A life between us : exploring embodied and relational aspects of a post-heroic approach to leading and following through dance
Van Loggerenberg, Charene (Griggs)
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Citation:Van Loggerenberg, C. (2019). A life between us: Exploring embodied and relational aspects of a post-heroic approach to leading and following through dance (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Creative Practice). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4640
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4640
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can dance contribute to a better understanding of the embodied and relational aspects of a post-heroic approach to leading and following? ABSTRACT: Society’s investment in the leader-as-hero myth is significant. From this perspective hero-leaders, usually male, are adored as powerful, objectified, disembodied and rational individuals. This approach can lead to the lionization of leadership, where leadership is seen as an exclusive and perhaps elusive domain reserved for those blessed with natural gifts from birth or for a chosen few groomed to follow predetermined guidelines for leadership success. This research is informed by an alternative approach to the mainstream hero-leader paradigm. Its aim is to shift the focus away from understanding leadership as a phenomenon centred around the powerful individual leader exhibiting particular traits and behaviours, to an understanding of leadership as an embodied and relational process of leading and following, where new practices and insights are created in interaction. Drawing on the synergies I identify between dance and a post-heroic approach to leading and following, my analysis identifies a leadership continuum. Here, the embodied and relational process of leading and following, as experienced within the three partner dances of Tango, Piloting and TACTICS, is conceptualised as a fluid process that can fluctuate between two approaches, where heroic-leadership is at the one end of the spectrum and post-heroic approaches are at the other end. This study thus demonstrates that dance can enrich our understanding of a postheroic approach to leadership,where the focus is on the embodied experiences of an individual in relation to others and the process of leading and following is coconstructed, collaborative and shared, consequently contributing to the growing scholarly research that seeks to consider an alternative approach to the mainstream hero-leader perspectives.