Reflecting on Action | Creative approaches to teaching reflective practice

This project was built upon the consultation work on reflective practice undertaken by Dr. Jennifer Leigh, University of Kent. It nurtured a collaboration between Rambert School, University of Kent and University College London (UCL).

The project aimed to develop and enhance how reflective practice is taught at Rambert School to better equip the students to be working, reflective artists.

The direct beneficiaries of this research were the students participating in the project. They experienced creative methods and used them to explore their reflective and embodied learning processes, in order to facilitate their development as dance artists, enabling metacognition of their experiences.

Some experiences are hard to teach, learn, and capture, particularly when individuals are young and inexperienced. We wanted to work with 2nd year students at Rambert to guide them in using modelling, drawing, material objects, and movement and to help them learn how to reflect and express their reflections and choreographic ideas and improve their reflective practice. An introduction to theoretical models of reflection and creative approaches gave the students a vocabulary and allowed them to access and express their emotions and feelings in a way that cannot be gained through words alone.

The impact of this project was long-term as students moved into their professional careers. The project also had a direct impact on how Reflective Practice is taught at Rambert School and more specifically how it is embedded into the curriculum at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

  • Group gathered around Lego blocks sitting on the floor.
  • Two images in black and white. Paper on ground and students in chapel studio lying on the ground
  • Group sitting around Lego blocks on the floor


Two scholarly articles were co-authored between Phaedra Petsilas, Dr. Jennifer Leigh and Dr. Nicole Keller-Brown, with input from Film Ethnographer Caitriona Blackburn. These were published in: Journal for Dance Education and the Journal for Dance and Somatic Practices.

Read the article here.

A short film was also produced to document the project:


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