Brisbane born Evan Jones studied dance with Elsie Seguss, achieving R.A.D. Solo Seal, 1968. Further dance studies at Rosella Hightower’s Centre de Danse International in Cannes, France was followed by professional dancer engagements with Marseille Opera Ballet; Roland Petit’s Ballet Nationale de Marseille; Gerhard Bohner and Morley Wiseman at Staatstheater Darmstadt; Fred Howald, Egon Madsen and William Forsythe at Ballett Frankfurt. He served as ballet master with artistic director Andris Plucis, Staastheater Darmstadt and in 1997 was appointed lecturer in ballet at QUT. Evan has a Master in Education degree and has published on intrinsic motivation, assessment, reflective practice and embodied literacy.
Many forms of formative feedback are used in dance training to refine the dancer’s spatial and kinaesthetic awareness in order that the dancer’s sensorimotor intentions and observable danced outcomes might converge. This paper documents the use of smartphones to record and playback movement sequences in ballet and contemporary technique classes. Peers in pairs took turns filming one another and then analysing the playback. This provided immediate visual feedback of the movement sequence as performed by each dancer. This immediacy facilitated the dancer’s capacity to associate what they felt as they were dancing with what they looked like during the dance. The often-dissonant realities of self-perception and perception by others were thus guided towards harmony, generating improved performance and knowledge relating to dance technique. An approach is offered for potential development of peer review activities to support summative progressive assessment in dance technique training.
‘Practice makes perfect’ expresses the common misconception that repetitive practice without appropriate feed-back will deliver improvement in tasks being practised. This paper explores the implementation of a student-driven feedback mechanism and shows how functional and aesthetic understanding can be progressively enhanced through reflective practice. More efficient practice of clearly understood tasks will enhance dance training outcomes. We were looking for ways to improve teaching efficiency, effectiveness of the students’ practice in the studio and application of safe dance practices. We devised a web-based on-line format, ‘Performing Reflective Practice’, designed to augment and refine studio practice. Only perfect practice makes perfect!