To begin with, the Philippine tinikling dance is very resourceful. It enables the participants to explore, discover and develop the natural impulse for meaningful movement. The dancers, who dance in couples, precisely and intelligently move their feet and jump between bamboo poles which are rhythmically knocked against each other (Williams, 2015). The fun begins as the pace increases. As soon as a couple makes an error, particularly due to the speed and failure to maneuver between the tinikling poles, the next couple takes over. In the process, the couple develops an exceptional shrewdness which helps them explore new ways of being on top of the game and apply the appropriate mental functions. As a result, they develop their emotional and mental personalities. This becomes the beginning of motor skill development. This means that the dance cannot be done away with despite its age.
Effective Learning Styles
Secondly, the world has realized that the Filipino dance tinikling is important in creating interesting methods of learning and enabling cultural diversity to thrive in schools. Williams (2015) asserts that the tinikling dance is not only a national dance in the Philippines but has also been included in school curricula of different countries. This means that the dance is widely accepted in educational settings as a means of helping students find learning captivating. They are exposed to a stimulus that is different from their normal routine hence developing interest in learning. In the US, for example, physical education classes have integrated tinikling. In grades K12, the tinikling dance is used as an aerobic exercise in Physical Education (PE) classes (Williams, 2015). This helps these students enhance their coordination and speed. As a result, they are able to develop the all-important interest in learning. They then transfer the interest to class and are able to excel in their studies.
Popularity in Media
In addition, the use of tinikling in other media is a depiction of how popular this over 500-year-old dance has become. The dance has been highlighted in an American sitcom, The Middle, which was aired on American Broadcasting Corporation. Sue Heck, a character in one of the episodes, had no choice but to learn and master the tinikling dance so that she could get a credit in Physical Education since it was a major requirement for her to graduate (Ruby, 2014). The dance is given such a priority. Such a positive depiction of the tinikling dance means only one thing: it is a very important art that can neither be ignored nor underestimated. It is interesting to find such an old dance being depicted in such a sitcom yet there are new and more modern types of dances. This depiction demonstrates the popularity of the modern tinikling and depicts the place it holds in contemporary society. It is indispensable.
Cultural Diversity and Inclusion
Furthermore, the tinikling dance is indispensable because it promotes the appreciation of a diversity of cultures. When people appreciate the uniqueness of other cultures, harmony is achieved. Williams (2015) emphasizes that one of the main ways of promoting the appreciation of diversity is the work of art. Of the many works of art that may help in promoting cultural diversity, the tinikling art has been identified as the most popular (Zhu et al., 2016). Young people are able to learn about different cultures and appreciate them. As a result, vices such as bullying are curbed. Simple steps and rhythms of the tinikling dance are taught so as to meet the learning standards. The fun associated with this exercise helps the young students learn about others and appreciate them hence avoid harassing them. This obviously means that the tinikling dance is not only popular but also indispensable and very instrumental in promoting peace and harmony.
Contemporary Tinikling Activities
The ability of the tinikling dance to travel across the United States is credible evidence of its popularity and importance. With its permeation into the west coast, tinikling can no longer be taken for granted. According to Zhu et al. (2016), the dance is popular at various celebrations such as weddings not only in the Philippines but also in the United States. Different groups also perform it for leisure on Sunday afternoons. The dance is also performed in town gatherings. Since the dance has also been implemented in the curriculum, students have performed the dance in various school ceremonies and gatherings (Sia & Butler, 2011). This is proof that this tinikling dance which involves tapping and sliding against bamboo tinikling sticks is already popular in many parts of the world. The dance is very old but forms a very important aspect of entertainment. Having gone beyond the borders of the Philippines is enough to demonstrate its ingenuity.
Rich Tinikling Dance History
Also, the tinikling dance has been recognized in its country of origin. As mentioned earlier, the dance is said to have originated from the Philippines. In fact, nature and background of tinikling are really distinctive as in the Philippines were rice farmers who had to protect their rice from destructive birds named tikling, the word from which the tinikling dance was derived (Sia & Butler, 2011). According to Sia and Butler (2011), rice, a staple food in the Philippines, had to be protected by whatever means. The tikling birds would jump rhythmically as they evaded the bamboo poles set to get rid of them. This really fascinated these farmers who eventually came up with the term tinikling dance. In fact, due to the tinikling dance origin, the dance needs high levels of concentration and stamina in imitating the tikling birds movement. The dancers have to be careful not to have their feet caught as the sound of the bamboo poles and speed increase. To prove the importance and popularity of this dance, the Philippines honor it as a national dance (Sia & Butler, 2011). This means that no particular person in the Philippines is oblivious of the tinikling dance. It is held in very high regard. Since the popularity of this dance goes beyond the borders of the Philippines, it is only logical to argue that not only is it a national but also an international dance. This efficiently demonstrates the fact that it is indispensable.
Dancing Is the Most Enjoyable Activity
Finally, the movements applied in the tinikling dance have been very significant in making the dance unique and popular beyond its country of origin. Basically, each of the dancers begins on one side of the poles and uses their left foot first. After the initial count, they jump to the middle on their right foot, leap on the third count and finally jump on their left foot on the other side (Sia & Butler, 2011). Characteristics of tinikling might seem complicated for a beginner. However it is pretty easy and enjoyable for those who are used to the dance. It is such tinikling steps and movements that make the dance be appropriately referred to as the tinikling dance. This is because the movements have to imitate those of the tikling bird. As the dance goes on, the tapping and beating of the poles is increased and as a result, the dancers have to increase their leaps, not forgetting to make calculated movements.
This variety of dance was a real eye opener. As an individual, I had previously come by the tinikling dance but had not paid any attention to it. Some friends had introduced it to me at school but I was not interested. I did it for a while but I found the steps too difficult to follow. As a result of my orientation, the hip-hop dance was the best. However, after a thorough research on philippine folk dance tinikling, I have realized that it is very interesting. The steps are easy to learn if one is willing. Honestly, at first, I had felt like an outsider since I was not able to understand the moves as I watched the dance on YouTube. However, as soon as I mastered the basics, I was able to enjoy watching as well as trying the moves. This made me also understand the reasons behind the popularity outside the Philippines. The research helped me in significantly changing my perception about indigenous dances. I realized that the general world views that may have been ignored could turn out to be the most significant. I had ignored the tinikling dance, only to learn that it is one of the most popular dances in the world.
Capello, P. (2015). How Culture Shapes Dance/Movement Therapy Education: Unique Aspects Throughout the World. The 2014 International Panel. Am Journal of Dance Therapy, 37(1), 16-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10465-015-9191-z
Ruby, B. (2014, November 18). US sitcom features PH Tinikling folk dance. Kicker Daily News. Retrieved from www.kickerdaily.com
Sia, C. & Butler, L. (2011). The Bamboo Dance. Hartford, CT: Hartlyn Kids.
Williams, S. (2015). Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art. Dance Research Journal, 47(01), 96-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0149767715000091 www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SqZRQWC6AQ
Zhu, W., Heil, D., Alforque-Tan, R., & Angosta, A. (2016). The Metabolic Equivalent for Tinikling. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, 48, 846. http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000487534.13804.43
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