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  • Sonia Estima

My Dissertation Dance

Updated: Nov 18, 2018

Here is my first attempt at explaining my dissertation topic without words:


This is my entry into the "Dance your PhD" contest. You can read more about the details of the contest on my previous post.

As I finish up the project and add the captions to the video, I ask myself why am I doing this? And what have I gained or learned from "dancing" my dissertation topic?

These are interesting questions, and I am not entirely sure I can put it into words completely quite yet. I am still processing the entire experience.

After reading "Unflattening" by Nick Sousanis, I was very moved by the notion of challenging the supremacy of the written word and incorporating alternative ways of meaning making. When I learned about the "Dance your PhD" contest, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put into to practice what I am trying to study.

I am not an artist, not a musician, and definitely not a dancer. So, in many ways I feel somewhat inept and at a disadvantage when trying to express myself through movement. In addition, this was my very first attempt at creating and editing video; and I am very aware of the fact that the finished product is certainly not professional quality.

But, in spite of all my shortcomings, I am very glad I took on this challenge. Creating my dissertation dance and video has forced me to think in different ways. Trying to think visually and in three dimensional space; and incorporating music to create not just a logic explanation of a point I am trying to make, but to incorporate feelings and perceptions that words alone cannot convey.

You, the reader, and the contest organizers will be the judges of the quality of my work and how well I succeeded in my attempt to explain my dissertation topic through movement. But, I already consider myself a winner by simply going through the creative process.

I wish more of my teachers growing up had put more emphasis on the creative arts and had incorporated multimodality as part of the everyday classroom work. To any teachers reading this post, I encourage you to try it in your classroom.

Finally, I would appreciate any comments and feedback below.

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