"My Own Way of Moving" - Movement Improvisation in Children's Rehabilitation

Wenche S. Bjorbaekmo, Gunn H. Engelsrud

Abstract


This article investigates the ways that children with different motor disabilities move in an improvisational context. We developed and implemented a one-year long movement improvisation program in which 12 children with different motor disabilities participated in weekly sessions under the practical leadership of two dance teachers and the researchers. The project's theoretical perspective and research approach are based on a phenomenological perspective that emphasizes movement as a personal, relational, and expressive phenomenon. The empirical material was developed and created through close observation and consists of the researchers' kinaesthetically lived experiences, video observations, and logbooks from the weekly movement improvisation sessions. In the article, we present and reflect upon five episodes from one activity regularly performed during the year. The article shows that movement improvisation can, over a period of time, offer children with motor disabilities an opportunity to explore their personal ways of moving together with others. The analysis explores how and why the children gradually felt secure enough to throw themselves into exploring their own movement possibilities and how improvisation promoted their desire to keep on moving.

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ISSN: 1913-4711