Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours (Dance)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Dr Renee Newman


Cognitive imagery training is an effective tool in improving skill learning, technique, confidence, anxiety and arousal management, recovery, rehabilitation, and performance in dancers. Multiple studies (Abbott & Collins 2004; Hall 2009; and Nordin and Cumming 2006, 2011) have established the positive influence imagery can have on dance and sport, and numerous researchers in these fields promote the incorporation of cognitive imagery training into ‘deliberate’ practice. Cognitive imagery, in relation to dance, is the detailed imaging of the execution/performance of movement in the mind. This thesis will outline imagery use: such as the types of imagery and how it can be measured; the benefits of imagery training – especially in relation to confidence and injury; the relationship between imagery, viewing dance and the modelling technique; and how to effectively incorporate cognitive imagery training into ‘deliberate’ dance practice. This study, supported by the above literature, revolved around the research question: what is the effect cognitive imagery training and the modelling technique have on skill mastery, and confidence and creativity in improvisation and creation, when incorporated in deliberate practice? I am a pre-professional contemporary dancer and I was the principal subject (and object) of the research enquiry. Conducted over eight weeks, the study utilized publicly available video clips of a movement aesthetic and a specific movement skill as material for the cognitive imagery and modelling technique training program. Additionally, imagery as a recovery and training tool during injury and rehabilitation was investigated due to an unexpected injury that I suffered during data collection. I collected data through journaling, and video recording of the physical practice was undertaken to compare my immediate internal response to the physical session with reflective practice. I conclude that I developed physically and artistically during this time – due to the combination of imagery training and the modelling technique, physical practice, and internal and external comparative reflections on these methods using journaling and video analysis.

Included in

Dance Commons