Knowing Through Improvisational Dance: A Collaborative Autoethnography


  • Trish Van Katwyk University of Waterloo
  • Yukari Seko Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital



collaborative autoethnography, arts-based methods, dance-based research, knowledge practices, social justice


This article is a collaborative autoethnographic reflection about two dance-based research projects. Our objectives for the projects were two-fold: to practice knowledge production and mobilization in a way that diverged from dominant traditional Western scholarship, and to re-examine our engagement with the self-injury focus of previous research. With our collaborative meaning making came new dilemmas and unanticipated relationship development. Through dance and collaborative writing, we discovered a vulnerability that could cast doubt on dominant knowledge practices. As a relational praxis, two stories converged to facilitate critically reflexive perspectives and less dominant ways of knowing directed toward social justice.



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Author Biographies

Trish Van Katwyk, University of Waterloo

Dr. Trish VAN KATWYK is an assistant professor and researcher trained in social work, She is committed to social justice, and focuses on redressing the inequities created by the omission or disregard of worldviews and knowledges that lay outside of a Euro-Western ontology that would rupture the connections between being and doing in the surrounding environment. The being and doing that Trish brings to her research are collaborative and participatory. Research methods have included canoeing, dancing, cartooning, and sculpting.>

Yukari Seko, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr. Yukari SEKO is a research associate at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Trained as a critical Internet scholar with acute interest in mental health, health promotion, and social determinants of health, she aspires a career spanning communication and culture studies and health research. Her research interests include visual narratives of pain, arts-based methodology, digital health promotion, and mental health and well-being of youth transitioning into adulthood.




How to Cite

Van Katwyk, T., & Seko, Y. (2017). Knowing Through Improvisational Dance: A Collaborative Autoethnography. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 18(2).



Single Contributions