Dance animateuring

Tanssi-innostaminen® (‘dance animateuring’ in English) is an artistic and pedagogical method, which has been developed by Raisa Foster (Ph.D) in order to empower both individuals and communities. By dance animateuring Foster refers to dance/movement based activity, in which everyone can find their own way of moving and expressing by movement. The aim of dance animateuring is not to teach any specific dance technique or style, but to help everyone to find movements that already exist in us.

Dance animateuring does not only have artistic goals, but also educational, social, political and ethical aims. Dance animateuring is a form of community dance. Dance animateurs approach dance from everyone’s individual body and personal movements. The focus is in everyone’s subjective experience. A dance animateur is a community artist, who inspires and encourages people to experience dance from the point of view both as spectators and creators. Animateuring aims for cultural democracy by acknowledging everyone, also for example children, adolescents, and disabled, as active subjects and producers of their own culture. Dance animateuring is not just inspiring people into dance but also with dance.

Foster has conceptualized the philosophical, pedagogical and artistic background of the method very precisely in her doctoral dissertation The Pedagogy of Recognition. Dancing Identity and Mutuality (Foster 2012) and other publications, but most of all she has shaped the method in her practice. She has mainly worked with young men in her dance animateuring projects, and also produced public performances as outcomes of these collaborative processes: Katiska (2008), Ketjureaktio (2012) and Rikka (2014).

Tanssi-innostaminen® is registered as a trademark in Finland. In the beginning of the year 2014 Foster started to teach the method to adult students in a one-year (25 credits) course. Only the trained teachers have a right to call themselves as tanssi-innostaja ‘dance animateur’.