Hello Eeva Anttila Keynote speaker at CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
When did you have your breakthrough as a teacher?
I think I have had several smaller breakthroughs instead a single huge one. One important moment was when I was teaching a jazz dance class, I think it was late 80’s, and I realized that I was becoming part of the unpleasant legacy of authoritarian dance pedagogy. I did not like myself as a teacher at that moment, and I wanted to become a different dance teacher, so that everyone could feel appreciated and equal in my class, and there would be no feelings of shame. Since then, my mission has been to who nurtures every student’s love for dance despite of their apparent skills and talent for dance.
What role has the teaching of dance in our contemporary society?
Dance is a very special form of embodiment and corporeality in our society. Embodiment is becoming less valued in the digital age. I consider the human body as most sophisticated technology there is for creating knowledge. Dance is a significant possibility to cultivate bodily knowledge, embodied interaction and of course, temporal, physical forms of artistic expression.
Why is teaching dance so important?
Through teaching dance we can pass on cultural representations of dance so that new generations can appreciate the diversity of dance forms and cultures, create their own and renew the art of dance. Teaching of dance is also important for a multitude of other reasons, like holistic development and well-being. It is just very important to bear in mind that not all dance teaching does these things. It is possible to harm and hurt human beings through dance – that is why we need research into dance pedagogy, critical discussion and consciousness about the way we train future dance teachers.