Embodied Pedagogies On & Offline
January 2022- Ongoing
During her fellowship at Duke University, Le Lay convenes a working group focusing on embodied pedagogies on and offline. The working group asks how diverse fields such as the performing arts, memory studies, disability studies, space studies, ethnic studies, and STEM etc. and issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, can inform our pedagogical practices on and offline? The main goal of the working group is to advocate for kinesthetic knowledge in physical and virtual classes at Duke and beyond, and for educators from diverse disciplines to learn and practice different embodied teaching tools. More information can be found here.
November 2021- Ongoing
My research during my fellowship at Duke University examines the identities and embodied and digital practices of Black and Japanese people globally. Her project aims to understand how Black and Japanese biracial people perform, negotiate, and navigate their bicultural identities in different contexts, build communities, and promote racial equity on and offline. The ethnographies are augmented by social media and video analysis of influencers and public figures such as Naomi Osaka.
Unprosecuted: Help Providing Justice to Victims of Child Sexual Abuse
June - September 2021
I was the lead researcher at 'Unprosecuted', which is a new organization that aims to provide justice to children and adults victims of child sexual abuse. Too many child sexual abuses cases go unprosecuted due to institutional and systemic issues in our legal system. By raising awareness about the prevalence of child sexual abuse and the complexities liaised to this issue trough social media and other public platforms, our hope is to change the status-quo and for victims to receive justice.
Tanuki Dance: Family Friendly Videos & Online Classes:
May 2020- Ongoing
September 2015 - June 2020
Cypher to Classroom:
An Ethnography and Choreographic Reading on Teaching and Learning and Embodied Hip Hop Pedagogies Otherwise
This ethnographic research on embodied hip hop pedagogies bridges the fields of dance studies, hip hop, and education. This dissertation sheds light on the transgressive possibilities of embodied hip hop pedagogies, a curricular and pedagogical model I developed, which resists traditional Western teaching and learning systems by placing students’ realities at the center and capitalizing on the multidisciplinary, kinesthetic, and engaged nature of hip hop culture.
In this dissertation, I perform choreographic readings of Western pedagogical and institutional spaces such as missionary buildings or classrooms and participate in action research in schools in the Inland Empire. I am particularly interested in the tensions between hip hop and Western hegemonic epistemologies. My analysis focuses on how bodies navigate their agency in these Western institutional spaces and how they resist and challenge such spaces through movement and hip hop.
This research introduces the concepts of choreography of the classroom and critical moving and reinterprets the concept of the otherwise through a new valance (otherwise cypher, call-and-response and knowledge otherwise). The overall aim of this dissertation is to improve the current Eurocentric and disembodied culture of education through hip hop and movement. Embodied hip hop pedagogies can help future scholars, educators, and community leaders connect with students through popular culture and non-static teaching and learning. By placing hip hop—an African diasporic and once marginalized culture— and movement at the center of the curriculum, this research helps legitimize non-dominant knowledges, challenges the Cartesian mind and body split, and revalidates people’ s identities, narratives, and bodies.