Going with he flow…..

Although the main body of my research methodology is based on interviewing adults, I am offering one workshop to children entitled ‘How Ballet Makes me Feel’. This will allow me the chance to observe how the children respond to the opportunity to express themselves in terms of the topic, as well as, hopefully, gain some kind of insight into their feelings surrounding ballet classes.
At the moment I have absolutely no idea how this will go!
I have spent many hours reading up on qualitative research and interview techniques, preparing interview questions and planning how I will sort the data I collect from those interviews.
I have done nothing in preparation for the workshop! How can I? I don’t know what feelings the children will want to express, what music they will want to use to accompany their feelings. Will they want to work alone, in pairs or groups? So I am going to go with the flow! I am happy to be led by the children.

As I said in yesterdays Skype chat, when I looked back on my reflective journal to see what I had written at the start of Module 2, I quote:

“Well, I am embarking on Module 2 with as much confusion and feeling of stepping into the unknown as I did with Module 1!”

I also embarked on the Summer Intensive with similar feelings, to use Adesola’s word ‘discombobulated’. However, by the end of the week I felt inspired, and excited to get my teeth into Module 3.

And I have a feeling of calm…….

I have no definite idea of what will come out of my interviews, other than presumptions my own experience tells me, and absolutely no idea of what will present itself during the workshop, but I feel strangely OK about that. And if this blog can reassure any other MAPPERS out there with similar feelings of trepidation, confusion, loneliness, or sheer ‘what on earth am I doing?’, then I have done my job!


6 thoughts on “Going with he flow…..

  1. Hi Cathy, It’s Mary from The Summer Intensive. How exciting! It looks like you are on the brink of this new phase of immersing yourself into the data collection, interviews etc. What a great topic. I found the hard part During Module 3 was to know when to stop and start analysing, triangulating. It was really nice to meet you on the writing week. What a week! so many fruitful experiences and people. It was so great and I still am revisting some of the ideas, practices and ways of thinking etc. Especially the idea of “Rhythms” that Adesola and Helen blogged about. Also the Rhizome way of approaching learning. I find the image of “a horizontal underground stem with lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals” is a great way to look at life and our teaching practices. I think you will get a lot from the observations you make during Module 3. I found that when in the moment and observing classes was the most fruitful. It gave me more information. More than a sheet of paper with tick box answers. In Interviews (people talk over each other, use a tone of voice, are loose or hold tension in their bodies) I was a bit het up to film everything then analyse, but I found reflecting with the written word immediately after my classes was rich in “thick data”. Then I could narrow it down. Kind of like we did on the weeks intensive. I am reading two great books at the moment. I thought one in particular would have helped me understand the different viewpoint on how different groups of people view the body. i.e Phenomenological, Contextual, Somatic, the body as object, the body as subject…It’s called “Nine ways of seeing the body” by Sandra Reeve available from Triarchy press. The other if any of you are interested in an Embodied Approach to life and work is “Embodied Lives” Bloom, K. Galanter, M and Reeve, S. 2014. I am no expert but I find it warming, like coming home reading it. That one is on a particular practice (Amerta Practice) so it might not be helpful to all, but thought I would share. Hope you don’t mind me crashing your MAPP party. The whole MAPP experience hasn’t gone away for me and it’s lovely to read your blogs and all the sharing you do.


    1. Hi Cathy, your blog left me feeling more calm! I have been feeling a bit worried about my research and have started some informal observations – just note taking of passing thoughts really in class. I am starting some research in a few classes this coming week where I am using video to further understand whats going on while I teach some new somatic concepts and have something to look at after. I have no idea whats going to happen – if anything! I guess thats whats interesting about researching your practice. Mary – I will look at those book suggestions too as they pertain to what I’m looking at as well. So envious both of you got to the workshop – I was in Canada at the time and unable to make the trip. But it sounds as if it was well worth attending.


      1. Hi Louise, I’m glad the blog helped! The summer intensive was great. If you can ever get there, it is worth it – even if you have completed your MA. The interviews I have held so far have been very interesting, and I am keen to see what the others bring up.


    2. Hi Mary, lovely to hear from you. I am busy transcribing interviews at the moment, but also trying to think about analysing as well. The one to one interviews are bringing up layers I hadn’t anticipated, but somehow already knew, if that makes sense! Very interesting. Got an observation to come later, so looking forward to that – it will open up a different avenue.


  2. So glad it all seems to moving forwards for you Cathy. Great to hear your voice on Sunday as I could picture your face as well. I’m excited about starting module 2 but not quite sure what I’m doing. Thanks for your advice about finding time. I’ve ordered notebooks, pens, highlighter and sticky notes, oh and a few books from amazon to have around the house.
    Your research sounds really interesting and I can’t wait to see how it goes as you sound so enthusiastic about it.


    1. Hi Tamzin, yes it made a difference having met up with some of those either on the course, who had either completed it, or were contemplating studying at some level.I have basically taken over the dining room table, and my work is left out most of the time so I can just pick up where I left off. That is, until the family descends on me and I have to clear it all away! I have held a couple of interviews so far, and have been busy transcribing them which although time-consuming, is very useful as it means I go over the whole interview in detail and can think about all the different layers. I am very excited about what I have listened to so far.


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