The purpose of this symposium is to present research related to the teaching of dance in higher education. All three papers make use of ethnographic tools of observation and/or interviewing in order to describe and analyze dance teaching. Two papers examine ideas, attitudes, and knowledge underlying teachers' decisions about what and how to teach dance. The third paper describes a common approach to dance teaching which the author suggests may foster negative outcomes. The content of this symposium may be significant in helping dance teachers in higher education reexamine their own teaching practice and the ideas and knowledge underlying it.
Modern Dance Teaching:
A Case Study in Negative Reinforcement
This paper presents findings from a research study on the teaching of modern dance technique, undertaken at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1991. The case study focused on the behavior of a male modern dancer teaching dance technique in the context of a college dance program for young adult students. It was assumed that such teaching approaches might be typical or common in dance. The collection of data for the study was based on the observation and audio-taping of four dance technique classes, one videotaped class, a taped interview with the teacher, and interviews with three of his students. The teacher's verbal and physical behaviors in the videotaped class were analyzed and compared to stated and implied pedagogical goals. Student behavior and feedback were also noted and interpreted. The pedagogical paradigms suggested by Mossten (1972) formed a basis for analysis. As might be expected, the teacher declared that his goal was to support the creative development of the dancer as artist and individual. This goal, the researcher argues, suggests the use of student-centered teaching modes. The findings on the teacher's verbal behavior were as follows: comments in the imperative mode -- 27; as negative feedback -- 21; as positive feedback -- 3. Thus, the teacher's behaviors fell predominantly within the "Command mode," or teacher/content-centered styles of pedagogy. Further, his feedback to students was overwhelmingly negative rather than positive. The findings from this case study suggest that typical approaches to the teaching of dance technique may not support the creative and personal development of dance students, but may rather foster dependency and conformity, and promote the formation of negative self-concepts.
The Convergence of Ballet and Modern Dance:
Ideas, Attitudes, and Methods
This paper examines the thoughts and attitudes about the convergence of ballet and modern dance by presenting the viewpoints of three ballet teachers. It also presents some of the methods employed by these ballet teachers to incorporate modern dance training aspects into ballet class. All participants were professional dancers and have taught advanced dancers on the college level. Rather than present hypotheses to be proven, this study's intention was to consider each individual's point of view as their own. An interpretive methodology was employed; the teachers were interviewed individually by the researcher. The interviews focused on questions that allowed the teachers to discuss their thoughts on the increasing affinity of ballet and modern dance and to speak about why and how they assimilated the two techniques in a ballet class. Several pre-determined questions were used as a framework for conversation during the interviews. However, through the use of dialogue, the interviewees were allowed to emphasize those aspects which they considered important. Tape recordings of the interviews were transcribed and used as the primary source of this ethnographic research. The data was analyzed and organized into these three categories: the ballet teachers' opinions on why the convergence was occurring, their reasons for adopting modern dance training concepts into ballet class, and some specific modern dance training aspects they incorporated. The findings of the study communicated the participants' concerns about the increasing demands on the contemporary ballet dancer. As dance educators, they actively sought out those modern dance training aspects they thought were important to help their dancers develop the skills needed to meet the increasing demands. Some of those training aspects included breathing, awareness of the spine, use of the floor, and use of the parallel and rotator muscles. The researcher believes the results of the investigation are valuable because no matter how strongly ballet teachers value the traditional procedures of training ballet dancers, we must constantly reexamine the technique and training of this art form.
A Study of Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Dance
This study examines the pedagogical content knowledge of an experienced modern dance teacher who taught in academic/ semi-professional settings. It describes the ways a female dance teacher thinks about the teaching of technical dance classes and their relationship to her practice. Six questions framed the study: (1) What is the source of the teachers' knowledge and beliefs? (2) What are the central organizing principles of her content knowledge of modern dance teaching? (3) On what bases does this teacher select the content for her teaching? (4) What is the instructional climate and how is it conveyed? (5) How is the content made manifest through learning tasks? (6) How do the tasks vary within a lesson, and among lessons? To answer these questions, ethnographically-oriented tools of interviewing, observation, stimulated recall, and examination of a variety of documents were used. Inductive and comparative analysis of the different data source produced a case narrative. Triangulation, member check, and peer debriefing were used to establish the trustworthiness of the study. Data analysis revealed an atypical dance teacher with a highly personal knowledge base informed by her formal study of movement sciences and by somatics. The pedagogical content knowledge of the teacher was so deeply rooted in her personal history that the subject matter taught departed from what is traditionally defined as a technical modern dance class. The data analysis led to the identification of two kinds of content knowledge: practical content knowledge, i.e., the capacity to demonstrate the spatial, temporal and dynamic configuration of the movements; and conceptual content knowledge, i.e., the capacity to explain the principles underlying the movements. The teacher had the capacity to transform her content into a variety of instructional representations developed over time as a result of thinking and experience in many different settings.
Symposium: Research in K-12 Dance Education
The purpose of this symposium is to present research related to K-12 dance education. One paper examines imaginary weight tasks among preschool and elementary school children. A second paper examines the acquisition of learning methodologies among middle school dance students. The third paper examines Cooperative Learning as pedagogy on the high school level. The papers collectively reveal important insights regarding content and methodology of K-12 dance education. This symposium should be of interest to K-12 practitioners as well as researchers in dance and physical education.
Imaginary Weight: A Pilot Study of Children
This paper examines the findings from a 1991 pilot study comparing the performances of nine children ages four to ten years old, in communicating through movement illusory or contrary-to-fact situations involving weight. The study attempts to address the larger question of how dancers develop the ability to create and represent imaginary objects or environments through movement. The research method combined experimental and interpretive components. The volunteer participants included two boys and seven girls: one White American, one West German, five African-Americans, and two Liberians. Each child was asked to perform several tasks which were videotaped and evaluated in relation to the first baseline task of carrying two empty boxes (one large, one small) across a room to place on a table. Subsequent tasks required children to pretend that a box contained something particularly light or heavy, then to transport imaginary objects -- soap bubbles and an elephant -- across the room. The videotapes were viewed and analyzed by four judges using Laban movement concepts. The aspects of movement evaluated included posture, gesture, timing, pathway, effort, strategy, and sound effects -- each scored in a range from zero to five. The judges (three dancers and one non-dancer) also ranked how successful or convincing each performance was, overall. When scores were collated, analyzed, and interpreted, findings showed a wide range of three points scored by the four year old to 135 points scored by a ten year old. In general, younger children used level and gesture (mime) to indicate changes in weight. Effort was linked to more "successful" performances by older children, particularly by two Liberian sisters, aged seven and ten. Findings suggest that children initially develop notions of symbolic weight attached to level change and gesture, and only later are able to symbolize weight using muscular resistance or effort. The researcher hypothesizes that the use of effort factors is closely aligned with expressive dance performance.
Towards a Better Understanding of Current Dance Teaching
Practices at the Secondary Level
The purpose of the study was to describe the learning objectives that were made explicit in the context of daily teaching of dance in a secondary school, along with the teaching strategies used to achieve them. Two certified dance teachers who held bachelors degrees in dance and had five years of teaching experience at the secondary level were observed as they respectively taught to 7th graders throughout the academic year 91-92. Fifteen classes were videorecorded for each teacher, and a manuscript describing teacher's and students' verbatim along with their nonverbal behaviors was produced from the videorecording of each lesson. A total of thirty manuscripts provided the raw data. In addition, each teacher was interviewed and a manuscript was produced for each interview. An inductive analysis was made of all manuscripts. Major themes of objectives that emerged from the observation data were identified. Pertinent extracts were copied on separate sheets and put in an envelope prepared for each theme. The content of each envelope was analyzed subsequently to develop the taxonomy of the sub-themes and teaching strategies involved. Manuscripts of the interviews were analyzed in the same way and compared to those of the observation data. Five major themes emerged: (1) Dance skills development; (2) Knowledge and understanding of dance concepts; (3) Acquisition of learning or working methodologies; (4) Perception of images or feelings involved in the proposed movements or stimuli; (5) Development of autonomy. The presentation will be focused on the theme "Acquisition of learning or working methodologies." Its sub-theme (learning the dance class rituals and learning of basic artistic habits) will be described along with the teaching strategies they elicited.
Cooperative Learning and Dance Education
As dance education continues to claim social skill building as one of its benefits to students, it is important that we both research and document our findings so we can support such claims. It is often stated that direct experiences with dance foster, among other things, the development of social skills. Within dance education literature, these are often vaguely defined as team work, cooperation, socialization, communication, etc. The purposes of this paper are:
* to clearly identify the specific "social skills" that can be fostered through dance education;
* to examine Cooperative Learning as a pedagogical approach that can be applied to dance education;
* to present the conclusions of an action research project that was conducted at a large urban middle school in the mid-western part of the U.S.A. wherein specific Cooperative Learning structures were employed to achieve specific educational goals;
* to report on current efforts that employ both structural and philosophical approaches to Cooperative Learning at the high school level.
Issues of teacher as researcher are woven throughout the document along with descriptions of specific methods of participant observation as they were employed. These include the use of both teacher and student journals; general video documentation as well as the use of video to record pre- and post-movement compositions and student interviews; and the use of assessment techniques to determine both student learning in dance as well as social skill development. Cooperative Learning has the potential to provide dance education with specific strategies for dealing with group work to ensure the participation of every student and to increase the learning potential of all. The methods described have been used with students who have had minimal exposure to dance as well as with highly motivated dance majors, grades 6-12. Classes have been ethnically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse and often included mainstreamed students (learning disabled, behaviorally handicapped and students with multiple disabilities).
Perceptions and Barriers of Dance Wellness-Related Curricula
in American Higher Education Dance Programs
The fields of dance medicine, science, and somatics (herein referred to as "dance wellness") have experienced exponential growth over the past 30 years. However, dance wellness-related curricula is either missing from or only minimally included in many college and university dance programs (Adams, 1983; Cardinal, 1992). Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess college and university dance program administrators' perceptions of the importance of dance wellness-related education in the preparation of dance professionals and barriers which may inhibit the inclusion of dance wellness-related curricula in higher education dance programs. Using survey methodology, data were requested from dance administrators representing 124 randomly selected college/university dance programs in the United States. Of the 88 returned surveys, 70 were usable. In the survey, dance wellness was conceptualized using a 10-component, peer-reviewed, and validated model (Cardinal, 1993). Perceptions and barriers were addressed using multiple questions and measured with a 5-point Likert scale (1 = low, 5 = high). Test-retest reliability Spearman's rho) for a sub-sample of questions by a sub-sample of the respondents ranged from .71 to .83. Internal consistency, measured using Cronbach's alpha, ranged from .71 to .81. The collective rating for all 10 dance wellness components was 4.25; the rating of dance wellness among nine other dance curricular areas was 4.31 (fifth over-all); and the collective rating for the importance of dance wellness for dancers, teachers, and choreographers was 4.60. The highest rating was given to the importance of dance wellness education for dance teachers (M = 4.87). Education in the area of dance wellness was believed to be the responsibility of dance (M = 4.3) rather than non-dance (M = 2.6) departments, t = 12.84, p [is less than] .001. The primary barriers were limited finances, time in curricula, and faculty expertise. As dance administrators perceived dance wellness education to be "important" to "very important," solutions for overcoming the primary barriers to its inclusion are needed.
Intensity Level of Ballet Class and Rehearsal
As dancers continue to strive for maximum performance, the importance of understanding physiological mechanisms that govern the dancer's ability to perform large muscle group activity is warranted. The purpose of this study was to determine the training heart rates of 13 dancers (4 males, 9 females) during ballet class and rehearsal. Subjects ranged in age from 19 to 25 years and had been studying ballet from 2.5 to 17 years and modern dance from 2.5 to 10 years. Heart rate was monitored during 26 rehearsals and 10 ballet classes. The ballet classes (M = 90 min) and rehearsals (M = 80.5 min) were in preparation for the three-act ballet, Sleeping Beauty. Heart rate was monitored with a Uniq Heart watch, which recorded the time and heart rate every minute. The information was stored and then uploaded to an Apple IIC microcomputer via an interface. A computer printout of the minute by minute heart rate values was obtained on each subject. The data were analyzed to determine the percentage of time that the dancers elevated their heart rate into a 60-90% maximum heart rate training zone as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (1990). The results indicated that the heart rate of the dancers fell within the training zone 51% of the time during ballet classes (M= 45.9 min) and 56% of the time during rehearsals (M= 45.1 min), and that the activity closely resembled interval training. These results suggest that ballet dancers achieve a moderate aerobic training effect by participating in ballet exercise.
Anaerobic Power of Female Dancers
While it is generally accepted that dance requires significant anaerobic demands, little is known regarding anaerobic characteristics of dancers. The purpose of the present study, therefore, was to examine the power and capacity of the anaerobic energy systems of performing dancers. Subjects were 12 members of a student performing jazz and ballet dance company [age (M [+ or -] SD) = 20.2 [+ or -] 1.1 (yr); weight (kg) = 58.1 [+ or -] 4.2; height (cm) = 165.9 [+ or -] 3.8]. Following informed consent and a progressive warm-up, subjects performed a Wingate test (Bar-Or, 1983) involving 30 seconds of supramaximal leg exercise on a cycle ergometer. Subjects were instructed to achieve maximal cycling velocity as soon as possible following the warm-up period and test resistance was applied according to standardized procedures. Values obtained from the test were peak anaerobic power (P-AnP) which was determined from the highest power output recorded in the initial 5 seconds and anaerobic capacity [mean power (MP)] which represented average power during the entire 30 second test period. P-An P has been previously shown to correlate highly with the capacity of the individual's phosphagen (ATP-CP) system to generate energy anaerobically while MP represents the capacity of the glycolytic system (Inbar & Bar-Or, 1986). Mean values obtained for the dancers (watts.kg[sup.-1]) for P-An P and MP were 6.91 [+ or -] .52 (SE) and 6.22 [+ or -] .48, respectively. Though limited comparative data is available, dancers in the present student exhibited somewhat lower anaerobic values than those previously reported for other female athletes (Shaw et al., 1988; Adams, 1988). It is unclear whether reduced values reflect factors inherent in dance training or are a function of related factors such as muscle fiber distribution.
Physiological Characteristics of Trained Ballet Dancers
Trained dancers present themselves as a select group of athletes. Ballet exercise requires unique skills and traits to perform complex movements. In order to sustain these movements, the dancer must be able to produce large amounts of energy both aerobically and anaerobically. The purpose of this study was to determine the physiological characteristics of 13 trained college dance majors (4 males, 9 females) ranging in age from 19 to 25 years. The subjects had studied classical ballet between 2.5 and 17 yrs. Eleven subjects were at the advanced level and two subjects were at the intermediate level. Max [VO.sub.2] was determined on the treadmill using a modified Balke protocol (M = 50.5 m1.kg[sup.-1].min[sup.-1], males; 44.4 m1.kg[sup-1].min[.sup-1] females). Anaerobic power was computed using the 30-sec Wingate Test (peak power -- males, M= 10.1 W.[kg.sup.-1], females, 9.0 W.[kg.sup.-1] mean power -- males, M = 7.9 W.[kg.sup.-1], females, 6.6 W.[kg.subp.-1]; Fatigue Index -- males, M = 44.3%, females, 43.0%). Results of the study found that Max [VO.sub.2] values were higher than a healthy sedentary population of the same age and gender. In fact, 5 of the 13 dancers fell into the "high" category, on cardiorespiratory fitness, 7 dancers fell into the "good" category, and only one dancer fell into the "average" category. Comparing the peak anaerobic power data to norm-referenced standards, the male dancers fell into the 60th percentile on absolute peak power (725.3 W), while the female dancers fell into the 70th percentile (503.5 W). On relative mean power, the men fell into the 70th percentile (7.9 W.[kg.subp.-1]). and the females fell into the 60th percentile (6.6 W.[kg.sup.-1]). Based on these results, dance majors can be considered on the low to moderate end of endurance-trained athletes comparable to university tennis and volleyball players. In addition, scores on the anaerobic power test suggest that ballet exercise also results in a moderate anaerobic training effect.…