It’s time to let the world benefit from the tools that dance has to offer. In the European research project Empowering Dance – The Soft Skills Teaching and Learning Approach, seven European partners collaborate in developing a handbook with tools on how to transfer soft skills – also known as social or people skills – through dance.
In the 21st century, soft skills are more and more acknowledged as essential capacities in our society. They include for example the ability to reflect on oneself, to work constructively with others, to empathize with and manage conflicts, and to lead a health-conscious life. We believe it is of vital importance that we human beings are aware of the soft skills we possess and learn how to use them in a beneficial way. Dance is a powerful tool in further developing these soft skills, as was shown in the previous research project Empowering Dance. In the follow-up research project Empowering Dance – The Soft Skills Teaching and Learning Approach, we’re continuing the research and ask ourselves: How can dance artists and teachers incorporate the teaching of soft skills in their professional practice?
Learning soft skills through raving
The research will be done through four case studies, one in each country. In Rotterdam, dance artist Connor Schumacher will research this from the perspective of his rave-community. A group of non-professional dancers will participate in the focus group.
Similarly, in each country a case study with a different focus will be part of the research. From working with people with Parkinson in Italy to working with young adults in Germany, in all those areas we will see what the power of soft skills has to offer and how to transfer soft skills to others.
The project will run from 2020-2022. In 2022, we will start sharing the gained knowledge through events in which the researchers and artists share insights and exercises. Also, a digital handbook will be presented in which tools will be provided on how to transfer soft skills through dance. This will become available as open-source material for all dance artists and other people who would like to benefit from this knowledge.
Empowering Dance – The Soft Skills Teaching and Learning Approach is a collaborative project of Akademija likovnih umjetnosti Sveucilista u Zagrebu (Zagreb, Croatia), CSC Bassano del Grappa (Italy), Dansateliers (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), Hrvatski Institut Za Pokret (Zagreb, Croatia), K3 (Hamburg, Germany), La Briqueterie (Vitry-sur-Seine, France), Roehampton University (United Kingdom). This project is funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.