Friday, 16 November 2012

Sources of information

Friday 16th November 2012

Reflecting back on all that I've done so far, I feel as though I have managed to explore many ideas and I have been discussing issues that have never crossed my mind before. I feel as though I am developing well and now able to criticise and take on different views. It has been so interesting reading the ideas of other students and to see how every individual is dealing and working with the set tasks. Engaging in the tasks and topics, I have been on time and focused. I have been enjoying the work and reading and am now fully aware of how good and quite essential critical reflection is.

From what I have learnt and researched in these three modules, I have summed up my current top 5 most important sources of information. They are as follows:

1. Personal contacts - As discussed in previous blogs, I have become more aware over the past couple of years that a lot of professional networking comes from 'who you know'. We can find out about many jobs, auditions, meetings etc through our friends or professional colleagues. Simply by discussing our similarities and the routine of our professional practices, we are able to further our knowledge and become aware of any events that we can attend to develop and improve ourselves as professionals. Personally, I have been able to discover jobs applications and possible opportunities through my friends. They have connections themselves which can help me out. Without these personal contacts, there would be several jobs that I would not have applied for purely because I would not have been aware of them and I would not have had those that I know to 'put a good word in' for me. It is so important to keep your options open and allow your network (both personal and professional) to continue to grow. You may meet someone through a friend that could be a potential employer or attend an event where you get noticed - you then keep that person as a contact/connection in the professional world.

2. Social networking (Facebook) - I know it may seem a bit odd to have Facebook in my top 5 but I have discussed it on several occasions and although it is known to be a 'social' network, I think it also plays  a major role in professional networks. Through Facebook we are able to learn more about people, we can see the lifestyle they lead and whether there are similarities between them and ourselves. As mentioned on several occasions, we can all join Facebook 'groups' which allow us to share and discuss as well as view thoughts, ideas and images with people that have the same interests and live similar lives. These groups are an excellent way to communicate with those following comparable professional practices. 

3. Interviews (auditions) - Having been to several auditions in the past, I learnt a lot from both the panel of judges and the other dancers that were attending. All being put in the same situation and all going for the same job meant that, naturally, you would talk to one another. The same applies in my professional practice now, with job interviews. Having been to two this week I became fully aware of the connections that you can make and just by talking with those who are there, I learnt more about the jobs themselves and what else is around. I spoke to an employee of the business and she was able to tell me more about the role and what it involved. I also spoke to others attending the interview and learnt that sometimes it is best just to make your face seen by handing in your CV personally to managers etc. Having been to the interviews, if I do end up being unsuccessful this time, the employers have now met me (and, in a sense, are contacts - point 1.), they may be able to remember me for possible future positions and opportunities

4. BAPP students - Without all of the other students and their blogs, none of us would be able to discuss or be critical of one another's work and we certainly wouldn't be able to learn more about our individual professional practices. I have found it fascinating so far learning more and more about everyone and seeing how their work has developed over these three modules. It is brilliant both giving and receiving feedback because not only does it develop our critical reflection skills, we then are given responses which help us think of new ideas or look at something from another angle. (Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful comments!) I am already seeing a mixture of contrasts and similarities between mine and other's work. Claire Orlandi ( has recently commented on my 'Theories relating to networking' blog, she too has seen links between my thoughts and her own. She commented:
"I have just posted about cooperation and then read your blog and realised we have some similar ideas, I even posted about "survival of the fittest" is true that if we look at evolution that is the way the world works!" 
Also, although we are going down different career paths, I can see some similarities between myself and Hannah Stewart ( Hannah talks about the usefulness of Web 2.0: 
"We can use it to network, advertise our talents on youtube, a website to show the world how amazing we are, source information about up and coming auditions (the stage, casting call pro, star now etc), research shows, blog, look at online magazines such as the stage, whats on stage, have our online Cv's on spotlight, the list is endless!"
I completely agree with this and some of her thoughts link to mine on Facebook and social networking. She also discusses that 'friends in the industry' are a key source of information, linking to my thoughts on personal contacts.
It is interesting to know that there are others with the same ideas as me and it will be great to keep in touch to 'compare notes' and to also pick out the differences we may have. 
I feel that we can link these blogs to the idea of cooperation, if none of us took part and did the required work, we would have no ideas to work from and nothing to discuss. Although we are all in separate places and a lot of us leading down different career paths, we can still work together and provide help and support through out. 

5. Books - I read a lot. I enjoy all sorts - novels, fiction, factual, documentation, historical, scientific etc. I am constantly learning through reading. Whether I learn similarities between the characters and the people in my life or learning facts about the world and it's history. Having good general knowledge and continually learning enables me to make comparisons with the words on the page to my own life, surroundings and personal connections. I have done an adequate amount of reading on Dance Movement Therapy - the career I am considering. Before reading 'Dance Movement Therapy: Theory and Practice' by Helen Payne, my knowledge on it was honestly quite poor. This book gave me a real insight to the reasons and meanings behind this form of therapy and with examples and quotes etc it allowed me to really get a sense of the job and what it involved. It made my interest in the subject grow and I now want to learn more (hence wanting to do the MA after gaining this degree!) I have read books about certain lifestyles conditions that people I know suffer from, to get a better idea of how they live and what they go through. I have also read novels such as 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte which has been an inspiration for art work. It is amazing how much we learn from books and how much they can help us develop or increase our knowledge of a certain subject. I know that nowadays we can use a search engine i.e. Google and find all the answers we need (which don't get me wrong, I do use), but I still love books and letting my mind get stuck into the words I am reading.

Having looked back on these, there are plenty of other ways in which we can source information. A few other examples I have thought of are:

  • Business cards - always have them at the ready, or take them from other people when offered. You never know when you'll need that certain person, or when they may need you and your assistance!
  • Lectures/classes - there are several meetings and lectures that we can go to, whether they be linked with our BAPP course or general life issues and subjects. We can always learn more from the lecturers, but also the other people attending.
  • Community/charity events - an excellent way to meet new people, making connections with those sharing similar interests.


  1. Your thoughtful post demonstrates how you are developing deeper critical skills. About learning from lecturers I would prefer if you learned from your own resources, sources of information and professional networks. I see my role (lecturing) as more facilitating YOUR learning as opposed to transferring any knowledge. Well done

  2. Hi Emily,

    I enjoyed reading this blog as I can tell its a really thought out piece of work. I agree with your comment about the blogs and liked the fact you linked it in with cooperation. Its so true that if none of us did the work or commented on each others blogs we wouldn't be able to learn from each other or have anything to share. I like you can see the similarities between my own viewpoints and others. I also find it hard to be critical towards blogs because of this. But maybe that will come in to play more in the next modules.

    I also didn't make it to the last campus session which I was gutted about as I have found the other two a valuable learning experience, but always check out the blogs that touch on it as its a good way to catch up on what you have missed. x

  3. Hi Emily,

    It's really great to read your blogs as they always give me things to think about.

    Although we are moving in two very different worlds - mine as a dance teacher working with the same children every week - I can see that we still share common thoughts and similar networking ideals.
    I will also be putting personal contacts in my 'Top 5' as I find the people I meet in both my personal and professional life all provide me with support, knowledge, ideas, and information.
    Some of your contacts will be completely different from mine - we live far away from each other & we have different career paths - but some of our contacts may overlap, for example, BAPP colleagues and dance professionals, and that fact fascinates me. A world as big as ours and yet we can connect with people who, before Web 2.0 technologies, we would might never have met :)

  4. Hi Emily, I also listed the Bapp blogs as one of my top five sources of information. On my blog I state that as we are distant learners our blogs are invaluable for discussing our work (in the same way that students studying directly might discss over a coffee) but also how I use the blog for reassurance. I have been unable to attend any of the Campus sessions this module and have found other people's blogs on hose sessions invaluable as without them I would have no idea if I had grasped the 'wrong end of the stick'. I see from your blogs that you have attended most of the campus sessions but I wonder if you have also needed that reassurance?
    To tie in with your post about books, i also listed publications as one of my tope five sources. I have found 'The Stage' newspaper and the annual 'Contacts' book invaluable as resources