AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Dance talent development

by Joey Chua

Institution: University of Helsinki
Department: Department of Teacher Education
Year: 2015
Keywords: education
Record ID: 1143593
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/154463


This qualitative study examined the culture-specific forms of dance talent development. Due to the scant and uneven literature in the field of dance talent development, this study firstly aimed at exploring the various theories and research methodologies underpinning current dance talent development literature. The other aims were to better understand how various catalysts and processes enhanced dancers development at different stages and helped guide students in actualizing their potential. Hence, mapping the Finnish and Singaporean dancers and dance students talent trajectories later became the focus of this study. This dissertation consists of three sections or (dance) Acts , which are based on three sole-authored publications. Act I introduces the compilation and synthesis of empirically based articles published between 2000 2012 that dealt with the critical issues of developing dance talents across the lifespan of children, adolescents, and adults. Data from 37 accepted studies were abstracted into evidence tables relating to: (a) abilities and traits, (b) creativity, (c) motivation, and (d) social support. Findings and recommendations about future research were useful in clarifying the ontological, epis- temological, and methodological lenses adopted in subsequent studies in this dissertation. In particular, definition of dance talents should be addressed using talent development theories, and more retrospective research about successful dancers and more prospective longitudinal research about talented students should be conducted. Act II presents, via retrospective interviews, the key factors that impacted the talent development of the award-winning Singaporean (n = 4) and Finnish (n = 4) ballet and contemporary dancers. Integral to all the eight dancers success were a high level of abilities, developed psychosocial skills, supportive and knowledgeable people, optimal learning opportunities, and chance. Four dancers stories titled Nonconformist, Exemplary Dancer, Go-Getter, and Trailblazer revolving around the themes and developmental stages illustrate the markedly different pathways for achiev- ing success. The talent-development mega-model framed the discussions in Acts I and II. The perspectives of students (n = 4), parents (n = 2), teachers (n = 6), and a sibling were analyzed in Act III in order to clarify how well significant individuals have supported the exceptionally talented dance students across the different stages of their talent development. The four exceptionally talented students were enrolled in their national dance institutions the Finnish National Opera Ballet School and the Singapore Dance Theatre. Common themes that emerged from this prospective, two-year study were being there, sharing, and knowing that illustrated the types of support instrumental, emotional, and informational from families, peers, and teachers that contributed to the students development. A result of this dissertation is the creation of a conceptual framework of dance talent develop- ment that can…