Newsletter no. 2/ 2022 -Teachers for SwanZ
Project co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
Key Action 2 – Cooperation for innovation and good practices
strategic partnerships for vocational education and training
Initiator and coordinator
✅Floria Capsali Choreography High School in Bucharest, Romania.
✅The National School of Arts Prof. Vesselin Stoyanov of Rousse (Bulgaria);
✅Attitude Studios – Ballet with Laura in Vienna (Austria).
Message on International Dance Day
Since 1982, every year on April 29, millions of dancers and dance lovers around the world celebrate Dance Day, an initiative of the International Dance Council (CID) – UNESCO. Here is the official message sent on this occasion by Prof. Dr. Alkis Raftis, president of this body, ambassador of the project “Teachers for SwanZ”:
This message is written as rockets hit residential buildings and people fight in the streets. It is probably too optimistic to hope that people on the 29th of April will be dancing in the streets celebrating peace. The situation demands from dancers to show solidarity to other dancers. Individuality and ‘do it alone’ are out of fashion.
Many people are eager to help but they risk falling victims of scam. It is very difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake organizations, websites, people, news etc. You can trust only those you have known for many years, only those with a long history of a serious policy you agree with – certainly not those who promise to do now what they have never done before. The past is the best guarantee for the future.
CID will not act as intermediary. We advocate direct person-to-person communication, assistance, and collaboration. This is what we propose:
🔵Go to the Global Dance Directory. Type keywords like name of city, type of dance etc. Try various keywords.
🔵Find dance professionals and call them, or ask CID for their email address.
🔵Tell them you care, ask what they need.
🔵Send what you can.
🔵Maintain contact, give courage to overcome hardships, prepare cooperation after the crisis.
This is not the moment for romantic outbursts on the virtues of dance and nice-sounding but vague assertions. Dance, after being severely hit by the pandemic, is now hit by armed conflict and the prospect of cold war on a global scale. It is the time for concrete action and tangible results, a time for getting together to advance united.
The International Dance Council officially represents all dance forms on the continents of the world. The above message is conveyed to the dance professionals in approx. 200 countries. Details about this year’s edition can be found here:
A message from us
The Floria Capsali Choreography High School is on the same wavelength as the call for solidarity launched by CID – UNESCO: after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, which dramatically affects the world of ballet and dance in this country, the school received six pupils from a similar high school in Kiev, offering them help to continue studies in Bucharest.
Even if we are going through a difficult period due to the consequences of the war that takes place not far from us, the students and teachers of the Floria Capsali High School are present on the stage on the occasion of the International Dance Day, offering a ballet and contemporary dance show at the Ion Dacian Operetta Theatre, on April 29th.
Let’s not forget that dance and art in general bring us energy, optimism, soothe souls, unite people and cultures, give us the feeling that we can trust each other, that together we can build a better world!
It is the message of the “Teachers for SwanZ” team and of the project manager, the piano teacher Diana Zăvălaș, on the occasion of the International Dance Day. In addition to this urge, we wish all dance and choreography professionals, teachers, pupils and students, amateur dancers, and lovers of this art to give color and optimism to these times through the joy they bring to other people.
Happy Dance Day to all of you! May your inspiration, talent and dedication to dance bring you success and satisfaction!
We are present at the Choreography Olympiad, the national phase
The winners who participated in the Bucharest phase of the Choreography Olympiad, including four students involved in the “Teachers for SwanZ” project, participate in the national phase of the competition, in Timisoara, at the end of April. It will be an opportunity for the teachers of the Floria Capsali High School to present to their colleagues from other choreography high schools in the country data about the project and especially about its results, results that we promote not only in Romania, but also in the countries with which we collaborate – Austria, Bulgaria, and Greece.
The Virtual Laboratory, a new training platform
The dance training platform Virtual Learning Laboratory, one of the three “intellectual outputs” of the project, is under construction. It will be a free virtual education tool, the interface, and the main gate that the Teachers for SwanZ project is opening to the participants, representatives of the target groups involved – ballet and dance teachers, general education teachers working in dance schools (“non-dance teachers”), dance instructors, students and dance lovers interested.
The Virtual Learning Laboratory will offer a range of features and functionalities aiming at improving dance teachers’ training in our region, to encourage a modern, interdisciplinary approach in the dance schools and a friendly learning for the digital natives belonging to the Z generation (our target group consists in pupils between 13 and 16 years old).
The training modules will focus: traditional dance, character dance, ballet, contemporary dance and other areas aiming at enlarging teachers’ competences and abilities: communication and public speaking , diversity and intercultural dialogue, soft skills (coaching, acting on stage, control of emotions, psychological aspects).
The platform will be used in two ways:
🩰 By the dance teachers and instructors aiming at following our training modules and obtaining a training certificate under the aegis of the Erasmus+ Program.
🩰By the general public interested, without a certificate.
Workshop on the Dalcroze method
Diana Zăvălaș has organized a new workshop on the Dalcroze method in learning/ teaching music and dance. Several teachers from the Floria Capsali High School took part, together with two dance instructors from the Hellenic Union of Romania. The event was organized together with the Culture through Music Association.
Dance video classes
One of our present tasks is to be held and record for the Virtual Laboratory dance video classes of all types that will be included in the platform. These records will not only illustrate the way to teach dance and choreography in the participating schools/ NGO but will also constitute a basis for the exchange of experience between the teachers involved from Romania, Bulgaria, and Austria. The video classes (“open hours”) created by the dance ensembles belonging to the Hellenic Union of Romania from Bucharest, Ploiesti, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Galati and Oneşti are already available and can be seen on the Youtube channel of the association and on:
Practical guides for teachers
When it comes about the project’s “intellectual outputs” (concrete results), we must mention the two practical guides for teachers that are now in the final elaboration stage, namely:
🩰The training of trainers (ToT) manual Teachers for SwanZ, elaborated by teachers for teachers, focusing ballet, character dance, contemporary and traditional dance; it will include four chapters – Why Generation Z?, Theory on Specific Types of Dancing, Dance Teaching Methodology and Soft Skills for Dance Teachers ; it is co-created by about 35 teachers and instructors from the participating countries.
🩰The brochure Mini-guide of movement, targeting teachers who teach different subjects in dance schools, that include chapters on the characteristics of generation Z students, but also on the connections between dance and other areas – Physics, Geography, History, Literature, Chemistry, Biology, Social Sciences, etc. It is created by about 25 teachers.
“Teachers for SwanZ. From online towards face-to-face activities”
After a difficult year 2021, marked by the pandemic, which placed in the virtual environment all the activities of the project, between 28 and 29 March 2022, the first transnational face-to-face meeting took place in Bucharest. The partners met to discuss the state of the project and management issues, in particular the tasks related to the dissemination and exploitation of the results to be achieved and promoted in the coming months.
The First day
On the first day, the works were hosted by the Floria Capsali Choreography High School, and the participants were greeted by four students from different years of study, involved in the Teachers for SwanZ project. The school’s principal, Mădălina – Irina Giurgescu, welcomed all participants and wished them success. The students expressed their thoughts and expectations about the project in front of the cameras of the Romanian Television.
The participants appreciated that, although the project calendar was practically reversed, it was possible to create exclusively on Zoom two of the intellectual outputs, which are now in the process of being completed. In contrast, the five “mobilities” for students and teachers (Learning, Teaching and Training Activities) could not take place in 2021 and were planned for the period May – July 2022. In this way, and thanks to a good communication with the partners, the activities foreseen and all the expected project results will be achieved.
The second day
The Cultural Center of the Hellenic Union of Romania (EBU) hosted the second day. After a welcome message addressed to the participants from the president and deputy of the UER, Dragos – Gabriel Zisopol, the representatives of the organization presented some data about their rich cultural activity, including about the dozens of traditional Greek dance ensembles from the main centers where there are communities of Greek origin. About twenty of these ensembles are members of CID – UNESCO.
There followed a module specialized in the tasks of the project teams in terms of visibility, dissemination and highlighting of the project results, sustained by Ileana Racoviceanu, communication responsible within ANPCDEFP. It was insisted on the exploitation stage of the results, which involves a closer collaboration with the indirect beneficiaries of the project, as well as new partnerships.
The end of the day
The day ended with demonstration exercises designed to help teachers in their work: a theatre workshop held by actress Monica Săndulescu, member of the Attitude Studios Vienna team; a dance workshop with small groups of students (six each) held by the teachers Simona Paraschivu and Claudiu Staicu from Floria Capsali High School and instructors Andreea Vîrtopeanu and Aris Zisopol from UER; the exercise was worked with all the students together, proposing a transition from traditional dance to contemporary dance.
Together on Greece National Day
The transnational project meeting not only achieved its goal, but also brought new things – teachers and students of the Floria Capsali High School were invited to participate in a show dedicated to Greece’s National Day (March 25th), at the Dalles Hall. Said and done.
Two students presented on stage moments of contemporary dance, and a small ensemble presented some traditional Romanian dances at the show held by several UER dance ensembles on April 3rd.
Learning, teaching, and training activities will follow
An online meeting of the management teams implementing the project was held on April 6. A new evaluation of the project status was carried out (evaluations take place every 3-4 months), after which the main topic was the organization of the learning, teaching, and training activities provided for in the project.
They will take place in Bucharest (May), Ruse (May – June) and Vienna (July), and will involve both teachers and instructors, as well as students. Many of the teaching/learning modules taking place along these sessions will illustrate the theoretical aspects described in the two practical guides for teachers and will be posted on the Virtual Laboratory.
We are visible, we promote the project
As for communication and promotion, the year 2022 started with many opportunities: Radio Romania Cultural and Radio Romania International broadcasted interviews with Mădălina Giurgescu, at the beginning of her mandate as principal of the Choreography High School Floria Capsali at that moment, as well as with the project manager – Diana Zăvălaș (24 and 29 January, 8 and 16 February). TVR broadcasted on April 6 a short report about the transnational meeting in March, and the Bulgarian partner promoted the project to the national TV station BNT1. The prestigious cultural magazine Contemporanul of Romania published in the March 3rd issue news about “Teachers for SwanZ”.
You can find us here:
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the National Agency Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.