A study of the role of experience in dance as a factor in identifying movement elements



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Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to compare advanced dancers, beginning dancers and non-dancers in terms of the types and degrees of perceptual responses made to selected movement elements in a dance composition. Procedure: the procedures used to obtain data for this study were: (1) to develop criteria for selection of a filmed dance composition; (2) to identify movement elements which are susceptible to visual perception; (3) to develop a numerical response instrument which would enable participants in the study to report their perceptions of movement element in commensurate ways; (4) to select three groups of subjects—advanced, beginning and non-dancers; (5) to show the dance film to the subjects and obtain their responses; (6) to treat the data statistically so as to make comparisons of advanced, beginning and non-dancers in terms of the types and degrees of perceptual responses made to movement elements in the dance film. Findings: (1) Significant differences among the advanced, beginning and non-dancers occurred in the perception of six movement element factors: (a) backward body direction, (b) straight floor pattern (c) zig-zag floor pattern (d) moderate rate of speed (e) collapsing (f) vibratory; (2) The amount of agreement among the subjects was greatest among the non-dancers, secondly among the advanced dancers, and least among the beginning dancers.; (3) The perceived degree of emphasis of the elements in the dance film was highest for the non-dancers and lowest for the advanced dancers.Â



Modern dance, perceptual responses, dance composition