exploring soulful research methodologies through dance – eline kieft

For my contribution to Spiritual Herstories: Soulful research in dance studies, edited by Amanda Williamson and Barbara Sellers-Young, I am exploring methodologies that acknowledge and include the soul on various levels. During both my PhD and Movement Medicine training, I regularly encountered (healing) experiences that did not fit our regular explanatory models. Through grappling with the methodological challenges of capturing these academically, I started to look for soulful methodologies that are both fuelled by the soul as well as help understand more of its mysteries. In my personal practice, dance is the place where I ask questions, take stock, re-align various parts of myself, and reconnect with meaning. The mere act of moving opens me to the unseen, and renders me more whole, more empowered, more in tune. This practice influences my work, as I literally ‘dance’ with my research as a living entity in its own right, to make sense of data, and to embody my writing. I propose an ‘alchemy of the soul’ as circular and interdisciplinary approach for studying the intangible from a variety of perspectives, to create radically inclusive research methodologies.

– Eline Kieft

Images courtesy of Eline Kieft, Christoph Frei, Henk Kieft and Jose Kieft

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