159. Cameras In The Classroom

January 25, 2023 00:28:38
159. Cameras In The Classroom
Words That Move Me with Dana Wilson
159. Cameras In The Classroom

Jan 25 2023 | 00:28:38


Show Notes

It is rare these days to find a class that doesn't end in select groups filming the combo. In this episode I break down why cameras made their way into the classroom, my thoughts on if they should stay there, and what you can think about if you find yourself in front of that metal, plastic, and glass square. Do you think cameras belong in the classroom? DM me @wordsthatmovmepodcast and let's talk about it!


Show Notes:

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Episode Transcript

Transcript: Intro: Welcome to Words That Move Me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you, get the information and inspiration you need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host, Dana Wilson, and I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place. … Dana: Hello. Hello my friend. Welcome to words that move me. I am Dana. I am wearing a noisy jacket tonight, <laugh>, and it is nighttime. I usually record podcasts during the day. It's so quiet right now. Are you picking up on that <laugh>? Is this the best quality audio you have gotten from the words that Move Me podcast? Maybe because it is almost 10 o'clock at night on a Sunday night in Sherman Oaks, California, and nothing is going on out there. Um, but there will be a lot going on in the booth tonight. I'm really excited about this subject. Today we are talking cameras in the classroom. Um, this subject has been on my mind for a really long time, but it was prompted, uh, like kind of stoked into fruition. Um, thanks to episode 39 with Brian Friedman. We talked about one of his on camera, uh, mega Mess Up moments, which he made out to be a very big deal. And trust me, I went and watched that bag. I could barely tell, which I love <laugh>. Um, but in that episode we also talked about how I used to choke consistently as soon as a camera came out. Um, this is like during my younger, like pre-professional days of training when filming the end of class was becoming really popular. Um, I I I would choke so hard, could like not recover from these kind of mess-ups. Anyways, today we're chatting about cameras in the classroom, the good, the bad, the ugly. Cue music if you can, can we like play that music from the good, the bad, the ugly? You know what I mean? <laugh> can't do it. <laugh>, how do you even make that sound? Well, that'll do. Uh, so yeah, we're talking the good, the bad, the ugly, um, but also the pretty, like the powerful parts of filming class. Um, today I will let you borrow my camera philosophy that has basically cured me from that consistent choking on camera. That doesn't mean I don't mess up by the way. And I do want to make a distinction between messing up and choking. We're gonna talk about the difference between those two in just a second. But first wins. I've got big wins this week. This week I am celebrating this week. This week was a full week. It was a human week. A lot of emotional ups and downs, full spectrum, but also some really exciting stuff that I simply had to shout out. Like I this w this week is one for the memory books for sure. So on Sunday my mom came into town from Colorado. She arrived in the morning and upon arrival I asked, Hey mom, what are you doing tonight, <laugh>? And she was like, I don't know, you tell me. And I was like, we are performing a.at the Upright Citizens Brigade because tonight is Ka Burns's Ragle tagle dance Hour. The seaweed sisters had, uh, had obligated to perform. Is that the correct use of the word? We had, um, why is the only word I can think of? Obliged. We were much to, much obliged to perform anyways. The seaweed sisters had agreed to perform and due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to. But I didn't want to. I didn't wanna bail. I was still able to, and I have this duet that Jillian Myers and I performed once at Ragle Tagle Kat Burns was like, why don't you do that? I couldn't. Um, but I could do like a version of that if my mom was down, turns out mom was down. I'm gonna try to link to that performance. It was her first onstage in California moment, um, like almost her first onstage moment period ever the end. But I do think she took like a parent's dance class at my dance studio when I was a kid and maybe appeared at a recital or two. Anyways, that was huge. It was a professional stage with a really professional <laugh> audience, <laugh> and a semi-professional group of people on stage. Not that we're not freaking fabulous, but because the content was so funny and so of the moment, um, I I, these are not the words I want to be using. It was professionals on stage, but being professional idiots like so much freaking fun. So shout out to Kat Burns and the Ragle Tagle Dance Hour, which will now be happening monthly. Please go follow her and follow ucb, uh, for more information about the next show. But that was so much fun and that was just the day she arrived. After that I went to Canada. I got to visit and make some new friends at performing dance arts in Toronto. Had a wonderful time up there. Returned to uh, teach at Genesis, a fabulous collaboration class with my friend Hawk. We made up a combo in two hours. It's so hard, it's so fast I can't even handle it. Um, did that and then on the very same day, my mom got to make her music video debut for the one one and only Mr. Jason Maraz new music video coming out directed by our friend Taylor James choreographed by the one and only Megan Lawson. We have so many stellar friends making surprise appearances in the video. I was bummed to not be a part, but excited to watch my mom get to have that moment all for herself and get to share her with my friends and with my industry. Uh, I think she did a really good job and I cannot wait to see it. Can't wait for you all to see it as well. After that, I had, uh, on Saturday a fantastic first ever collaboration event with Lululemon. Um, words that moved me for a long time now has been seeking to do more in-person community outreach, getting the dance community together and moving in ways that maybe we don't normally all about training, uh, outside of dance class training. And we got to make that possible on Saturday in the form of a two-part workshop. Uh, one part career coaching led by me, one part haha and Vinyasa Yoga with Leslie Byrne. And that was possible entirely because of the fabulous Courtney Darlington. Uh, thank you for that link between Lululemon and words that move me, uh, as well as big thanks to Riley for helping us facilitate on the day and to everyone who came out and made that so massively special. That was that. Uh, then there was today, you guys, I'm still winning. Look at this. I'm apologize, but I'm not sorry. That was a big week yesterday, also mounted a new tv. I have been without a TV since September, like November. Uh, it's end of January now. I'm actually counting that a win in and of itself, but I now have a beautiful TV up on the wall and it works. So that's great. Um, wow, wow, wow, wow. Big weak, lots of vulnerability, lots of being exposed, lots of sweating, lots of feeling great, lots of feeling shit. That is me. Now you go, what is going well in your world? Hit me. (Wins Music) … Yay. Alright. Congratulations my friend. I am so glad that you are winning. I'm giving you a big celebratory hug in my noisy Lululemon jacket, uh, which is super duper cute and super duper that. Okay, let's get into it. We're gonna start because I mentioned it twice now. Uh, with the difference between choking and messing up. To me, this is just my definition, but I do think it's an important distinction. The choke, whether it be on camera or in any other circumstance, starts in the mind with a thought. And then the body freezes. The mind does not recover when the body freezes. So the body stays frozen, the mind continues to chew on how the body is frozen and a perpetual cycle occurs. Choked up mind equals frozen body. A a thought like, I better not mess up right now. That would be so embarrassing. This is way too important to fumble. Like that kind of thought can lead to choking, which is funny, <laugh> how thinking I better not fumble can lead to fumbling, right? It's funny, it's so not funny, but it's, that's real. That really, really happens. Messing up on the other hand to me happens in the body like a mess up occurs in my body. Like the weight shift goes too far. I didn't spot correctly, so I fell out of the turn. Um, maybe the weight shift didn't go far enough or the ankle rolled or the wrong arm went up. That's a mess up. Like that's a mess up that happens in the body. And then the mind corrects or carries on in a way that allows the body to recover and the mind and body kind of, you know, talk and correct and yeah, I guess they kind of course correct until, until they're both back on track. I still mess up all the time, but it is different than a complete choke and that's why we're here today. Today I really wanna dig into how the circumstance of having a camera in the room can lead you to choking. And I can also introduce some thoughts that you might be able to think to keep that from happening, happening <laugh> to keep that from happening. Okay, so cameras in the classroom. When did this become a thing? <laugh> circa the tipping point of YouTube. I don't remember exactly, but I do remember noticing when I took class at Millennium, when I took class at ml, um, people were beginning to religiously, like all of the time, every time film the end of their class and share it on YouTube. I personally held out, I didn't film groups at the end of my class for a really long time. Uh, at least partially because I thought it was a trend <laugh> and I thought that I didn't have to, or I didn't want to be trendy <laugh>. I also thought that it made class less safe. I really believed like part of my fundamental belief system, what I grew up on is that classrooms quote should be safe spaces to mess up. And as soon as a camera is introduced, you're no longer able to mess up safely. There's, there's a risk involved more on that later. Anyways, spoiler alert, filming at the end of class turned out to definitely not be a trend. Uh, it became really, really popular and then it became commonplace. So much so in fact, that it is the exception. It is a rare occurrence in which the end of class is not like at least partially allocated to special select groups of dancers being filmed. So why is that? Well, my theory is that people love to watch dance. Pretty simple. Uh, people love to watch themselves dance as well. And when teachers and studios film the end of class mass, audiences can watch. Students themselves can watch and learn, and the studios and instructors can promote themselves a full of free. It makes so much sense actually that this is a thing that happens all the time. People get to watch, students get to watch and learn. Oh, and I do want to underline this point because it's pretty revolutionary. Have you ever been watching a sporting event and some, oh God, I'm the worst sports analogies, but just hang in there with me something. Some call gets made like a penalty or foul or something and uh, it's like a really close call. And so we have to watch the instant replay and you get that super slow mo video playback of the thing and it reveals some insane inhuman amount of perception of detail and some very important detail about the integrity of that call comes out. You know how awesome it is to watch that and be like, whoa, no way. That's what happened in that flash of a second. Yes, that's what happened. And that same magical moment applies for dancers when we, uh, like, like you can, especially to be dancing by yourself, to have the outside eye period is valuable. But to have a super slow mo instant replay that gives you insight to, and, and the ability to answer otherwise really impossible problems, it's, it's a game changer. It is a game changer. The, honestly, I actually know several teachers who film using the Slowmo feature on their iPhones with the intention of cleaning and correcting like digital video. And, and that immediate super slowmo feedback loop is invaluable. I would go as far as to say it is a huge part of why we see such young dancers doing such incredible work. It is it like this as a tool. This video, this immediate feedback loop thing as a tool is revolutionary. It is changing our field. It's changing what we do in a, in a big, big way, in kind of a smaller, more personal way. It's also a visible, tangible proof of work and proof of progress. That's something that I'm particularly fond of. So like, I don't know, when I grew up, you used to have to wait until the next competition to see how you've improved. And even then you're performing for a different panel of judges. It's entirely subjective. It's really hard to actually measure growth in this, uh, medium. But now everybody has the ability to see their own progress every single day. And it's in our pocket. It's wild. Anyways, I digress. When the end of class is filmed, general audience is get to watch it. I think more dance, more available for more people is a win. Students get to watch it. You already know how I feel about that. And teachers and studios get to share and promote their work for free. I do think it is important that studios and educators have a healthy economic ecosystem in which they can live and survive. I, I think that that is important. So where is the harm? Where is the bad <laugh>? I do not like this part, but you probably knew it was coming in here it comes, there are an entire sl. There is, there are, there are an entire slew. There is a slew, there is a metric boatload of reasons why you shouldn't record videos of yourself dancing in class and why educators shouldn't be filming the ends of their class and promoting it. I'll just name a few of them. Number one, not all dance styles or dance expressions I might say are intended for an audience. What I'm saying is that some dance and even the progress of that dance may be better felt not watched. Um, once you invite the audience, you invite the critic. Uh, and if you're only inviting yourself, then you are probably inviting the harshest critic. You've heard this before where our own hardest critics, and there's certainly been tons enough or maybe not enough. I don't know. You decide there's a lot of research on the effects of social media, on self-image, especially for young people. And no, I have not read all of it, but I think the trending conclusions suggest that smartphones, cameras and like selfie period, like the selfie effect is on the whole, it is distorting our self-esteem. It is leading us to self objectify and have a more warped body image. Uh, and in general, dissatisfaction of ourselves even more so than usual. I do think that dancers were already subject to higher than average levels of all of those things. So for us, adding the camera and the constant pressure of being on camera is a considerable risk. Like that could be really potentially damaging. It's possible that nobody needs to or should be looking at themselves as often as we do in our line of work. And that is just assuming that we are the ones watching. Like we, our own critics are the ones watching. But the truth is, once something ends up online, you never know who's watching. In fact, you could probably assume that everyone over the course of time, I mean not everyone of all people of all time will be watching, but it's available to all people for the most part. And I'm not gonna get too deep in the weeds here, but in a day where credit and consent are real focal points of our community concern and like social consciousness, I am left feeling a little bit more than a little bit uneasy when I think about non-consenting people, especially young people, minors being filmed and broadcast to the world for someone else's profit. I mean, even if they were the ones profiting, I still, I feel a little weird about that. I've got a lot to unpack personally myself with that. So I'll move on to the second subject of credit and consent. And that is in defense of the choreographers of which I am one <laugh>, I'm also super not in favor of students self taping or taping friends and then sharing that, uh, during class and then sharing without the permission of the teacher slash choreographer. Ooh, that is a hint. That is partially my problem right there. Teacher slash choreographer, I don't think I would have a problem with a student filming themselves during like part of a math lesson where they were practicing cross multiplication, for example, and then sharing that on social media. I genuinely do not think I would have a problem with that at all, even if they did terrible math, got the wrong answer. I just, I, I think the demonstration of that type of practice in a social forum is not like the worst thing. But dance educators are usually choreographers and our choreography is our work. Humans dancing. Our work is in a sense our art product. It is our art, our values, our opinions, our thoughts, our feelings, our decisions all smashed together into what we call choreography. And it's much of the time, younger students practicing our choreography is not the version of it that we would prefer to sh live out there in the world for all eternity, for all to see. So there's that a big sidestep <laugh> to the pros and cons and consequences of filming and sharing the work choreography that is, and the progress of practicing it, uh, during class basically all muddied with credit, consent and criticism. But it is also a beautiful thing, a wonderful tool. Sidestep again, <laugh> sidestep from the sidestep. I was listening to James Cameron's j wow Jam <laugh>. He's like almost on a short name basis, like I almost called him Jim, but he's jam James Cameron's episode of Smartless. Great episode, great podcast. And he, Jim <laugh>, uh, says that no technology has ever not been weaponized. I'll say that again cuz double negatives are hard. No technology has ever not been weaponized, which is to say that all technology has been weaponized and as oppose that the use of cameras in the classroom is really no exception to that statement, a helpful and a harmful tool. And I could leave it at that, but I won't because I think I have something more useful than that. Uh, I I think I would like to share my philosophy. <laugh>, I cannot with the late night podcasts, <laugh>, I would like to share my philosophy about cameras in the classroom. Not that it's right, not that it is true or that others are false, but simply that it might be useful to you because it has been so useful to me. So I used to think that cameras were this all powerful portal to eternity. And I also thought like a, a even less useful thought than that, that cameras were there to serve other people and to hurt me, to point out all my problems, to make other people money. Um, that's kind of, you know, that was one mindset, this idea that what goes in one end is at the cost of me and what comes out the other end benefits other people and the entire world gets to watch it, criticize it, and capitalize it on it forever. <laugh>. Yeah. Uh, that kind of thinking, that kind of pressure. Um, the thinking that film is forever and for everyone, which it basically is, it is more or less true, but that kind of thinking was not useful. That kind of thinking is the thinking that made me choke. And this is how it kind of played out in my head. It usually sounded like this. Oh my god, here it comes, here comes the camera. Okay, I hope I don't fumble. I better not fucking mess up right now. Holy shit, I better not mess up right now. That would be so embarrassing. I can't do that again. I always do that. I can't do that. I better not. Oh, oops. There goes the first eight count and now I'm on camera forever messing up in front of everyone for all time forever. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And there goes the second eight count and so on and so on and so on. Thanks. Largely to my doing daily project where I made an Instagram video every day for more than 400 days. I decided to believe in different thoughts that are also more or less true and certainly more useful. The leading one is this, cameras are glass and plastic and metal. Cameras are objects. They're not magical, whimsical portals into eternity. They're not, you know, certainly not the tool of the devil. Like they're not the worst thing. They're not even the best thing. They're just glass, plastic and metal. They are objects, eye on the other hand and flesh and blood and bone and thoughts and feelings and really great wrists and hands. And I even have boobs bonus, like I am a superior being because I'm those things. Cameras are just glass and plastic and metal and maybe little rubber bits, <laugh>, I don't even know what they're made of these days. But it's not guts, thoughts, feelings, love, style, experience. Like it's not those things. And when I think that way, I feel empowered when I think that way I can control myself when I think that way. I lead instead of follow at the mercy of this glass, plastic, and metal thing. This is not even that big <laugh>. I don't know why it was so intimidating to me. Well, it was, it was intimidating to me because of the way I was thinking about it anyways. When I think a camera is glass, plastic, and metal, which again I point out is true, I can carry on with my greatness choke fricking free. And that is what I would like to offer you today. Uh, this thought that you are a great fantastical thing, I'm sure. Yes. So is a camera, but for the most part it is glass, plastic, and metal. And you are blood, flesh, bone thoughts, feelings, love, fantastic talent, great style. I know because you're listening to this podcast. Anyways, I, I, I love this subject. I could talk about it forever. Clearly it's been 30 minutes and I'm just alone in a room at nighttime by myself. Just really fleshing this out. I would love to hear your thoughts on this because I know I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface of some of this. And if this has stoked, uh, a fire within you or sparked some kind of interest for a conversation or to, to share your thoughts, to share what works for you, to share what doesn't work for you regarding cameras in class, please, please shoot us a message or comment on Instagram or TikTok. We film our content now, by the way, speaking of cameras. And if you are digging the podcast, if you like what you're hearing, please, please leave a review or a rating. It helps other people find the podcast and it means so, so, so much to me to hear from you. Whoa. Alright, my friends, I'm gonna go try to wind down, uh, before bed. That really got me jacked up. I'm super, super stoked to hear what you think about this subject and if it will and if it will ever cease. Like, will there be an end? I, I don't think so, and I kind of hope not. Yeah. Where do you land? Where do you land on this? We're gonna have to do a survey. Cameras in the classroom, good or bad. Um, thank you for being here. Thank you for being funky. Get out there into the world and keep it funky forever. Eternal, eternal funk. Is it funky? If it's not on camera, if it's, is it funky? If it isn't captured, I really, I have got to go. This is the end. Keep it funky. Talk to you soon. … Outro: This podcast was produced by me with the help of many music by Max Winnie, logo and brand design by Bree Reetz, and big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor also massive, thanks to you. The mover, who is no stranger to taking action. So go take action. I will not cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review into rating. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs that await you. There. I will. 100% not stop you from visiting wordsthatmoveme.com. If you wanna talk with me, work with me and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community. Oh, and also I will not stop you from visiting thedanawilson.com. If you're curious about all the things that I do that are not words that move me related. all right, my friend, keep it funky. I'll talk to you soon.

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