How might specially-designed contemporary dance teaching positively affect adolescent health and well-being?

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Dance (Honours)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Associate Professor Maggi Phillips


The following discussion is centred upon the acknowledgements of the benefits to be derived from participation in the activity of dancing and Bramley’s further recognition of the significance of dance teachers. The best of these teachers access new ideas and are open-minded towards new opportunities to enhance the dance experience of the participants in their classes.

Accordingly, this thesis investigates the influence a dance teacher has on the physical and psychological benefits adolescents derive from participating in contemporary dance classes. The research questions whether adolescents, in the middle of adolescence and the accompanying physical changes, should dance and how teachers might best cater for this phase in their students’ development. The objective of this research is to examine what is considered to be good practice of dance teaching in relation to the benefits gained by adolescents within a contemporary dance class. In addition, the roles a dance teacher takes on, the choices of their teaching styles and how these decisions meet the needs of their students are discussed.

The choice of age group directly corresponds to the physical and psychological transformations, growth spurts and puberty, which occur during these years. Throughout this phase, adolescents become a more challenging group to teach, and there are specific considerations for these students that have to be taken into account by a dance teacher. As such, through incorporating experience as a practitioner with theoretical perspectives in the field, looking at the roles and responsibilities that dance teachers take on, the possible teaching methods they use, the class content planned in relation to the developing learners and how such strategies which evolve within the contemporary dance class relate back to the benefits adolescents may derive from dancing.

Access Note

Access to this thesis is restricted to current ECU staff and students. Email request to library@ecu.edu.au

Access to this thesis is restricted. Please see the Access Note below for access details.