The Impact of Dance

I caught up today with my colleague and friend, Charné, on her great work on evaluating the outcomes of a dance therapy program, a process she has evolved over the past decades to the point where we all need to be using it to identify what works in our interventions.

First of all, watch this all the way through:

Charné and friends from Moving in the Spirit

Then, notice the multiple ways in which outcomes can be triangulated through a series of pre- and post- assessments: 1. The Piers-Harris 2 self-concept scale ( ) 2. The Developmental Assets Profile measuring the types of supports and strengths young people have and need ( ) 3. A prosocial behavior checklist to measure social connections.  All of these add up to the evaluation of an individual’s self-confidence, self-concept and leads to what Charné calls positive youth development goals.

The goals of personal empowerment, social skills, and a sense of belonging are not just for young people.  And dance as a modality for these is not limited to youth either.  In my studio, no matter who I am working with, we are also developing competencies of empowerment, interaction skills, and social engagement, on top of the physical capabilities of executing expressive movement.

It is often said that “soft” outcomes like the ones mentioned above cannot be assessed.  On the contrary, in the dance class, all is revealed, because movement is visible and shifts happen!

And this just in! FYI:


Leave a Reply