Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Supervisor

Maggi Phillips


The purpose· of this case study was to explore how imagery facilitates movement quality in dance training and performance. A literature review on classifications of direct and indirect imagery and imagery in relation to neuroscience, was investigated to firstly define imagery. The confusion over defining movement quality led to a literature review on Kinesiology and Gaga methods and how these dance-training methods utilise imagery in different ways to enhance the movement quality of dance in training and performance. Qualitative research methodology was used in this case study. The case study used a purposeful sample of eight subjects who were undergraduate and post gradate dance students in Australia. The data was gathered with the aid of a questionnaire via email whereby subjects recorded their views and returned information via email. A questionnaire was devised to discover which imagery-based methods dance students used, in training and performance and how they might be applied. Through content analysis, the questionnaire revealed three main areas connected to the use of imagery in facilitating movement: anatomical understanding; learning and developing technique and the quality of movement. It was found that imagery was useful in relation to the alignment of the skeletal structure in combination with tactile aid to activate and re-pattern certain muscle groups and assist with ease and efficiency of movement. Imagery was also useful as a tool for learning and developing as a dancer in developing a strong mind-body connection that is supported by recent brain research on neuroplasticity. Imagery was also viewed as a useful tool to enhance the quality of movement in aesthetic, sensory, emotive and authentic ways. Overall, imagery connected to physical alignment appeared to be the most popular using. It was revealed the defining movement quality is almost impossible to measure because of subjectivity of interpretation not only from the dancer as a performer, but also due to how the audience views and understands the movement. Further research is recommended to further define movement quality in more specific terms and from different points of view and cultures.

Included in

Dance Commons