I have always been an avid note-taker. Visual note-taking is one of my main job functions now, but even as a high school student, I was driven to capture everything. I kept a small notebook in my dance bag and after every class, I feverishly wrote down as many corrections as I could remember. You can't easily take notes while you're dancing, so I spent a lot of mental energy memorizing and repeating corrections to myself during class, so that I would remember to write them down later.
Yesterday, I participated as a vendor in DanceFest 2018, an annual show and workshop hosted by the Virginia Dance Coalition. It takes place over a weekend and brings together dance companies and studios from across the Washington, DC Metro Area. This year, the showcase took place on Friday, January 19, 2018. The following Sunday, January 21 featured master classes for children, teens, and adult dancers, as well as workshops around building a dance career and health and wellness.
I saw this as an opportunity to connect my visual and coaching practices to my major passion in life, dance. While I promoted all aspects of my services at my booth, the main experience I aimed to offer was graphic recording, or large-scale visual note-taking. I listened to classes and workshops and captured key points and corrections from master artists, including my personal teenage dance heart-throb, Rasta Thomas (who even signed my chart later!). Thinking back to my tights-wearing studio days, I wished that I had a graphic recorder to capture notes during my classes. Perhaps it would have enabled me to be more present in class, and not worry so much about missing information that I wanted to retain.
There is a HUGE role for graphic recorders to play in the dance studio. Teachers come up with wonderful visual images and insightful sayings to help dancers in the moment. After the class, it's hard to remember what was said and carry that forward, for both teachers and students. Graphic recorders, with the ability to capture words and images on the fly, can fill this gap easily and I'm thrilled to have more opportunities to do this with the connections I felt I was able to make during the event.
More DanceFest 2018 Images
Rasta Thomas signing my graphic recordings of his ballet class!
Susan Shields posing with my graphic recording of her talk on "Career in Dance"
Body Dynamics instructors posing with my graphic recording of their wellness workshop.
The irony of having an acute injury while recording a chart about injuries.
Dancers using the Co-Active Wheel of Perspective activity to envision their future.
Dancers using the Co-Active Wheel of Perspective activity to brainstorm about an upcoming show.