The final international activity in frames of the Key to Connection, October 19 – 23, 2021

  by LAUKKU (excerpts from Daniel Wargin’s description of the event are used in the text.)

Oktober 19-23, 2021 members of LAUKKU Ieva Grundšteine, Agnese Bordjukova and Inta Balode as well as representatives of Rauna Youth Center Basement Ilze Zīriņa and Justīne Buliņa, participated in the colorful, dynamic and challenging seminar Kaleidoscope. Dance practitioners and non-formal education specialists from Latvia, Greece and Poland gathered last time on the beautiful island of Rhodes to conclude the collaboration.

The project has lasted more than two years, more precisely 26 months, during which time its activities took place both on-site and remotely. One of the main tasks of the project was to create methodological material, which includes both descriptions of exercises with notes from the creators from all member countries, as well as theoretical materials on aspects of personality development. The material covers in more detail important topics in the learning process: critical self-awareness, the ability to listen and observe, openness as an attitude, diversity as a value. Digital Methodological Reading Material will be published digitally in English. It is intended to be used by anyone who believes that movement practice and non-formal education methods together are a powerful tool for getting to know, accepting and improving themselves in working with children and young people.

The main theme of the Key to Connection is kinesthetic learning, in other words, learning through movement. There are people who easily and quickly perceive information and learn well by writing down and watching, others – listening, but for others it is suitable for active and physical learning – through practical activities, experience of movement. Most formal education programs mostly use teaching methods that focus on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge. Learning through movement is not widespread. Project participants believe that by finding the right place and time, kinesthetic learning methods can be useful in the training process for educators working with children and young people in both formal and non-formal education. Kinesthetic learning helps to improve everyone who practices it. Its true value is difficult to experience on a theoretical level, so practice is essential in a movement-based learning process.

In parallel with the work on the methodological material, the Greek team had organized couple meetings with the students of the Rhodes Music School in order to connect with local young people and at the same time to test the methods developed in the project in practice. Project participants and young people from Rhodes Music School met in movement workshops in the school yard, as well as in the urban environment – old town of Rhodes, going on a joint movement adventure with a youth drum orchestra. The enthusiasm and freedom provided by the synergy of music and movement also caught the attention of many locals and city guests. Almost everyone captured it in their eyes or on their cameras. Greek youngsters were happy to experience movement classes that are not part of their school routine. This experience was successful because the management of the Rhodes Music School wants to continue working with the Greek team to develop kinesthetic learning practices at the school.

By exchanging movement experiences with the Soroni Rhodes Culture and Folklore Association Ampernalli, tKtC members were able to learn a lot about both Greek culture and society, and about their working methods in other contexts. The subtlety, accuracy and awareness of one’s roots seem to be the key words that can be used to describe a local community. Qualities that are easily forgotten in everyday challenges are, however, so important in a dignified society.

Greek hospitality and warmth of heart created the conditions that allowed professional work and human togetherness to merge into one creative and reflective process. The warm sun supported the overall process, unleashing energy and joy of life, despite the fact that it is the end of October.

Two more activities will take place in Latvia within the framework of this project. One is an online informative session for the Latvian dance community, where project participants will provide insight into its course and common discoveries about movement and non-formal education cooperation, and the other is a face-to-face session for Cesis Berzaine primary school teachers, where participants will offer their original exercises.

Such international and interdisciplinary projects are inspiring and motivating not only for specialists in the field, but also for any involved person, who also contributes to the growth of society through improvement.

the Key to Connection is implemented in the framework of Erasmus+: Youth in Action  programme – key action 2, Strategic Partnership for exchange experiences.