between bodies, dances and educations: a childlike experience




body, childhood, dance, education, philosophy with children


This paper is the result of reflections inspired by observing and participating in dancing sessions with children. Our experience of the latter led to the production of images that provoked a variety of questions, and invited us to think about the relationships between bodies, dance, and various forms of education. Among these questions were: what clues about the experience of human embodiment are given through observing children’s dance? What can children teach us through participating with them in this performative medium, and what are its implications for education, most especially in light of our observations of children's inventiveness in this regard? Our impressions resonate and find expression in the oeuvre of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Michel Foucault, Jan Masschelein and Manoel de Barros. Placing ourselves under their influence, we mobilized our thinking and opened ourselves to the emergent character of  their ideas, resulting in what might be called a form of “dancing-writing”  in which those two forms of expression interact. This dancing-writing is informed by and imbued with children’s lived experience: step by step, we walked the paths that they opened, recording as best we could their multisensorial approach to the world—gaze, taste, smell, sound, touch, movement. Ours was an experience of research on movement, with movement, in movement. As such, we harbor no intention to present final answers, but rather offer the reader an invitation to think philosophically and childishly. Ours is an invitation to dance with and among the questions which that very dance inspired.

Author Biographies

mayra giovaneti de barros, Unesp

Graduated in Physical Education from Universidade Estadual Paulista (2014), specialization in dance (Klauss Vianna Technique) from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (2019) and Master's in Education from Universidade Estadual Paulista (2022). She is currently a dance teacher at the secretary of culture of Rio Claro -SP, working with CAPS III and with the Women's Resocialization Center.

césar donizetti pereira leite, Unesp

Graduated in Psychology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas (1991), Master's in Education from the State University of Campinas (1996) and Ph. Madrid 2012 is Livre Docência by UNESP in 2011. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Universidade Estadual Paulista and was Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven - Belgium in 2011. He has experience in the field of Psychology, with emphasis on Psychology of Development and Education, acting mainly on the following themes: education, childhood, experience, language and teaching and learning, image production and cinema.


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How to Cite

de barros, mayra giovaneti, & leite, césar donizetti pereira. (2023). between bodies, dances and educations: a childlike experience. Childhood & Philosophy, 19, 01–28.