Dance with a B-E-A-T: Recreational Dance with Behaviour Analysis and Therapy for Children and Youth with Exceptionalities
MetadataShow full item record
While there is much research highlighting the positive benefits of recreational dance for typically developing individuals, there is considerably less research pertaining to individuals with unique needs, abilities and diagnoses (Burkhardt & Brennan, 2012). Evidently, there is a need for recreational dance programs that blend the proper interventions, supports and adaptations uniquely in order to support and include participants with varying abilities and challenges. The purpose of this research study was to pilot Dance with a B-E-A-T (Dance with Behavioral Analysis and Therapy), a recreational dance program with behavioral principles and therapeutic components for children and youth (7 to 12 years of age) with various exceptionalities such as neurodevelopmental disorders and/or anxiety disorders. This 8-week dance intervention program resulted in varying yet promising results across three primary domains for its three participants which were: (a) gross motor dance skills, (b) gross motor balance skills, (c) parent and child self-efficacy. Significant results showed improvements in gross motor skills across all three clients; with regards to self-efficacy however, results revealed significant changes in one out of three clients and two out of three of the client’s guardians. Further, consumer satisfaction results concluded a high level of satisfaction and program effectiveness across all three families. These findings are discussed in terms of the lack of previous research conducted within the field and the importance of therefore propelling such research in order to reach more youth with exceptionalities through alternative, enjoyable and empowering forms of therapeutic approaches.