Redefining employability: Student voices mapping their dance journeys and futures.
This paper explores dance students’ understanding of employability and their views about their dance futures in order to inform higher education curricula and workforce development. The investigation focuses on the student experience on a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree course in Dance at an English university. First and final year undergraduate voices were sought, transcribed and analysed using grounded theory methodology. A key theme, explicit in the student data was that of journeying. Students referred to metaphors that related to journeys, travel, routes, roads and paths. The undergraduate students interviewed conceived of employability in dance as a journey from the beginning of the dance experience towards gaining and sustaining employment. The beginning stage of the journey was getting to university and in the liminal space of the first year, students focused solely on their dance experiences. By the final year, the students perceive their dance futures as diverse journeys of continuous development. The onward journey out of university for final year students is fuelled by a passion for dance, self-reliance and continuous learning. The student voice revealed a determination to forge a future in dance whilst recognising the obstacles; financial, emotional and physical that lay in their way.
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Citation : Higdon, R and Stevens, J. (2017) Redefining employability: Student voices mapping their dance journeys and futures. Research into Dance Education
Peer Reviewed : Yes