In the absence of structure, magic happens.

This video features my daughter, Zahra, and Linh Huyen, wife of my friend Richard and outstanding Vietnamese singer and performer.

Zahra has had dance lessons – ballet and jazz – but recently gave them up because she wasn’t enjoying them any more. However, she still loves to dance… as you can see!

I wonder how she can continue to develop this love for dancing without having to go to structured, formal lessons. Is it possible for her community to provide her with opportunities and situations like this one – where she is truly in the zone – but learning alongside a true performer and role-model.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that often the best learning happens in informal situations, when people who are driven by the same interests and passions come together, when it is not organized or planned in advance. In the absence of structure, magic happens.

Of course, there is still structure in what takes place in this video. Multiple structures – rhythm, pitch, choreography, language, communication and so on… the structure that is absent is premeditation, timetabling or even the foresight that things would work out this way. Structures like that may evolve out of this experience, Linh Huyen and Zahra already started making plans to do another performance, this time with rehearsals and costumes and a bigger audience.

When I think about some of the most powerful examples of learning that have happened in my school this year, I believe they share some of the same features. They emerged out of natural inclinations, genuine connections, meaningful interactions and spontaneous decisions. They went to greater depth because the people who became involved could see how deep it was possible to go. The adults involved believed in what the students were capable of.

Really, our job is to create the conditions for that type of learning to become more and more likely.

 

 

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Cary Hart

    Sam, find out of there are any “masterclass” type classes for kids around. They are short and can help her find new dances and new teachers that she likes and is excited by. Also look for local national dance classes they can be fun and a change and learning technique is learning technique!

    • sherrattsam

      Good thinking… we need to keep our eyes on local goings-on, outside the expat community, or in the more cultured sectors of the expat community!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s