Attachment awareness - what is it?

All dancers working with families need to know about self-regulation and attachment. This year I will be creating resources for dancers and dance artists to help them to understand what they need to know to bring the best dance practice to children and families.

The training will help dance artists understand what is attachment informed practice and how to apply the knowledge to their work.

Who is it for?

It will be useful information for artists working with children so that they can reflect on their practice and consider the range of skills they need to develop and approaches they need to adopt in order to be “attachment aware”.

The information will enable artists to be clear about their ethical stance on how they approach their work and the expectations people can have of them in terms of their professional actions and attitudes. It will help artists highlight how the arts are unique in helping people develop resilience, a positive sense of self and can potentially change the trajectory of a life.

Why create this training?

A growing number of children and young people have emotional and behavioural needs that go beyond the some of our current thinking and strategies. Poverty, parental difficulty, trauma, can mean our children are sometimes hard to help. They need our greatest nurturing and care. These children are everywhere; they are the baby coming to take part in your workshop, child in your creative movement class, the young person in your street dance session. We owe it to these children to make sure our our practice matches the needs of our current society. An attachment aware practice is the BEST kind of arts practice there is.

The idea for these standards came about while Our Creative Adventure creator Liz Clark was training in “Applying Neuroscience to Early Intervention” with Neuroscience specialist Mine Conkbayir. The standards have also been influenced by research into “Professional Love” by Professor Jools Page.

All the training will be informed by research and based on evidence from attachment specialists.

In the future it is hoped that further research will be carried out research with independent dance artists, families, social workers, neuroscientists and arts organisations to create a standards badge that will both strengthen and edify the arts sector in their practice and go someway to enabling artists to take their rightful place in society through their ability to:

  • place people, their aspirations, rights and choices at the heart of their practice

  • recognise and value the individuality of participants, help them find their own unique ‘voice’ and develop their means of creative expression

  • create ‘safe’ spaces where individuals can fulfil their human and creative potential

  • create cultures of respect where people feel positive about themselves and their relationships

  • create places of awe and wonder which connect people