Social 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.