Blog from Brazil #2: How do we ensure teachers’ own development?
Our Director of Education on questions raised by a symposium in Rio during a visit by the Ballet and Opera Companies.
Well over 80 people with a shared belief in the potential of dance to be a positive force in children’s lives: from university students to dance teachers; from people managing social projects to one of Brazil’s most famous ballerinas. No wonder the energy and breadth of the discussions during this symposium have been so impressive.
A great many issues and questions were raised, and perspectives shared, but one theme that stood out was the central importance of teachers in the development both of children and of dance practice. Yet, opportunities for teachers’ own development can be limited; several delegates commented that even the opportunity the symposium has presented to talk to other teachers, and learn that they share some of the same challenges, values and beliefs, has been incredibly valuable.
So it felt a natural step to move from discussion to practical work in the studio, in which the ROH team shared some of the teaching approaches on our Chance to Dance project. The delegates threw themselves into these participatory workshops (with the outside temperature touching 40 degrees, the air conditioning in the studio came in quite handy).
Perhaps the best indication of the desire to share ideas and learn from each other was that, at the end of long days, the after-workshop discussion went on way beyond the scheduled finish time, and carried on in the corridors of Theatro Municipal on the way out.
I’ll be able to share some more of my thoughts on this amazing experience in my third and final blog post next week.
Find out more about the Royal Opera House’s trip to Brazil and read a Q&A with Brazilian Royal Ballet Dancer Roberta Marquez.