SABA 2023 Innovative Student Research, Doctoral Dissertation: Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis is a doctoral candidate at Brock University (St. Catharines, ON, Canada), under the co-supervision of Drs. Kendra Thomson and Tricia Vause. The 2023 Innovative Student Research Dissertation Grant will support Sarah in leading three studies that evaluate the application of behavior analysis in dance education. In Study 1, Sarah will conduct a scoping review of the behavioral dance literature to provide a descriptive overview of this literature and identify gaps that need to be addressed. In Study 2, Sarah will expand upon the positive outcomes of her previous research1 by virtually training dance instructors to implement TAGTeach™ and directly examine the effects of their implementation on dancers’ performance and dance experience. Study 2 may facilitate the uptake of TAGteach™ in the dance community and contribute to our understanding of the implications of TAGteach™ on dancers. In Study 3, Sarah will assess the relative differences between a behavioral coaching strategy (immediate acoustical feedback) and a traditional teaching method (delayed vocal feedback) on dancers’ performance and satisfaction. Findings from Study 3 may be used inform the focus of future training approaches applied in the dance setting. Sarah aims that her research will build capacity in the dance sector by providing accessible training opportunities and on-going manualized resources. In turn, Sarah hopes that this research will foster a supportive dance culture (among dance instructors and dancers) that maximizes the benefits of dance.

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