practice - each one giving me a fresh perspective on dance. Our class discussions are so interesting: they go from the authenticity of dance, what dance is, to how it differs across diverse cultures. It has opened my mind to new ideas and I love that our discussions give us time to think creatively and share what we are learning.  I have found that there is no right answer to the concepts and theories.  It is challenging at times, but also creates a world of endless possibilities for interpreting dance.

The other day at the end of our course, we had time to ask questions before starting our assignment. We all had quite a few! Our professor said that it was OK. She said ‘just bungee jump!’ Now, I am ready to take that leap and start my assignments. I have been inspired and learned so much in such a short time. I am excited to continue with my studies.

After graduation, I plan to teach in Asia and help other dancers learn about dance in a different way. I want to help students to consider more than only the physical aspects of and think and write about the meaning behind dance. Ultimately I want to encourage them to keep following their passion for dance in any way possible– like me really.

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