Dancing for Learning Skills? An Interview with Royston Maldoom

By Alexandra Lavinia Zepter.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper discusses the potential that dance and the aesthetic experience of “Tanztheater” bears for developing personality and general learning skills. In October 2006, I interviewed the dancer, choreographer and teacher Royston Maldoom on the topic. Maldoom, who is known for his numerous dance projects with children and adolescents of diverse cultural and social background, worked at the time the interview took place on “You can change your life in a dance class”, a performance with about 110 students (aged 5 to 28 years) from Cologne, Düsseldorf and Leverkusen (Germany) and the Bayer Philharmonic Orchestra. His perspective and ideas presented and reflected upon in the paper are still burning issues which can also be supported by research results from psychology and psycholinguistics as well as educational science.

Keywords: Dance, Tanztheater, Body and Mind, General Learning Skills, Personality Development

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp.489-498. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.147MB).

Alexandra Lavinia Zepter

Scientific Assistant, Institut für Deutsche Sprache und Literatur, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

I started professional life as a dancer, studying dance and choreography at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany. After working with the dance company Neuer Tanz for several years, I became a Humanities scholar, studying first Germanic Language and Literature, Philosophy and Spanish at the University of Cologne, later then entering a PhD-program in Linguistics at Rutgers University, US. After finishing my PhD, I came back to Germany where I am working now at the University of Cologne as a scientific assistant. My special research interest is the relation of developing learning skills, in particular speaking and writing skills, on the one hand and bodily awareness and aesthetic experience (dance, Tanztheater) on the other.

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