“I would suggest that this generates an unfair exchange in that scholars seem to think they can dip into the arts, but are very nervous when artists move into scholarship.”
– Shannon Rose Riley, page 121 in Practice as Research in the Arts by Nelson
“This new provision meant a lot to endangered arts departments, departing from the usually held opinion that they did not belong in the academy because they were applied disciplines…” Nelson, p. 119
Could the argument be made that the hard sciences are applied disciplines? And if so, why are they in the academy?
We can define science as the systematic study of the natural world through observation and experiment, yielding an organized body of knowledge on a particular subject. The human [body] is undeniably a suitable subject for scientific study, and one purpose of [dance] is careful observation of one’s own [body]. This observation reveals consistent patterns that [dancers] share with one another and with teachers who direct their practice. Master [dancers] weigh these observations against their own experience and knowledge passed down from previous generations of [dance] masters, thereby generating models of the [body]. Over thousands of years, [dancers] have tested, refined, and reworked their models of the [body] based on new insights as later generations developed new [dance] techniques. Thus, over time, an organized body of knowledge has accumulated describing the nature and behavior of the [body] at a very fine level of resolution. This is one sense in which certain forms of [dance] qualify as science.
excerpted and altered from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/your-brain-as-laboratory-the-science-of-meditation/