Dissertations and Masters Theses

Exploring the Space Between: The Effect of Somatic Education on Agency and Ownership within a Collaborative Dance-Making Process

Ray Eliot Schwartz: MFA. University of Texas, Austin                                                Schwartz has become an influential shaper of the field of Somatics, on many occasions working closely with Glenna Batson, a proponent  for Somatics in dance education. In his masters thesis Schwarts begins by compares models of the dance-making process to systems of government. In particular he looks at democracy and anarchy as two processes in which all individuals are responsible for the outcome of the group. He goes on to explore, from a Somatic point of view, the effects that this communal agency and ownership has on the collaborative dance-making process.

Toward embodied education, 1850s–2007: Historical, cultural, theoretical and methodological perspectives impacting somatic education in United States higher education dance.

Donna Dragon: Ph.D. Temple University                                                                         Motivated by confusion about what constitutes somatic education Dragon examines the historical utilization and influence of somatic education in higher education dance curricula from 1850 to 2007, and provides a definition of somatic education that is in alignment with her interest in feminist pedagogy. Lastly she provides a definition of embodied research methodology and introduces an embodied education paradigm. The paradigm she describes is that embodied practices have been utilized in higher education dance toward a myriad of applications for more than a century, yet embodied experiences also occur in other academic and professional disciplines and in life. Since higher education upholds a multitude of paradigms based in “intellectual” knowing, embodied education offers academe new embodied ways of knowing, learning, and researching. This knowledge may deepen awareness of and potential for alliances within and outside of the dance discipline necessary for sociocultural acceptance of dance as a vital human experience.


University of Texas, Austin