Preparing to Meet the World: Increasing Possibilities for Action through Embodiment
This research explores ways in which dancers can become more aware of their environment in order to make more intentional choices as they interact with the world. I questioned results of disconnection between mind, body, and environment, and whether the relationship between our inner selves and outer world is relevant in the process of perception. I explored the fields of embodied cognition and somatics to create a movement practice that would expand one’s awareness. I worked with seven dance majors at the University of California, Irvine to implement five phases of my research. The first four phases consisted of prompts that led dancers in embodiment exercises, followed by reflection through written journal entries and drawings. The fifth phase of the method culminated in a dance concert to showcase the work done in the first four phases and to explore choice-making in the context of performance. Throughout the practice period, dancers expressed feelings of overall increased embodiment and connection, and discovered a greater ability to utilize agency as they became aware of more possibilities for interacting with the environment. Further time will be needed to continue developing and refining the practice framework.