"Dance isn't something that can be explained in words. It has to be danced."
Paige Arden

Background


S
ocial Transformation And Multicultural Performance 
(STAMP)


STAMP dance is trans-cultural and brings people from diverse cultures and beliefs to dance together, in order to find common purpose and unity. It was founded by Linda Vargas and is the outcome of her 10 year research of multicultural dance in South Africa.

STAMP dance is a social cohesion initiative for multicultural communities, and asserts that every opportunity should be explored to assist people, particularly children, from diverse cultural backgrounds, to connect with one another, and to foster friendships through shared, joyous experiences. The building blocks of co-creative, happy communities are creative,happy individuals. Globally, societies are becoming increasingly diverse and social cohesion is often conspicuously illusive.

STAMP dance affirms that those who joyously dance together, can form lasting friendships which enhance individual and collective creativity, and well-being. In multicultural communities diverse customs, languages and beliefs often cloud awareness of our common humanity, and unity in diversityoften proves challenging.

STAMP dance aims to address the challenges of unity and diversity in multicultural communities.








STAMP dance is :

  • inter-cultural - it combines multicultural music, rhythm and movement in a way that individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds can easily access. It uses basic rhythmic clapping and stamping (found in many traditional dance forms) together with intercultural movement.
  • developmental - it begins with basic rhythms and body movements which then become progressively more advanced.

  • values based - basic values are encouraged - such as respect, tolerance, inclusion, perseverance, creativity, fun, reflection.

  • educational - it achieves educational aims while inspiring social transformation. It achieves educational aims by aligning with the educational aims and objectives of the ARTS AND CULTURE and LIFE ORIENTATION learning areas in South African Education.

  • inclusive - its primary aim in multicultural communities is social inclusion. It aims to include individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds in the community.

  • holistic - it integrates the physical, emotional and mental in one activity while activating the five core functions of the brain necessary for well being and learning. STAMP dance encourages holistic learning; it is not an either/or but rather a both/and methodology for dance. Children learn while moving using multiple learning styles. This facilitates children with diverse learning abilities to develop neural pathways in the brain, which assist mathematical, linguistic and kinaesthetic learning.

  • easy yet challenging - people with diverse physical and learning abilities are able to dance in a way that is easily accessible while those with previous dance experience are still challenged.

  • fun - because of its unknown factor it establishes common ground -no-one is at an advantage; no-one knows what to expect and this element of surprise makes it fun for everyone.

  • teaches team work and leadership - specific methodologies develop both leadership and teamwork.

  • professional development - it offers numerous teacher workshops which are also inclusive, asthey adopt a both-and approach to the teaching of dance in education, harnessing the skills of both General Education Teachers(GET) and dance specialists.

  •  teacher workshops - to provide additional training for both GET and dance specialists so that they are both able to teach dance in multicultural education in a way which is developmental, educational, inclusive as well as fun. Both GET and dance Specialists learn how to establish common ground in a culturally diverse classroom by teaching dance in a way which establishes social cohesion and transcends culture, gender and racial barriers whilst achieving educational aims.

  • collaboration between-schools and dance professionals; education and arts practitioners; music and dance professionals; amateur and professional performers; multicultural contributors. 

 

 


Aims and Objectives

STAMP dance aims to inspire social transformation through multicultural creativity and performance.




In addition, STAMP dance aims to

  1. Support the professional development of teachers in order to teach dance, in multicultural education.
  2. Promote social cohesion in multicultural communities through economic and creative collaboration between STAMP dance, professional theatre, corporate funding, multicultural schools and multicultural dancers and musicians.
  3. Promote collaboration between multicultural education and professional theatre .
  4. Promote collaboration between multicultural musicians and dancers to compose and perform inter-cultural music for dance.
  5. Encourage education teachers to use dance to achieve social cohesion and educational aims.
  6. Provide regular opportunities for diverse cultures to, dance together and foster friendships.
  7. Establish a sustainable social cohesion project for multicultural communities which can be replicated nationally and internationally.
  8. Promote dance as a tool for social cohesion and transformation in the multicultural workplace.  

Educational aims and objectives

STAMP dance in education inclusive- it is not an either/or but rather a both/and approach to dance in education.

STAMP dance is holistic - children learn while moving. they learn through dance not necessarily to dance.

STAMP dance methodology combines multiple learning styles which facilitate children with diverse learning abilities to learn. Newneural pathways are developed in the brain, which in turn assist mathematical, linguistic and kinaesthetic learning

STAMPdance address some of the health and educational challenges by developing brains and bodies in one activity.Sedentary lifestyles often result in a variety of health and learning issues and research continues to show that many school children are not given sufficient opportunity for holistic learning. Alarming numbers of children now spend most of their day behind a desk and between 5 and 8 hours a day in front of some sort of screen: phone, computer, TV. Many of these children are not fully developing the core functions of the brain which are necessary to basic survival, good health and cognition. These 5 core functions are:

  1. Recall: what you knew and have forgotten.Memory: recent learning.
  2. Creativity: the ability to use what you know to do something in a new way.
  3. Imagination: the ability to visualise something not yet experienced.
  4. Kinaesthetic learning: the ability to learn by doing and repetition, not reading
  5. Problem solving: the ability to receive, relate and reconstruct.

STAMPdance offers professional development for generalist education teachers(GET). This helps teacherswith little or no formal training in dance, to be able to teach dance in the multicultural classroom.

STAMPdance offers professional development for  dance specialists which provides them with an understanding of the educational objectives of dance in the multicultural classroom and how to combine these with the objectives of dance.

Both education and dance specialist learn how toteach dance in the multicultural classroom by learning to transcend their own cultural and gender barriers.

STAMPdance aligns with the educational aims and objectives of the of the SA Education CAPS doc. Intercultural rhythmic clapping, stamping and movement sequences are used to develop:

Concentration,

Listening and Memorisation

Auditory and Visual perception,

Discrimination, Memory,

Gross motor and Fine motor skills,

Co-ordination, body image and awareness,

Balance, Rhythm, Laterality,

Dominance, crossing the middle-line,

Communication,

Self control, Self discipline,

Form perception, Spatial orientation,

Relationships in a group,

Creativity,

Improvisation,

Interpretation

STAMP dance
is values driven,  it promotes respect, tolerance, inclusion, perseverance, creativity, fun, reflection.

In addition STAMP dance aligns with common human values reflected in:

The Caps Doc 2012:

Heal the divisions of the past;

Improve the quality of life of all citizens;

Free the potential of each person.

STAMP dance values the individual and collective well being

.……….

National Curriculum Statement (NAC) : Grades R-12:

Equipping learners, irrespective of their socio-economic background, race, gender, physical

ability, with knowledge, skills and values necessary for self fulfillment, and meaningful

participation in society as citizens in a free country.

STAMP dance values inclusion and freedom of choice

.……………

The Principles of the NCS :

Social transformation: educational imbalances redressed; Active and critical learning; Human rights; Sensitivity to diversity, poverty, inequality, race, gender, language, age, disability etc

STAMP dance values respect and tolerance in diversity

.…………………

Ubuntu: Traditional African value

(as explained by Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

Ubuntu has two parts, the first is that a person is friendly, hospitable, generous, gentle, caring and compassionate. In other words someone who uses their strengths on behalf of others and does not take advantage of anyone. This person treats others as he would like to be treated. And because of this they express the second half of the concept which concerns openness, large-heartedness. They share their worth.

STAMP dance values compassion and service to others


About Linda Vargas

Linda Vargas Stamp Dance FounderLINDA VARGAS is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, international dance examiner. Her vision for STAMP dance is to use dance to encourage people from a diversity of backgrounds and cultures to engage with one another in a way that encourages social cohesion and transformation.

Linda’s experience is extensive. She holds a Masters Degree in Education (full dissertation, cum laude) as well as B.A. Honours in Drama. As part of her MEd research, Linda devised a course of dance for primary school learners which addressed issues of diversity in the multicultural classroom. She subsequently conducted numerous professional development workshops for NAPTOSA to assist school teachers to teach dance in a way that encourages social cohesion and holistic learning in the multicultural classroom. Please see the link for Linda’s publication “Flamenco Dance in Primary education” http://ersc.nmmu.ac.za.

Linda facilitates corporate and educational workshops, performs, teaches and examines dance both nationally and internationally. She has lectured at UKZN for 8 years. Her dance qualifications include the L.I.S.T.D. (Imperial Society of teachers of Dance-London) and Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma (I.S.T.D.-London), P.D.B (Spanish Dance Soc). Linda is one of the co-founders of the international flamenco dance organization Alianza Flamenca and is a member of its Board of Directors, as well as its panel of International Examiners and Syllabus Committee.

Linda is the founder of STAMP dance which aims to bring people from diverse cultural backgrounds to dance together in a way which encourages unity of spirit, purpose and enjoyment. During her many years of research in schools in South Africa, Linda encountered some of the educational, social, and health challenges that many teachers are facing in the multicultural classroom. As an outcome of her extensive research, Linda devised STAMP dance to help address some of the educational and social challenges in multicultural education. Linda has been devising, teaching and modifying STAMP dance in schools since 2008.

In addition to its education initiative STAMP dance also conducts social cohesion workshops for employees in the multicultural workplace.

Linda has had an extensive career as a professional dancer. She founded the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company in 1985 and is the director. Linda and Company have presented numerous dance productions in collaboration with the Playhouse Company as well as at independent organisations and theatres. Linda has performed for SABCTV, the Spanish Embassy in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and has been invited to perform as guest artist both nationally and internationally. She has choreographed and performed in a variety of dance productions for NAPAC, PACT and CAPAB, including opera productions, La Traviata, Amal, Faust, Salome and Carmen.

Linda continues to present professional performances annually. The Linda Vargas Company is celebrating its rich contribution to dance in South Africa with its up coming 35th Anniversary Gala production to be held in July 2018.


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