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The Development of Imagery in Dance

Part I: Qualitative Findings from Professional Dancers

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Abstract:

A series of two studies was undertaken to investigate the development of imagery among dancers and how dance teachers might affect the imagery development process. The first study is reported here, the second in Part II. For the present study, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 female (n = 9) and male (n = 5) professional dancers from a range of ages and dance forms. The recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and content-analyzed with NVivo 4.0. Results fell into three categories: Early Experiences, Teachers, and Imagery Changes. Findings included few dancers having been taught about imagery, and that dancers often preferred teachers who gave plenty of images so that each dancer could use images that suited his or her own needs. As dancers became more accomplished, imagery typically changed toward more frequent, complex, and kinesthetic images. Suggestions for further research and ideas for practical application are provided.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: London Sport Institute, Middlesex University, Archway Campus, 2-10 Highgate Hill, London, N19 5LW, United Kingdom 2: University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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