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‘(Non)dance and (non)math people’: challenging binary disciplinary identities in education
Research in Dance Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-12-08, DOI: 10.1080/14647893.2020.1853692
Alison E. Leonard, Nicole A. Bannister, Nikeetha Farfan D’Souza


In the disciplines of dance and mathematics, binary identities commonly split individuals into either (non)dance and/or (non)math people. However, these shorthand assessments become dangerous because they constrain disciplinary knowledge, and limiting one’s identity and capabilities remains antithetical to broad education goals. Capitalizing on dance as a situated, embodied form of knowledge, as well as an engaging, interactive, and social endeavor, we facilitate instruction that uses a dance-based approach to teach geometric transformations in a teacher education program. In this paper, we discuss findings from a case study intervention in a graduate-level geometry education course where we engaged participants in this transformations dance activity. We ask: What disciplinary practices did participants use in a dance-based intervention on geometric transformations? And, how did they use them? We found that the parallel disciplinary practices that the participants engaged in, in dance and mathematics, sheds light on a need in education to resist binary identities and to encourage inquiry-based practices. We aim to inspire future professional development and collaborative teaching opportunities for dance teachers in math and math teachers in dance, along with research that investigates intersections of learning, practice, and identity, particularly in dance + math.