Creativity, curiosity and attachment
An attachment relationship is a deep and enduring connection established between a child and caregiver that develops through their interactions with each other. The word "attachment" can be a tough one to understand. We often talk about whether or not a child is attached to something (i.e. a toy) because the item has a particular significance for the child. It is the same with us.
In delivering training in nursery settings we look at attachment and how we can use creative approaches to build and strengthen the key person relationship. This 1 min film (below) is of a practitioners interacting with a child from the baby room of her setting. See how many of these characteristics of dance improvisation are present:
- a spontaneous physical dialogue that range from stillness to highly energetic exchanges
- alertness that is developed in order to work in an energetic state
- trusting one another
- play with balance, exchange and motion
- bringing forth a physical/emotional truth about a shared moment of movement that leaves the participants feeling alive.
The characteristics of the attachment relationship are equally fascinating:
- John Bowlby (1958) spoke of the attachment relationship as a reflection of pleasure and enjoyment: smiling, laughing, clapping, love and happiness.
- Attachment behavior on the part of the infant or child also seeks to increase proximity and contact with the caregiver.
- The attachment relation needs reciprocity - it needs to be shared and understood. Both parties need to be mutually curious and their movements showing a cycle of sharing and mirroring.
- Attachment is dynamic, complex, and ever evolving, it is not static.
When we (practitioners) work with children we journey from no relationship (when we have just met) and no bond to hopefully building a strong relationship and strong bond. Our aim is connection because it's from that place that everything else flows; learning, understanding and meaning.
Attachment theories have called the process of created deep bonds the 'dance of reciprocity'. In dance we may call it 'improvisation'.
Interestingly research identifies attachment as playing a vital role in all of the following:
Formation of brain structures and organisation of the nervous system
Attaining full intellectual potential
Increasing resilience (the ability to bounce back from adversity)
So should we conclude that dance improvisation also does the above?