Challenges of Teaching Practice-Based Dance Art in Nigeria: The Department of Theatre and Media Arts, FUOYE Model
Dance is a symbolic art form that transcends the overall aesthetics of the body to the cultural essence of a people. It has continued to develop beyond being a cultural activity, to fulfilling other needs in the society, including economic, socio-political, educational, physical, psychological, and religious desires. The rate of development in dance genres/forms and choreographic styles globally is quite intriguing and a herculean task to the contemporary dancer and choreographer in Nigeria, especially in the area of producing quality dancers and choreographers from Nigeria's institutions of higher learning, through a well crafted curriculum and training. This article, therefore, examines the challenges that confront dance studies in Nigeria through a qualitative study, which includes participant observation in the collection of data while drawing from extant literature. The study argues that there is a noticeable gap between dance theory and praxis which appear to have mired the growth and development of dance education in the country. It uses the experience of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), to concretise its argument for a synergy of efforts by both formallytrained and non-formally trained professionals to be involved in the teaching and learning of dance in Nigerian tertiary institutions. The paper recommends that dance should be seen as a practical discipline wherein emphasis would be on the practical aspects. There is also the need to integrate the non-formally educated practitioners into the academic system where professionally trained and educated dance educators are lacking.
Keywords: Dance, Aesthetics, Curriculum, Choreographer, Cultural essence, FUOYE