Sunday, 23 April 2017

My learning style..

Soo.... this has been sat as a draft, and I have no idea why I didn't post it earlier.. hopefully it might still be helpful to someone now who is finding those last little bits of analysis.

Having identified in Module 1 that I am mostly a visual learner, with some kinesthetic elements, I chose to capitalize on this when analyzing my qualitative data.

I found it really hard with the sheer mount of data i collected to sort through everything and find what was not only relevant, but useful to my inquiry. Looking back on Module 1 helped me to realign myself and take a fresh look at how I would best analyse my data.

It might sound somewhat simplistic, but I chose a different coloured highlighter for each theme I discovered and systematically went through every interview transcript, marking each of these colours off.

It took a while but the benefit of this was huge as now I am in the stage of drafting a complete analysis and sending work for written feedback, the visual colors have made it so much easier to cross reference and draw together concluding statements.

Whilst there is about 80 pages of transcript, attaching this picture I made I wouldn't run into any ethical implications and continued to ensure anonymity. Thought
it might be helpful to visualise for some people what I was talking
about in the section above. I would strongly recommend it to
anyone who is still analysing as it really helps to see things from
a more basic visual stance.

I have a few more blogs stashed away in my drafts so will be uploading those in the coming week or so, seems a shame to waste them.

Hope everyone is doing well in the final hurdle

Monday, 6 March 2017

Checking in...

It's been a while since I wrote a blog post so I figured that I would write a quick one just to check back in..

I'm sure I'm not the only student feeling overwhelmed at the moment. Seems like there is so much to do and not that much time to do it. At work I have a premiere coming up which is consuming 98% of my time, the other 2% is spent either sleeping or eating... so trying to squeeze in degree work is proving very difficult.

Anyway, enough complaining..

Currently my main focus is literature. As someone who doesn't usually have much time on their hands, I'm finding it difficult to find time to delve into books/articles/journals to find information. The information that I am finding it proving very useful though. It has been instrumental when composing my interview questions for physiotherapists and directors as it is a solid base to build upon and tweak some questions that have perhaps previously been asked to directors and make them more personal to my own professional practice.

I'm looking forward to the group Skype session tomorrow. I feel like it will be good to get an overview on where everyone is and perhaps if someone is further along than I am, they may have some useful advice to give.

I'll check back in after the Skype and will hopefully have a clearer path in mind one exactly what needs to be approached on more of a daily basis as to not get behind my schedule or get overwhelmed (which I am feeling a little whilst writing this)

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Award title.. will they allow "physiotherapy" in my title?

I've thought long and hard about this potential problem and wondered if by writing a quick blog post about it, some others might see it and have some helpful opinions.

When constructing my Award Specialism Title Form I asked for my title to be in "Dance Physiotherapy". Now I know what you're all thinking and I know, I'm not a physiotherapist, but having the word "Physiotherapist" in my title is very important to me as it is the area that I wish to pursue not only for a potential MSC, but for my career after dance.

I wonder, what do others think? Should I be allowed "Physiotherapy" in my title? Is there another title that seems more appropriate?

All of my interviews, surveys, literature, research, inquiry.. everything is based around physiotherapy and its affect on dancers. By having a very keen interest in this subject and deliberately focusing all of my time and research power towards it, I don't think it is degrading or insulting to the profession for me to have it in my title, after-all.. It is the field I wish to pursue in the future.

I guess all I can do is sit and wait for an outcome

Hope everyone is doing well and got all of their forms and drafts in?

Good luck to everyone

Monday, 14 November 2016

Professional Ethics.. What have I learnt?

After reading and re-reading the Professional Ethics paragraphs in my reader I have started to piece together personal ethics, professional ethics and employer expectation ethics. 

As I have mentioned in previous posts, dancers ethics are a little on the grey side of things. I discussed where our hands have to go and what attire is deemed ethically and professionally appropriate, but as I delve a little deeper I can start to touch on ethics which apply more strictly to my own topic of physiotherapy within my profession inquiry. 

So what have I learnt? Whilst reading through the reader I came across a paragraph written about professional norms and how they have developed their own ethics. Dancers definitely have a set of ethical norms but rarely are these norms challenged. Recently in my workplace they were though. We currently have an outside choreographer working with us on a piece that will be premiered in March. The style of the piece is Street Jazz/Hip Hop. Already when seeing the cast sheet and researching into the choreographers previous works I knew this would be a problem.. and here in lies my ethical dilemma. As a professional and someone who takes great pride in their work I want to perform his choreography to the best of my ability but doing so will endanger my body greatly. Is disappointing my boss by refusing to dance dangerous steps unethical? Should I just take the risk and hope for the best?  We are (as stated in our official employment contract) Classical Ballet Dancers in our company. The steps he is asking us to do are those that would be done by a street dancer. Within just five days of rehearsals, four dancers are already injured. 

This ties in with physiotherapy in my own dance company. By not having an on-sight fully qualified professional physiotherapist, injuries have occurred. If we did have one, would it be ethical for him/her to step in and raise awareness about the concern of dangerous steps? Would it be taken more seriously coming from someone qualified/ more experienced? What I'm learning is that dancers need to have a stricter ethical stand point on our own bodies and choreography that could endanger that. Most of the time people are injuries are because they are expected to just "get on with it" or "suck it up". Then I delved a little deeper, would others feel ethically right about voicing concern? It's this concept of "right and wrong" that surrounds ethics that I am trying to distinguish within my own working environment. Reading through the reader and doing these tasks is definitely helping me understand the ethics within my company.

When understanding the ethics when conducting my own questions within my inquiry, I will have to take many things into account. Confidentiality being a big factor. What happens between physiotherapist and dancer during a treatment session is under the same roof as a doctors confidentiality agreement (something I learnt whilst reading through the Reader material). Fair analysis of information obtained is another huge part that will play in my inquiry. It would be very easy for me to "cherry pick" information that would support my claims, but it is ethical to take both sides of any story into account to make a fair inquiry. 

After discussing with different members of my SIG group I will now start to prepare drafts of my Ethical Release Form and my Employer Support Form with special attention focused on the ethical dimension of them. As discussed above, I have a lot of ethical situations to take into consideration whilst in my preparation phase that will tie in closely with my future inquiry. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Codes of practice

As some of you may or may not know, fellow BAPP colleague Ben Roomes and I work in the same professional ballet company so this post might be quite similar to his. I spoke at length before about my own personal ethics when it comes to my working environment but in this blog I'm going to discuss the ethics from the other side of the fence, looking at it from my works perspective. My only solid point of reference which ties those two together is my personal contract that I have signed and is what legally binds me to my work.. sounds a little ominous when you think about it.

The largest paragraph in my contract is the "Content of Work". A particular example of something I have always done but had forgotten it was a contractual obligation is "independently master the repertoire on the basis of video materials". It is a common understanding amongst dancers that if there is material that has been previously created in earlier years or on another company that you learn it before hand, but I was unaware this was written in our contract.

Another point that I wanted to touch on was something I discovered whilst looking through the very small print of my contract, "Employee is obliged to notify the employer at least 3 months beforehand of any private life matters which have an effect on the Employers repertoire". As this is all it says, it leaves me with a few questions. Death? Emergencies? These are not things that can be predicted or known 3 months prior. Our Theater has always been accommodating with illness or family emergencies but it does seem unnerving that they do in fact have the power to contractually cause issues. This seems like an ethical problem to me

Requirements of myself as a dancer base a lot around what I wrote in my previous blog post. Being punctual, not being intoxicated, professionalism and honesty are all written into our contract. One thing I didn't know but makes sense that is written in our contract is "a good command of at least one international foreign language". As English is my mother tongue I never really think about it as it is known as the international language of the world but for other dancers from other countries, it is an important aspect, as all of our rehearsals are taught in English. "Acquiring all necessary repertoires on time" is another common understanding but frames an ethical understanding also. It is respectful to not only your workplace but your other colleagues to come prepared to a rehearsal regardless if you have to work in your own time for it using video footage or not. It stipulates in our contract that we are to have a "higher or secondary choreographic education". This is not what I would assume as dancers are not required anywhere else in their work place or in the contract to choreograph any material. It actually states a few paragraphs later that we are employed specifically as a "Ballet Dancer".

Overall there have been a few surprises whilst reading through my contract. A few assumptions that I have as a professional are stipulated specifically in the contract but a few surprises came up whilst reading about private life matters. Do these apply to anybody elses contracts at work? I'm sure teachers have much stricter rules and requirements? Would like to hear some feedback and thought from others.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

First Tuesday of the month Skype call..

I thought I would just write a quick blog post after coming off of Skype with Paula.

I feel like maybe I've been looking at this all wrong. Ok, well maybe not ALL wrong, but definitely not from the perspective that I should have been. As my interest and questions are all focused around physiotherapy within a dance company I have managed to pigeon hole my mind set into thinking like a physiotherapist, and not as a professional dancer, which is what I am. I had become so fixated on almost a scientific/medical approach to my questions that it was only when Paula opened my eyes to a different approach that I started to understand properly the angle that I need to look at my questions.

This inquiry is about "learning research". Learning, that's where I think I started to look at this wrong. In my everyday life, if someone approaches me with a question, I like to have an answer but in this instance I'm not supposed to have an answer yet. The inquiry and research IS the learning. Maybe some of you are reading this thinking "well.. obviously" but honestly it has only properly sunk in to my brain now. I have been trying so hard to think of these questions and research like I am already a professional physiotherapist which isn't right and is actually hindering my learning on this BAPP course.

It was only when I gave an example to Paula of how a specific physiotherapy situation within my dance company effected me, that I realized how I should be approaching my research and questions.

I think that I'm on the right lines and am excited to continue with my work but I just wanted to put my thoughts on paper for myself and also, so that maybe if someone else is reading this who is in the same situation, that they have the same mini epiphany that I did.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Ethics in my place of work..

This is a topic that I have been looking forward to writing about since I initially read through the Module 2 handbook. It's something I think I could write for hours on so I will try my best to condense into bite-size sections so that you don't have to read pages and pages of me waffling on. Ethics inside a professional ballet company can be considered somewhat a "grey area". There are obvious ethics that are relevant in any working environment like always being courteous, no bad language, punctuality and doing your job to the best of your ability but in dance some standard rules of thumb can/have to be bent in order to do your job properly.

My best example of this is physical contact. I know many of my fellow colleagues on this course are teachers and must have very strict rules on what is "appropriate" contact with students and what isn't. Dancers in a professional ballet company on the other hand, don't really have those rules. Because so much of a male dancers career relies on being able to partner female dancers efficiently from all areas of their body, there will be times where you have your hands in places that don't seem appropriate to people who aren't dancers. This is just part of our job.

Another good example of differing ethics is professional work attire. Most office jobs require you to wear smart suit like clothing, dance teachers are usually required to wear at least a t-shirt representing the school/organisation they work for. My work attire for example ranges from full one piece dance leotard to a Ramones t-shirt with pajama shorts. For dancers (especially female dancers) the less worn on the body the better. That way ballet masters can see the lines of your body and male dance partners have an easier time partnering and lifting women. A pet peeve for many male ballet dancers is partnering girls who insist on wearing massive amounts of baggy clothing as it is much more difficult to grip, lift and maneuver the dancer.

Personal preparation and responsibility is the biggest ethical task of my day because it encompasses so many different aspects.  It is my responsibility to have my body prepared for the days rehearsals or show to be able to dance to the best of my ability and to not injure myself unnecessarily. It is my responsibility to know the choreography that I am meant to as to not waste the companies time nor endanger who ever else I am on stage with. As my body is my profession and without it I don't have one, self maintenance is such an important part of my daily work schedule. Everything down to making sure I eat right, sleep enough and wear appropriate clothes.

Something that I really love about my profession is what I mentioned above, my body is my job. I know that in some workplaces people can run into some ethical problems when others will try for example to take credit for someone else's work, in my profession that is impossible. You get as much as you give and your employer will notice that because it is shown in your work through your own body. Another important point that other work places would run into is people using company time for personal business. When you are partnering or dancing, your 100% concentration has to be in that moment you are working. If you lose sight or concentration for even just a second, someone could get very badly hurt. So in some respects, that is an ethical problem that I personally don't have to worry about but could be disastrous if it became an issue in my workplace.

Even after trying to condense my thoughts, I still feel like I have waffled on a bit. Apologies for that. I would be really interested to see what other ethical problems people have in their own workplace and compare whether some of them could relate back into my own. It's a subject I am interested in and would love to get a discussion going in the comments below.