Organisation: Coventry University
Region: West Midlands
This course has always had an inclusive ethos and strong links with Hereward College, the national college for students with disabilities. Following the first wheelchair user joining the course in 2002 and an in-depth research project Body Realities: strategies for inclusion in dance in HE, a set of actions to help the course be more accessible to a wide range of disabled students was implemented. These included a re-evaluation of the purpose, delivery and assessment of dance technique development within the curriculum, guidelines for studio-based class work and guidance to support the relationship between the Learning Support Assistant (LSA) and the disabled student. Staff continue to be heavily involved in research around dance and disability. The course encourages creativity, exploration and a professional approach to contemporary dance. Students have the opportunity to develop their own artistic practice through study of dance technique, performance, choreography and contextual studies. They also have the option to specialise in teaching and community practice. The core course content includes the following subject areas: - Contemporary dance technique; - Choreography and improvisation including contact improvisation, site-specific performance, dance and film and collaborative processes; - Performance skills with regular performance opportunities in a range of settings and the chance to work in companies during second year with visiting professional choreographers; - Dance history and analysis with an emphasis on post 1960s dance and the option to explore politics and cultural policy in relation to dance. With an emphasis on studio-based learning, the course is delivered through a mixture of practical classes, workshops, rehearsals, lectures, seminars and small group tutorials.
Coventry University has a strong track record of research in the field of dance and disability including the production of the resource Moving Matters for anyone involved in teaching and supporting the teaching of disabled dance students in higher education. A number of disabled students have graduated from the course over the last ten years, and the experience of working with these students, alongside research, has helped shape the course content, delivery and assessment.
Breathe photographed by Diverse City