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Baxter, Ashley. Participation in Ballroom Dancing: The Effects on the Social and Emotional Intelligence of Adolescents. Unpublished Master of Arts thesis, University of Northern Colorado, 2020. The goal of this study was to determine the impact that ballroom dancing had on the social and emotional intelligence of adolescents as well as to examine which areas of social and emotional intelligence were most affected by participating in ballroom dancing. In the text Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice, there are five competencies of social-emotional intelligence as defined by Celene E. Domitrovich et al.: “. . . self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making” (6). The researcher examined the effect that ballroom dancing had on four out of five of these social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies including: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship skills. The researcher did not collect data on how ballroom dancing affected the responsible decision making of adolescents in order to narrow the scope of the study. The researcher explored two research questions in this study, which were: Q1 What potential overall effect does participating in ballroom dance have on the social and emotional intelligence of adolescents? Q2 Which aspects of social and emotional intelligence are best promoted by participation in ballroom dance? The researcher instructed participants in ballroom dance for five weeks in order to collect data to answer the above research questions. She collected data through both quantitative and qualitative measures including pre- and post-surveys, observation checklists, and pre- and post- interviews. There were a total of thirteen participants who completed the study and they were between fifteen and eighteen years old. One implication from this study was the data collected may suggest that the participants experienced an improvement in all four of the SEL competencies that were assessed including: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship skills. The two SEL competencies that were most positively affected as an outcome of this study were the self-awareness and self-management of the participants. Some limitations of the study included the fact that the researcher was also the instructor of the dance lessons, the small sample size of participants, the length of the study, and the intermittent attendance of some participants at times. Additionally, the instructor only had the opportunity to teach rhythm ballroom dances and not smooth dances due to the COVID-19 school closure. There were also some limitations in the data collection including that the post-interviews had to be conducted electronically and the data collection tools were not tested for validity. Finally, all the data collected did not show growth in the SEL competencies; the researcher only reviewed the data which demonstrated the most growth in the participants in this thesis.

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