• Multidisciplinary predictors of adherence to dance: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

      Aujla, Imogen; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2015-01)
      Little is known about the predictors of adherence in a dance context. The aim of this study was to investigate adherence to a dance talent programme using a multidisciplinary set of variables representing psychological correlates of adherence, maturation and physical factors relating to dance talent. Psychological (passion, motivational climate perceptions, eating attitudes), physical competence (vertical jump height, handgrip strength, hamstring flexibility, external hip rotation, aerobic fitness), and maturation-related (age of menarche) variables were gathered from female students enrolled on a dance talent programme. Participation behaviour (adherence/dropout) was collected from the talent programme's records approximately two years later. Logistic regression analysis of 287 participants revealed that greater levels of harmonious passion predicted greater likelihood of adherence to the programme, and greater ego-involving motivational climate perceptions predicted less likelihood of adherence. Neither measures of physical competence nor maturation distinguished adhering from dropout participants. Overall, the results of this study indicate that psychological factors are more important than physical competence and maturation in the participation behaviour of young talented dancers.
    • Technological cognitive embodiment and the digital ‘other’

      Douse, Louise Emma; University of Bedfordshire (2015)
      This paper extends on Don Ihde’s theories of human/ technology relations in order to clarify the affective interactive experience of self with ‘other’ as mediated by technology. It offers a new conceptualization of world, technology and other within digital performance research. The paper argues that technologies such as motion capture can be utilised in the storing and representing of embodied cognitive skills as in dance improvisation, in which knowledge in the body is articulated through motor skill. This ability to store and manipulate enables interaction with the world, and thus with an ‘other’ via a digital double.
    • A longitudinal examination of the relationship between perfectionism and motivational climate in dance

      Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Hill, Andrew P.; Cumming, Jennifer; Aujla, Imogen; Redding, Emma (Human Kinetics, 2014-08-01)
      The present study examined the relationship between dance-related perfectionism and perceptions of motivational climate in dance over time. In doing so, three possibilities were tested: (a) perfectionism affects perceptions of the motivational climate, (b) perceptions of the motivational climate affect perfectionism, and (c) the relationship is reciprocal. Two hundred seventy-one young dancers (M = 14.21 years old, SD = 1.96) from UK Centres for Advanced Training completed questionnaires twice, approximately 6 months apart. Cross-lagged analysis indicated that perfectionistic concerns led to increased perceptions of an ego-involving climate and decreased perceptions of a task-involving climate over time. In addition, perceptions of a task-involving climate led to increased perfectionistic strivings over time. The findings suggest that perfectionistic concerns may color perceptions of training/performing environments so that mistakes are deemed unacceptable and only superior performance is valued. They also suggest that perceptions of a task-involving climate in training/performing environments may encourage striving for excellence and perfection without promoting excessive concerns regarding their attainment.
    • LandMark: dance as a site of intertwining

      Carr, Jane (Intellect, 2014-06-01)
      In the performance installation, LandMark (2011), dancers Deborah Saxon and Henry Montes and the visual artist Bruce Sharp explore both the facticity of human experience and the frailty of connections between people and between them and the world that they inhabit.1 I suggest that their work may also be understood to probe the complexities of the interrelationships between consciousness-world and self-other that are the focus of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s text, ‘The intertwining-the chiasm’. His analysis of intercorporeality is particularly relevant to understanding the significance of the dancers’ somatic investigations that inform their artistic practices. Further, by drawing on developments upon Merleau-Ponty’s work in ecological aesthetics and social philosophy, I explore how the artists’ creative practices may be understood to foster intercorporeal negotiations of significance. This is suggested to be of increasing importance within an intracultural context in which people have a complex variety of cultural experiences even while sharing in a national identity.
    • Developing talent among young dancers: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

      Aujla, Imogen; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma; Jobbins, Veronica (Taylor & Francis, 2014-04-28)
      The identification and development of talent is a key concern for many dance educators, yet little research has been conducted in the area. In order to understand better how to optimise dance talent development among young people, systematic and rigorous research is needed. This paper summarises and discusses the key findings of a ground-breaking longitudinal interdisciplinary research project into dance talent development. Over two years, almost 800 young dancers enrolled at one of the eight nationwide Centres for Advanced Training (CATs) participated in the project. Physical factors, psychological characteristics, and injury data were collected quantitatively while the students' thoughts and perspectives on commitment, creativity and cultural variables were captured using qualitative methods. The largest study of its kind, the project yielded a wide range of findings with a number of practical implications. The main focus of this paper is on how the project findings apply to important pedagogic topics such as audition criteria, passion and commitment, and teaching behaviour. The area of talent identification and development is complex, yet this research has begun to shed new light on the notion of talent and has provided novel insights to support its development.
    • The relationship between passion and the psychological well-being of professional dancers.

      Padham, Melissa; Aujla, Imogen; New York University; University of Bedfordshire (Michael Ryan Publishing, 2014-03)
      The Dualistic Model of Passion defines passion as an intense desire or enthusiasm for a self-defining activity that people love, consider important, and devote significant amounts of time and energy to. The model proposes two distinct types of passion, harmonious (HP) and obsessive (OP). HP occurs when the activity is autonomously internalized into the individual's life and identity, while OP is a result of a controlled internalization of the activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and type of passion professional dancers have for dance in relation to their psychological well-being, specifically eating attitudes, self-esteem, and perfectionism. Participants were 92 professional dancers, aged 19 to 35 years (M = 27.03, SD = 3.84), and mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Results revealed that HP positively predicted self-esteem (SE), while OP positively predicted self-evaluative perfectionism (SEP), conscientious perfectionism (CP), and disordered eating attitudes (EAT-26). Additionally, SEP was found to mediate the relationship between OP and EAT-26, suggesting that OP may lead to SEP, which could in turn motivate disordered eating. Overall, the results of this study have supported and extended previous research suggesting that the two types of passion can have divergent effects on aspects of psychological well-being. Findings indicate that HP should be encouraged and OP discouraged among dancers, for example, via autonomy supportive behaviors of teachers.
    • The identification and development of young talented dancers with disabilities

      Aujla, Imogen; Redding, Emma (Taylor & Francis, 2014)
      There is a general recognition of the lack of progression routes for dancers with disabilities. Alongside this, there is a lack of understanding of how best to identify and develop talent among young disabled dancers. The current study sought to address this gap in the literature by investigating criteria that might be appropriately applied when auditioning young disabled dancers and then exploring important practical considerations for training and talent development. To this end, 18 expert dance practitioners working in the integrated dance sector were interviewed about their audition and training methods; this data was supported through the gathering of existing talent criteria which is used to assess young disabled dancers and observations of four specialist dance groups’ technique class. Content analysis revealed that movement quality (rather than specific technical skills), creative potential, passion and a strong work ethic are the most important and appropriate criteria with which to identify talent among young disabled dancers. In terms of training, knowing the dancer and his or her support needs before training commences appears crucial, as does adopting an open, flexible approach to teaching. High standards should consistently be set, while pacing and adaptation are key practical considerations. The results of this study offer practical recommendations to educators working in integrated and/or talent settings with young disabled dancers.
    • A qualitative investigation of commitment to dance: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

      Aujla, Imogen; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma (Taylor & Francis, 2013-08-13)
      Commitment to an activity forms an essential part of the talent development process, yet little is known about the reasons why young people commit to dance training. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that affect young dancers’ commitment to a selective dance talent scheme. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 committed dancers and transcripts were content analysed. Enjoyment was the most important factor relating to commitment, and stemmed from several sources such as self-expression, movement sensations and feelings associated with performing. Relationships with dance peers and teachers, parental support and the opportunities available on the scheme also enhanced commitment. While some potential barriers to participation were identified, such as concerns about injury, these seemed insufficient to affect the participants’ commitment. The results of the study may help educators to develop young dancers’ talents optimally by enhancing their commitment to training.
    • Injuries among talented young dancers: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

      Steinberg, N.; Aujla, Imogen; Zeev, A.; Redding, Emma; Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences; University of Bedfordshire; Trinity Laban Conservatoires of Music and Dance (Thieme Publishing, 2013-07-30)
      The aim of the present study was to characterize the injuries of young dancers attending Centres for Advanced Training. 806 dancers, ages 10-18 years responded to surveys regarding their biological profile, dance experience and injury history, and were examined for their anthropometric profile. Of the 806 dancers, 347 reported an injury. Based on 4 age groups, the total hours of practice per week increased significantly with increasing age. Incidence of injuries per 1000 h of dance practice for dancers ages 11-12 were found to be significantly higher compared to the incidence for dancers ages 13-18 (p<0.05). Foot and ankle and other lower extremities were the most common injury location, and muscle injuries were the most common type of injury. Total months in CAT training (OR=1.044, 95% CI=1.014-1.075) and hours per week in creative style practice (OR=1.282, 95% CI=1.068-1.539) were found to be significantly associated with injuries. In conclusion, both young and mature dancers are exposed to extensive risk of injury. The intensity of training (such as number of months and number of hours of training per week) is important factor that should be taken into account in order to decrease future injuries among young dancers.
    • The creative dancer

      Farrer, Rachel; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2013-05-07)
      This article explores the creative role of contemporary dancers within the choreographic process, and introduces the question of why their creative contribution is often overlooked? It highlights how different modes of creativity can be understood, and what impacts different choreographic processes have on the way dancers understand their creative input. By analysing such processes, the article aims to address issues relating to the role dancers play in creating new dance work; the relationship that might be found between approaches to choreography and ways dancers perceive their creativity. Three professional dance companies based in the UK are used as case studies to explore these ideas, each working on different projects. The dancer’s experiences are explored and examined to offer a new framework for analysing their practice that focuses on the realities of their creative role.
    • Barriers to dance training for young people with disabilities

      Aujla, Imogen; Redding, Emma (Wiley, 2013)
      Dance is a viable and enjoyable activity – and potential career – for young people with disabilities, yet they face several barriers to participation and training. The aim of this article, by Imogen J. Aujla of the University of Bedfordshire and Emma Redding of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, is to review the literature on barriers to dance training for young disabled people and to put forward practical recommendations for overcoming these challenges. The main barriers identified were aesthetic, attitudinal, training-related and logistical in nature, with further barriers related to physical access and a lack of knowledge or available information about opportunities. One of the key recommendations for overcoming these barriers is to build an effective network between special and mainstream schools, dance studios, youth dance groups and professional integrated dance companies in order to encourage dance participation at a range of levels and support young disabled people throughout their dance journeys.
    • Ecologies of choreography: three portraits of practice

      Ashley, Tamara (Intellect, 2012-12-06)
      How are dance artists dealing with ideas about environmental change in their everyday practice? How are discourses of environmental change contributing to the development of new ways of thinking about choreographic practice and the role of the dance artist in contemporary society? By sharing portraits of practice of three ecologically concerned dance artists, Eeva-Maria Mutka, Tim Rubidge and Nala Walla, this article offers some insight into what might constitute ecological choreographic practices.
    • Re-remembering the (almost) lost jazz dances of 1980s Britain

      Carr, Jane (Taylor and Francis, 2012)
      A case is made to consider, through the historical process of re-remembering, the styles of jazz dancing practiced in clubs in Great Britain in the early 1980s as an important aspect of British dance heritage. A particular jazz dance battle that took place between dancers from the groups IDJ (I Dance Jazz) and Brothers in Jazz serves as a focus for the discussion of how a generation of dancers established hybrid British styles of virtuosic dancing. In so doing they generated new forms of dance praxis that challenge received categories bifurcating dance into social versus theatrical dancing and popular culture versus high art.
    • Understanding disability studies and performance studies

      Walker, Imogen J. (Taylor and Francis, 2012)
      There is a general recognition of the lack of progression routes for dancers with disabilities. Alongside this, there is a lack of understanding of how best to identify and develop talent among young disabled dancers. The current study sought to address this gap in the literature by investigating criteria that might be appropriately applied when auditioning young disabled dancers and then exploring important practical considerations for training and talent development. To this end, 18 expert dance practitioners working in the integrated dance sector were interviewed about their audition and training methods; this data was supported through the gathering of existing talent criteria which is used to assess young disabled dancers and observations of four specialist dance groups’ technique class.
    • Climate change in the dance studio: findings from the UK centres for advanced training

      Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Quested, Eleanor; Walker, Imogen J.; Redding, Emma (American Psychological Association, 2012)
      Little is known regarding the stability of motivational climate perceptions, or how changes in climate perceptions affect performers. As a result, dancers' perceptions of the prevailing climate within both regional centers for talented young people and local dance schools were assessed longitudinally and in relation to dance class anxiety and self-esteem. Dancers (M age = 14.41, SD = 2.10; 75.7% female) completed standardized questionnaires approximately 6 months apart (Time 1 n = 327; Time 2 n = 264). Both climates were perceived as more task- than ego-involving, but talent center climates were perceived as more task-involving and less ego-involving than local climates. However, dancers found that talent centers became more ego-involving from the middle to the end of the school year, and this change predicted increases in anxiety. Changes in climate perceptions did not predict changes in self-esteem. Results point to the benefits of climates low in ego-involving features if dancers are to experience less anxiety around performance time.
    • A mixed methods investigation of dropout among talented young dancers: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training.

      Walker, Imogen J.; Nordin‐Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma; Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London (J Michael Ryan, 2012)
      The aim of this study was to understand reasons for dropout from a dance-talent program in the UK, using a mixed methods design. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten dropout students to explore the influencing factors in their decision to leave the program. In order to triangulate these findings, reasons for dropout were then examined from descriptive records of 147 young dancers who had withdrawn from the talent program over a four-year period. Overall, the most frequently cited reasons for dropping out were conflicting demands, change in aspirations, course content, difficulty making friends, and lost passion. Injury, financial factors, low perceived competence, and teacher behavior emerged as minor reasons. Intervention strategies that focus on changes in course content may be the easiest to implement and most effective means to enhance student retention.
    • Cultural background variables in dance talent development: findings from the UK centres for advanced training

      Sanchez, Erin N.; Aujla, Imogen; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M. (Taylor and Francis, 2012)
      This study is a qualitative enquiry into cultural background variables – social support, values, race/ethnicity and economic means – in the process of dance talent development. Seven urban dance students in pre-vocational training, aged 15–19, participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were inductively analysed using QSR International NVivo 7.0. Further deductive analysis revealed that the findings were in line with the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. Results indicated that social environments positively influenced dance students’ feelings of psychological well-being, self-esteem and motivation, which in turn supported the transformation of aptitude into dance talent. Social benefits, such as building close friendships, facilitated learning and encouraged persistence during more difficult periods of dance training.
    • Motion in place: a case study of archaeological reconstruction using motion capture

      Dunn, Stuart; Bailey, Helen; Norman, Sally Jane; Woolford, Kirk (2012)