Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Professional Dancer as Nurse Embarks on Scientific and Humanistic Inquiry

"It never occurred to me on concluding my career as a performer and teacher with The Toronto Dance Theatre that I would be able to integrate my experiences and skills as an artist into my life as a nurse. However, as a graduate student in nursing it is becoming increasingly evident that I have entered into an interstitial space that holds possibility and opportunities to rethink human embodiment."
We include a brief excerpt below from the paper "The Nurse's Foot: a Phenomenological Exploration" as published in CCAHTE Journal, March 2007, written by Coralee McLaren, BScN
"No longer separating the nurse from the dancer, I am embarking on a scientific and humanistic inquiry to reconceptualize how children with cerebral palsy experience their bodies and movement through space. In preparation for this challenge, I engage here in a concentrated phenomenological exercise that demands a presencing and attuning to my own physical world through the reuniting of my "old body" (F. Wynn, 2006) with the 'thing' that occupied my life as a professional modern dancer, the floor under my foot. What follows (in the paper) are my words and thoughts as I attempt to describe the reacquaintance of my nurse's foot with this 'thing', the floor. With the guidance of others who have undertaken similar experiments, I welcome the opportunity to return to an artistic sensibility that reveals my dancer/nurse body's need for repair and repose, and re-attunes me not only to how I experience my own physicality, but how I might appreciate the bodily experiences of others."
"...By composing a research study that integrates experiences in dance/choreography, pediatric neurosurgical nursing and qualitative phenomenological methods, I hope to extend the boundaries of existing knowledge about children with disabilities and possibly use this new knowledge to design clinical psychosocial, technological and place-based interventions to improve their quality of life and enhance their ways of being in the world."
Coralee McLaren, BScN
Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto
from: "The Nurse's Foot: A Phenomenological Exploration"
published in CCAHTE, The Canadian Creative Arts in Health, Training and Education Journal
March 2007 issue.
Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
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