Transactional spaces: feedback, critical thinking, and learning dance technique

<blockquote>Peer Review Journal</blockquote>
Journal cover- text about contents. Journal of Dance education, October-December 2016, Volume sixteen, Number four.

– authored with Rose Payne, published in Journal of Dance Education (JODE)

citation: Akinleye, A. and R. Payne (2016) Transactional Space: Feedback, critical thinking, and learning dance technique, Journal of Dance Education, Vol.16 Iss: 4, pp.144-148,

Abstract: This article explores attitudes about feedback and critical thinking in dance technique classes. We discuss an expansion of our teaching practices to include feedback as bi-directional (transactional) and a part of developing critical thinking skills in student dancers.

The article is written after we undertook research exploring attitudes and cultures surrounding feedback in dance technique classes within three universities in the UK. and USA.  Using a hybrid ethnographic (practice as research) model we collected data through class observations, individual interviews with students and teachers, as well as journaling and reflecting on our own daily teaching practice.

At the beginning of our inquiry we were interested in exploring how students received ‘feedback’. We thought this would involve discovering more about the forms and ways feedback can be communicated to students, particularly how a climate of negative feedback can be avoided in the classroom.

However, as we carried out the research we realized that merely looking at how feedback is communicated constructs feedback as one directional. We questioned whether we had been placing enough importance on the notion that feedback can be transactional.  Following John Dewey, we take the term transactional to indicate dynamic, co-created relationships and environments (Dewey 2008).

Key words: dance pedagogy, critical thinking, ballet, contemporary dance, reflection.

Adesola standing with arms out demonstrating a dance move while teaching.