Based on this rubric we created as a group, how would you assess your work in the Midterm? What issues came up (before, during, and after) the class? If you were to do it over, what would you change?

Also, by now you should have seen the prompts and guidelines for the somatic research paper. It is in commons under resources, in case you haven’t. Starting this week, we will delve into more somatic work and hopefully this assignment will make more sense.

Here is a little inspiration: an article on Steve Paxton (the founder of Contact Improvisation).


18 thoughts on “Assessment

  1. At the time, I felt like I did a decent job, but looking back I’m noticing things I could definitely improve on or have done differently. For the floor combination, I over thought the moves so even though I knew the combination I ended up going a different direction one time and that messed me up for the rest of the combination. I also think I could improve my transitions a bit more, especially for the floor combination. I was thinking mainly about getting to the correct position and not completely following through on movements because of it. Another point where I can improve would definitely be my relationship with the ground/gravity. I had never thought of consciously making a connection to the ground before it was mentioned in class, so I will have to start thinking about that and it will be interesting to see how my dancing evolves from it!

  2. I think that the midterm went pretty well for me in terms of me understanding the choreography, however I think I am still struggling with the actual movements themselves in terms of the articulation. I find it difficult to gain access to the full potential of the movement because of flexibility purposes or because of physical limitations. Also another thing that came up for me was the timing of the movements. I found myself speeding up at certain points and slowing down too much at others and I don’t really know if that’s a good thing because I notice everyone else around me synchronizing better with the music, but I also like going at my own pace. I think feeling the music and allowing it to guide my movements is something that I want to work on for the rest of this quarter. I am also really excited to explore somatic paper assignment. I feel like it will make things a lot more clearer with the intention of my movement.

  3. I have a serious problem with “gaze” I noticed. When I’m dancing, I tend to go “into my head” (especially when the camera is on), so instead of focusing my gaze outward and showing varied expression in my face while dancing, I tend to have only a look of concentration on my face, and my eyes don’t really focus on the outside stimuli. I did, however, catch myself and try to work on gaze after we talked about in on the board (for I hadn’t even noticed until the idea of gaze was pointed out), and while I think I improved, there’s definitely still much to be worked on this that department. Another big thing I noticed was how “camera shy” I was. I got so nervous when Gerald went to film something, but for our last run-through of “slap the giant”, when Gerald said he was not going to record, I got really into it. I was smiling, having fun, listening to the music, and really feeling the movements in my body. Then I got 2/3rds of the way through and noticed Gerald was recording. I felt myself noticeably stiffen, and that’s what I did that ridiculous turn at the end, because I wanted to try and break free of my brain freaking out and saying “you’re being recorded, don’t look stupid, don’t look stupid”. In the end, I’m proud of the work I did, and I do feel that overall I did quite well, but there is still much to work on, as there always is. Mostly, I have to work on confidence, as ever.

  4. I believe I did well on the midterm. I focused on the flow of one movement to the next. and the effort it took to complete each move. The first time, I was on time with my group. Then, Gerald explained how the floor combination was faster than what we were doing, and to listen to the music more. The second time I focused a lot on the beat and how to move with the music. I went a lot faster, not taking pauses as often. I ended up finishing before everyone else in my group, which might have been bad for me. With “slap the giant” I was very worried about forgetting moves, so when I performed it, I decided to just listen to the music and try to have fun. I didn’t look at the mirror as much, and I found myself gazing up at my arms when I reached them or looking back at diagonals. I know it probably didn’t look as good as it could have, but I felt a lot more confident with it than I ever had before. If I were to do it over, I would try to make my moves more motivated by the music, and to be more confident in what I was doing. The second time we did the floor combo I felt these two things a lot more than I ever had before. I found myself actually listening to the music instead of watching my feet and hoping they do the right thing.

  5. I have never like the camera. So let me just say that. In fact, I have never liked being watched in the “light”. What I mean by this is, when your on stage, the audience is in the dark (to you the dancer) so you aren’t thinking about the watchers you are only concentrated on yourself on the stage and of course getting the combination right and your space on stage and with your fellow dancers and if everyone is on the right plane together in time with the music, space and movement. That being said, I won’t blame all my problems of the midterm on my fear of being watched. (It is why I gave up the piano, I just couldn’t handle all the light! I once forgot an entire piece in front of a very large audience at a recital, in a church non the less, and froze up in front of all those faces. I gave up the piano the next week. Should have never agreed to play for others in the first place! lol) It is strange the day of the midterm I knew I didn’t know the “slap the giant” piece as well as I should so I kind of expected to do horribly at it and I knew the floor piece from last quarter so I was expecting it to be better. It was not the case at all!!! I ended up moving the wrong direction on the floor a few times and after a couple mix ups with my timing and movement, I felt lost but I kept going. I really need to buy a piece of a hardwood floor to put somewhere in my house because I just need to go over things more than we do in class in order to memorize the movements. They say it takes 200 times to do something before it sticks forever and for me I feel like it could be more like 400. I found myself gazing at others to figure out what came next because I was forgetting. I do feel like, after watching the video today in class, that I have definitely improved on the floor piece from last quarter. I remember feeling so lost because the movement was so foreign to me and now that my body is adapting I feel much more comfortable and confident in some of the obscure dance moves Gerald is teaching that I am not use to. As for the “slap the giant” I really needed a couple more days of rehersing in order to feel confident in the movement. I did better that day then I thought I would, but I am still blow away that the transition just still isn’t working for me! After the three jumps and than the turn around and da da da, da da da I just can’t seem to put that part together. I can do both seperately but I can not seem to transition what so ever.

    If I could do it over again I would want to fix my transitions both on the floor and standing and I would want to tone the outside gaze out and just listen to my body and my flow with the music rather than counting on others around me to get me into the dance. Sometimes I second guess my timing and if I do that I am lost, so I would just want to stay on my own beat in line with my own rythm and trust my movements even if they might be off or different than anothers. Dance can be so instinctual and when I start to loose my confidence my instincts go out the window too. I want to spent the rest of the quarter really letting loose, feeling the music and gazing inside to find presence and instincts, maybe there I will find the answer to those tricky transitions!

  6. The rubric was a great way for us to further understand what one may look for when assessing dance. I believe it allowed for us to place intent towards our movement which always heightens the quality of performance. The visual rubric was really helpful to most of us; I believe having something to see constantly remind us of what we should be pushing towards. Much easier than just having a quick discussion on the subject.
    Before we watched the video in class on Tuesday I thought my midterm had been performed well, however there is always room for improvement. I realized that I never really plant the souls of my feet firmly on the ground while we are doing our somatic warm up. I feel that grounding myself could really help the rest of my movement be more fluid. I also thought that my slap the giant routine could have been much better. I could see I wasn’t breathing, and could see how jagged my movement was. It was really just disappointing to see how different your actual movement looks in comparison to what’s in your head.

  7. The simple thought of being recorded completely freaked me out! I have take a few classes with Gerald before but I was able to avoid the camera in those cases. There was an occasion where his camera wasn’t working so we got away with that. There was a second occasion where I was able to perform in the back without being noticed, or so I thought. But not this time around! Our class got divided into multiple groups, making it easier to perform but also making it easier to be noticed in camera. Throughout the midterm I couldn’t help but to be conscious of the idea of being recorded. As the class went I began to feel comfortable with the camera. Looking back now, I am thankful we were recorded. I personally can see the small details that I thought I was doing correctly yet, the video shows otherwise. Its easier to point out the flaws when you see yourself in a visual recording. Not only did I notice movement issues but another major thing that I need to work on is musicality. I thought I was on rhythm, but no no no! I have always struggled with this and its still something I’m working on.

  8. After watching the video and looking at the rubric I feel that I could improve on my spatial accuracy and transitions. I practiced the floor combination at home over the weekend and started to enjoy the swing and flow of the movements. My right side was smooth and I felt the unison of our group on the leg swings through the ending. But when I did the left side, my sense of direction was flipped and I had to circle around to face correctly. As I watched myself go through “Slap the Giant” it was clear that I didn’t know the movements, I was watching someone for a cue and always a few steps behind. There were some moments when I got the flow and wished that I could do it with more purpose and intent. After watching the other groups, I finally got the first three moves and it was fun! I hope we repeat this combination, I can see and feel the connection to the floor work. Watching other people helps me so much!

  9. Based on this rubric we created as a group, how would you assess your work in the Midterm? What issues came up (before, during, and after) the class? If you were to do it over, what would you change?

    In the moment of performing the midterm, I felt pretty confident with what I was doing. I knew the steps and felt good while doing them. Watching back the tape of myself performing it, you get to see a different perspective of things. My effort throughout the piece seemed to really shine through the most. I worked the both parts the midterm giving it my all and as I noted during it I felt pretty confident. When it comes to timing I was a little thrown off, but I tried to just stick with Aiden and what tempo he was producing for us. As I watched I could tell I was not paying attention to breathing so by the end of the movements I would take a deep breath where as if I just took a breath in and out throughout the pieces I would be much better. One thing I wish I could do better is execute the movements. I have the ability to learn the movement being taught, but the technicality of things and how I look while doing it can sometimes not be the best.

  10. The big thing for me is remembering and practice. I goofed up on a few of the moves, or went the wrong direction. Other than that, there were things that I did very well at, like keeping pace with the tempo, or recovering if I messed up. Other than that, I need to flow better, certainly. The moves were right in that I kept proper spatial accuracy and purpose, but they were too rigid. I placed good effort, but maybe more is need in the areas I don’t feel as comfortable in. Alignment, or relaxing to gravity, feels tied to the problem I have with rigidness in my body. Oddly enough, though, the transitions didn’t seem to be too badly affected by this. All in all, the midterm showed me that I’d made progress, but that I still have a lot to work on. I have to continue to push myself to my limits and far beyond if I want to succeed, but I think that with more time, I can do just that. To be more specific, I tend to tense up in my shoulders, and my hip joints are not very flexible. Neither are my knees. These six areas, which are major joint areas, are holding me back.

  11. I don’t think I did as well as i could have one the midterm. I started off pretty slow. I forgot some of the floor combinations and focused more on remembering the sequence rather that feeling the movements. As we kept doing the combinations I especially tried to focus on breathing and I think that helped my movement a lot. By the time we got to the “Slap the Giant” choreography I felt really good about how my body was moving. I knew the choreography better than the floor combo and this allowed me to bring more energy into the piece. If i were to do it over I would try and do better on the floor warm up by going over it a few times before it was time to execute it.

  12. I went into the midterm feeling anxious because I always have a hard time remembering things, this includes daily things or movements in dance. I absorb things slowly unless it’s a movement that I really connect with. However, modern has never been a strength of mine so I had this weight in my chest. Just taking the time to stretch and focus on our breath in the beginning was extremely helpful because it calmed me down. Looking at the video, it obviously didn’t relax me enough in the beginning. I noticed that I would watch and wait for others, showing an obvious lack of confidence in my movement. Occasionally I could see more confidence because it was something I felt I knew. Even when I messed up, that confidence in the movement was still apparent.. until I realized I was doing the wrong part! Towards the end when we didn’t think you were filming us, I noticed that not only did my movement seem more together and strong but so did the rest of the class. We moved more in unison, the transitions went smoother and we were all having a lot more fun with it. However, I do think that I gave it a lot of effort even with this feeling in my chest. I think that my strongest asset was my timing because I felt like I was able to stay with the tempo and I tried to use it to fuel my movements. I would like to try it again but without a camera to see how we actually do without all the pressure.

  13. The midterm felt so foreign when I danced it; it felt awkward in my body and strange for my mind to understand it: let go while putting in effort. Seeing it from outside my body (on video) and as a group, it made sense; it had purpose. The circular motions balanced body movement and challenged each side of the brain.
    The thing I would do different next time is trust (the flow of music, my movement, the classes movement, and the instruction’s purpose or overall effect). I would also let go of control and concern of my expectation, looks and cosmetics, and outside (societal) judgement.

  14. Before watching the midterm video, I thought I had done alright. However, after seeing myself on the video, I don’t think I executed it as well as I could have. I didn’t realize how disjointed my body was, especially during the floor combination. I noticed that I often forgot about the weight of my head – so it seemed heavy compared to the efforts of the rest of my body. Also, since I am quite flexible, if I am not actively thinking about/connecting all of my movements, my body seems floppy/dangly and my movements are choppy. After going through the rubric with Gerald, I think I was more aware of what I needed to strive towards. I think I performed the “Slap the Giant” piece better than the floor combination. I’m not sure if that was just because I enjoyed that piece more, or if it was because I resonated with it more (since it was more like “traditional” dance than the floor work). As a whole, there was definitely a lot of room for improvement. If I were to do the midterm over again, I would focus more on what Gerald mentioned on the rubric, and work on actively engaging my whole body.

  15. The Midterm we took in this class was the most fun midterm I have ever taken. Not because I breezed through it, or felt absolute certainly of my abilities, but because I felt unafraid of judgment. Even though I know we were being graded, it felt like a workshop of talent and progress. A really powerful way to enter a mid term assessment. The two different pieces that were being showcased were ones I felt uncertain about. The floor piece, I often felt lost or a little behind everyone else. The same goes for the choreography, there were crucial parts I felt I had never fully understood, therefore hindering my ability to perform it correctly. Over everything, I think my biggest fault was comparing myself to my peers. Rather then accepting my own work for what it was, I felt debilitated by looking at others work and then comparing that to my own. While watching the video in class, I saw myself practicing with other groups in the corner, and because I felt like eyes were else where, I did the combination with a lot less mistakes and more commitment. Leading me to believe that, if I take my mind out of the equation and just preform, free from self conscious tendencies, I will preform at a much better level. Food for thought for the Final exam.

  16. Before the Midterm, I was scared about the filming portion. Then, I became very nervous during the Midterm that I had definitely failed. I was part of that first group who completely blanked on the combination on camera and had to start over. After going over the rubric, I have been able to calm down slightly because most of the aspects do not really have to do with what I messed up on. Instead, I can focus on how I tried my best to perform as the best dancer I could be that day. If I could go back, I would have tried harder not to freak out once I got in front of the video camera. I also would have focused more on my alignment, especially with my head, neck, and back. When I get nervous, I tend to forget about the tightness of my shoulders and I need to work on that. I also believe I over-analyze most things I do when it comes to dance so recognizing that I do that has made me more confident about my performance during the Midterm. Now, looking back, I can only really remember the mistakes I made so hopefully I was not as bad as I imagined it to be.

  17. Based on the rubric I thought I did fairly well. Before the midterm I was struggling to learn Slap the Giant because I missed that Thursday class. So when I came to class on the Tuesday before the midterm I was practicing during every run through in the corner and I even asked Adriana for help. During the midterm I could feel the camera on me so every little mistake I made felt like big mistakes. Right after the midterm I did not know how I did even though I felt prepared because I knew I could have done better. After seeing myself in the video I realized I was much harder on myself than I should have been. Because although I made mistakes I kept going and I looked better than I thought I did. When we practiced the table combo before the midterm, where we had a partner watch us and tell us how to improve, Sam said I know the combo so I should focus on my breath to help with my timing and connectivity. During the midterm this is what I focused on because it helped take my mind off of the fact that there was a camera on me. If I were to do it over again I would probably stand farther away from the camera to help me forget it was there and become more comfortable to get out of my head. But otherwise I’m happy with my performance and I had fun.

  18. The rubric that we created made me reflect on focus. I noticed during the videos that when my focus was strong I danced better. My movements looked more fluid and overall my body was connected. I look in the mirror too much when I dance sometimes. This is to make sure I’m aligned properly, or to make sure I am doing the movement correctly in relation to the rest of the class and the teacher, but when I’m performing a combination this is only harmful. I am working on not looking at the mirror as a reflective device when I am performing or rehearsing combinations, but instead as if its a whole audience. I’ve noticed when the curtains are closed, I more easily adapt to what it feels like to be on stage with audience members and my movements feel better when I think about my focus as to engage an audience rather than making sure my movements are “correct” in the mirror.

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