Ashley Carney

First Committee Member

Toni C. Duncan

Second Committee Member

Christy O’Connell-Black

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Date Created



The purpose of this study was to investigate the benefit of utilizing creative dance making methods in the study of literature at the high school level. The researcher developed the following essential questions to investigate how dance making impacts student performance on comprehension questions as well as what impact this has on student confidence and self-efficacy:

Q1 What effect does the use of dance making methods have on student comprehension of short stories?

Q2 What effect does increasing the amount of dance creation time have on student comprehension of short stories?

Q3 What effect does the choreographic process have on student confidence in their own knowledge and critical reading abilities as it relates to the study of English literature?

To explore these questions, ten high school students at a private studio participated in a series of three workshops in which they engaged in the creative dance making process to turn their understanding of short stories into movement. The research methods utilized included pre- and post-tests that were developed by the researcher to address the essential questions. Some limitations of the study included the small number of participants, their level of familiarity with dance making, and the workshop processes being led by the researcher. Furthermore, the research instruments were not tested for reliability or validity.

From the analysis of the data, it may be suggested that creative dance making does have a positive impact on student comprehension of short stories. A theme of improvement in student comprehension scores was identified across the three workshops as the amount of dance making time increased. Additionally, the participant response to the impact of creative dance methods on self-confidence in personal reading skills indicated that the creative dance making processes did result in an improvement in student confidence and self-efficacy. The goal of this research was to provide support for the benefits of incorporating dance within the study of core content as well as to reflect the benefit of dance as its own academic subject within the K-12 curriculum.

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