Effect of Skilled Dancers' Focus of Attention on Pirouette Performance
Extant attentional focus research has largely examined movement tasks that are outcome-focused (e.g., height of jumps, force production, and number of successful turns) with fewer studies of the movement quality or form of an aesthetic discipline (e.g., dance, gymnastics, and ice-skating). In this study, both movement form and outcomebased measures were used to assess the performance of a pirouette. Thirteen skilled dancers performed pirouettes on a force plate under three trial conditions: control (no focus instruction), external focus instruction, and internal focus instruction. Assessment of the dancers' performance was quantified by 1. variability of postural sway, 2. duration of balance sustained, and 3. quality of movement form as rated by four experienced dance teachers. To corroborate the quantitative findings, dancers' perspectives were included in the study. Statistical analysis showed that the quality of a pirouette under the influence of external or internal focus instructions did not differ in any of the measured dependent variables. However, when the results were interpreted in the context of participants' perspective, there was a perceived improvement with either the prescribed external or internal focus over the control condition.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Blk 232 Compassvale Walk #04-452, Singapore 540232;, Email: [email protected] 2: University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Publication date: September 1, 2018