This is a reference for Hochstein Norbert

E+motion-contemporary dance as a tool to train entrepreneurship skills

The training activity took place
in Viana do Castelo, Portugal
organised by Spot - Interface Criativo
4th-12th March,2017

Aims & objectives

The purpose of the TC was to explore contemporary dance as a tool in youth work by personalexperience, practice and physical training. The training offered a practical, easy to follow process promoting participation and responsibility on individual and community level.
Main focus was the development of creativity and entrepreneurial skills, in the context of localcommunities, NGOs, or small business initiatives and projects involving a larger number of people.

The aims of the course were:
-to improve skills of entrepreneurship and local participation
-to widen your resources of designing, guiding and evaluating learning activities
-to fusion and share best practice
-to create the base for new partnerships

The main issue what was the base of the course is th efact that, 25 – 30% of young people in Europe do not work – they are unemployed, or we have several other terms to call it. The number is growing, and even more are „hidden unemployed”: work as freelancers, jumping between project-based, part-time, temporary jobs. With no steady income, many times is the „grey zones”. Thinking or dreaming about what to do, how to make a living. Or just expecting some opportunities to happen.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

In E+motion we worked with larger teams, realising an initiative and delivering a message by the means of a performance, in a setting similar to teamwork, youth projects and initiatives. This TC was for newcomers, first-timers, no previous dance experience is required.
All the participants were coming with different background some of them were from the field of youth work and they were youth workers and other professions working with people, who wanted to explore dance as a potential tool in their work. Or they were coming as dancers, coreographers, intructors, who were considering to add an extra non-formal learning and self-development dimension to their work.

Participants were coming from :Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Spain or Portugal.

Training methods used & main activities

80-90% of the program was pure practicing and improvement, 8-10 hours of physical movement/day. Professional instruction and coaching was provided by the trainers. The used method had 3 main focus :
1.Body awareness: Our patterns of thinking, feeling, reacting are reflected in our posture and movement, in what we sense in our bodies, how we relate to people, space, time, rhythm and music. By working with the body we can discover a lot of things that the mind is hiding.
2.Dance and movement in a group:Working together on the dancefloor offers the opportunity to discover our patterns related to people, culture, society, target groups, communities. Doing physical exercise or dance together – regardless whether it is hobby, professional, one-time or regular – has a great effect on groups. It can improve cooperation, create joy and fun and may offer information on group dynamics – the functioning, energy and atmosphere of a group, the development of people’s roles and relationships.
3.Performance:Going through the creation process of a performance as a group, practicing, rehearsals and shows is an intense and unique process where you can experience the process a group can go through while production, reaching a common goal within a certain timeframe.

The main activities of the course, some examples how these 3 elements were implemented:
GYM sessions :Physical training, practicing the basics, tricks that are never told in the “beginners and hobby classes”, although owning them makes dance easy and improvement fast. The techniques we worked with come from the basics of contemporary dance and sports.
WORKSHOPS FOR SELF-DISCOVERY:Playful activities through which people could explore how to interact with other people.

Outcomes of the activity

In the debriefings and in their evaluations, participants mentioned the following outcomes :

The approach of the TC gave them opportunity to experience and realise what is their role in the group, what attitude and action serves progress and how they can influence the common outcome by their behaviour: listening to each other, standing up for their ideas and suggestions, giving space, taking leadership or supportive roles. With the performances, especially the aftertalks with the audiences, people realised how important and valuable it is to connect to the community and give space to dialogue. With the open workshops people could experience a lot of different sub-cultures of dance. Nevertheless, they all agreed that the community-building effect of dance is great, and it gives a lot of opportunities of non-formal learning concerning participation too: to keep traditions, to translate traditions for today’s society, to learn cooperation, to learn how the individual has a role in a common production, to recognise one’s own responsibility, to learn to create a healthy and inspirative atmosphere.

Participants learned to handle their own stereotypes and pre-judgements, learned to be open, rely on the information that comes from the target group and be flexible with their own behaviours, plans and messages they wanted to transfer. We took care that in the debriefings and also in individual consultations there was space for participants to express what they went through emotionally and mentally while performing.

Cultural awareness and expression was one of the main learning focuses of the TC. All the participants mentioned in their evaluations that the creation process in a multicultural group brought the most intense learning for them, mainly in working with their stereotypes, accepting different background, practicing verbal and non-verbal communication for expression.

By creating performances in small and big groups participants learned a lot in the fields of creativity, initiative and enterpreneurship. They learned brainstorming, setting a realistic goal, planning, discussing and evaluating options, taking risks, testing opportunities, monitoring their progress, handling human resources, receiving feedback, implementing improvements.

We improved professional competences of youth workers concerning building and guiding workshops with dance and physical movement: workshop logistics, how to pick a location, healthy clothing, warm-up and stretching in order to execute movement safely. We shared several techniques that facilitate common creation, e.g starting from drawing, showing movements with people’s names or visualising something inspired by a piece of music how we can get a group into action and create a common phrase, posture, piece of movement, from which they can build up a whole choreography.

By the regular and mutual interaction with the local community participants learned how dance and movement-based activities can be used with youth and highly disadvantaged target groups.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

During E+motion I was responsible for the following tasks:

•structure of the program
•designing the program
•keeping the timing of the elements
•synchronizing different program elements
•coaching participants in order to create their own performances from zero
•big group reflections
•general sharing
•debriefings of the activities
•evaluation of the program
•reflection meetings
•entrepreneurship related program elements

I worked on this training for 9 days as a full time trainer.

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