MAS Dance Science from the Perspective of a Student
Survival Kit for Future Students
When I started my 3y years trip down the Dance Science road, I had a lot of anxiety. What am I getting into? Will I be able to follow? How will this MAS change my career? Will it change my career? I can tell you now, there is no need to know all of that! Your background will be good enough to allow you to fill the gaps. Your journey will last a good while and your mind will be enlarged by triggering ideas. So, here is what I actually think you should pack before starting this adventure:
- Curiosity: pack as much as you own, it will help you dig deeper and take your experience further
- Receptivity: it is light weighted and easy to bring along, make sure you use it to draw the line between theory and practice
- Interest: essential for survival, it’s the perfect tool to get you out of sticky situations.
The journey will start with the Intensive Week. Do not be scared! For some of you it could be a rough beginning, but everybody will survive it, and it will tame and test you and your beliefs. Most of the people you will meet, will become your trip companions: they will experience the same ups and downs, excitement and deceptions, and you will share many A-HA moments together! Eventually you will get out of there changed and ready for what will come next. After this first intense overview on the broadness of Dance Science, you will continue your journey with the module Health and Performance. You’ll have a taste of what lies behind the mysterious world of scientific research. You will wake up your critical mind and you will never be able to believe mind-blowing articles again, no matter what renown university published them! You will also deal with this hybrid instrument called the Dancing Body. You’ll learn how to feed it, train it, rest it, empower it and preserve it. You’ll hopefully learn to understand it and to love it!
Next, you’ll enter the magic world of Motor Control and Learning. Like probably many of you, to me these words were closer to mechanical engineering than dance. As I later learned, it is an essential part of the curricula. Not only will you be very busy with understanding the theory of how movement works in our body, but you will also discover how theory can be applied to everyday practice. Moreover, you will be able to see, question and develop innovation in the world of dance practice. You will get to meet some Dance Science Gurus, those who changed the perception of dance training, and enhanced dancers’ quality of life. You will also get the opportunity to play around in a laboratory, get covered with avant-garde gears like 3D goggles and light sensors, and discover what happens to the body when it moves.
The last and probably for me the most exciting part of your journey, will be Dance Psychology & Education. You will be talking about Motivation, Self-esteem, Perfectionism, Imagery. All themes that really talk to the artistic side of your mind. But this part will also broaden your definition of dance. It will enlarge your point of view, it will make you see what and how you can put your knowledge at the service of others. It will make you smooth some edges and teach you how to adapt, adjust, vary and transform.
Once you made it this far, you might think of walking the last mile and write your Master Thesis. This very last bit of the trip might be time consuming, nerve wracking, probably bumpy and possibly strenuous. But don’t let this hold you back! It will also be the part where you take the wheel. You will draw your own challenge and re-test your whole experience. You will have the chance to get into action, to try to be a real scientist for a while and to create something you would have never even thought of before. You will open your background box and try to connect the dots between all that you have heard, learned, lived in the past years. If this isn’t enough, it will also open the doors of possibly new life directions, whose existence you were not even aware of!
I am grateful of the day I decided to start this journey. Not only it improved me, my practice and my selfy awareness and the one of the people around me. It also filled my mind with ideas, triggers, colours, people, understanding and maturity. For those involved in the dance world, it is not only an extra point on the curriculum, it is also a life experience, an experience of growth and progression.
From a student of the first MAS round