• Characteristics of talented dancers and age group differences: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training

      Walker, Imogen J.; Nordin-Bates, Sanna M.; Redding, Emma (Taylor and Francis, 2011)
      This study investigated differences in the characteristics of talented dancers in relation to age. Physical (handgrip muscular strength, leg muscular power, hamstring flexibility and external hip rotation), psychological (passion, self-esteem and anxiety) and social (the motivational climate) characteristics were assessed in 334 students enrolled on a talented scheme. The male late adolescence group (16 to 18 years) had greater jump height than the early (10 to 12 years) and mid-adolescence groups (13 to 15 years). For both sexes, the early adolescence group exhibited the lowest and the late adolescence group the greatest grip strength values. The late adolescence group reported lower self-esteem than the two younger groups, and the two older groups reported greater perceptions of ego-involving motivational climates than the early adolescence group. Results suggest that, as some characteristics of talented dancers differ across the adolescent years, talent identification and development criteria could be adapted according to age.
    • 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.
    • The Pennine Way: the legs that made us (a return journey)

      Ashley, Tamara; Kenyon, Simone (Taylor and Francis, 2010)
    • 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.