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Using the Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) for Profiling and Counseling Dancers

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Abstract:

In a previous report the authors used the Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS), a personality profiling instrument that is well established in the world of sport, for the first time with dancers. Two groups of subjects, one composed of elite professional ballet dancers (n = 41), the other of conservatory dance majors (n = 42), were compared in the interest of exploring the feasibility of developing a psychological profile of the dancer's personality. The present study expands the subject base originally available to encompass 83 professionals and 110 students. The results achieved were virtually identical to those of the earlier sampling. Most essentially, the personality profile of the elite ballet dancer was validated as being marked by a narrow internal focus of attention, and such interpersonal characteristics as high levels of self-assurance, perfectionism, competitiveness, and need for control. It is concluded that with this profile available to represent a model personality on which success in dance may be predicated, there would be no reason not to proceed with using TAIS with dancers in the same way that it has been used for years with athletes – as a means to enhance the performance of those individuals who have made a career commitment to the field.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor Emerita, Porter College at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California 95064, and Coordinator of Dance Medicine/Science Research, Division of Sports Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 2: Freelance editor and Editorial Advisor, Division of Sports Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 3: Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Children's Hospital; Associate Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School; and Orthopaedic Surgeon to the Boston Ballet, Boston, Massachusetts 4: General Manager, John Hancock Fitness Center, Fitcorp, Boston, Massachusetts 5: Director of Biostatistics, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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