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How community dance leads to positive outcomes: A self-determination theory perspective

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Little is known about how community dance influences well-being. Grounded in selfdetermination theory (SDT), this study examined the relationship between dancers' perceptions of the motivational climate, basic need satisfaction (competence, autonomy and relatedness) and motivation-related variables (intrinsic motivation, enjoyment and perceived effort) in community dance. A total of 84 dancers (mean age=44.28 years, SD=20.04) regularly attending community dance groups in any style, completed a questionnaire addressing the targeted variables. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses supported a model in which dancers' perceptions of a task climate positively predicted autonomy and relatedness satisfaction. In addition, a model in which dancers' intrinsic motivation, enjoyment and perceived effort were predicted by their perceptions of the motivational climate and need satisfaction was partially supported. This study provides preliminary evidence as to the applicability of SDT to community dance and indicates the importance of promoting task-involving climates in order to foster positive experiences from community dance participation.
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Keywords: community arts; dance; motivation; self-determination theory; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Birmingham 2: Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Publication date: 11 January 2012

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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