Empowering Dance; developing soft skills is a new European project that investigates and maps out the special learning effects of the contemporary dance practice at an international level. The project adheres to the World Economic Forum’s statement about the importance of developing soft skills* as the most important skills in contemporary society and the labour market today.
The contemporary dance practice, in which the creative body is central and which is often practiced in collaboration with others, seems to be an excellent example of a practice that helps people of all ages develop soft skills. To validate this, the initiators of Empowering Dance; developing soft skills zoom in on three examples taken from their own contemporary dance practice. What soft skills do we develop in the practice of contemporary dance? What are the learning effects of contemporary dance, how do we validate this and how can we make the effects accessible to a wider audience?
In the Netherlands, the research will be conducted among the participants of the Movement Classes that are being organized in Dansateliers since 2012. During the open classes, which are based on improvisation, participants can get acquainted with the movement material and the working methods of different choreographers. By the use of simple assignments, they take the participants on an exploration of different forms of movement and expression. The lessons are open to everyone interested in body awareness, choreography and dance.
The research is conducted under the direction of Luisella Carnelli, philosopher and researcher working for the Fondazione Fitzcarroldo, an independent research center in the field of culture, art and media in Italy.
* Soft skills is a collective term for personal qualities, social, communicative and language skills, personal habits, kindness and optimism that give colour to our relationships with others. (source wikipedia)