• Stakeholders in Dance: An Intrinsic Case Study Examining Facilitator Perspectives of Dance with a B-E-A-T

      Pontone, Madeline; Center for Applied Disability Studies
      Recreational dance programs with specific behavioral adaptations for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities can provide an opportunity for the enjoyment of dance, and potential improvements in motor skills, social skills, or behaviors related to self-efficacy. This intrinsic case study builds on a pilot study of a recreational dance program, Dance with a B-E-A-T (behavior analysis and therapy), with behavioral adaptations for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Facilitators of the program included three graduate students working as behavior therapists. We aimed to discover, through semi-structured interviews, what components facilitators perceived to be effective, components that they perceived to be challenging, successes or challenges with implementation, as well as their overall perceptions of this blended program. A thematic analysis, with a deductive approach, of interview data previously collected from parents of participants in the program was conducted to inform interview questions for facilitators, and to provide the framework for coding facilitator data. A similar thematic analysis was carried out for facilitator interview transcripts. The key themes identified during this analysis included: (1) Blending Recreational Dance and Behavior Therapy as Novel, (2) Benefits of the Program, and (3) Refinements and Recommendations. Facilitators and parents perceived this novel program to have effective components such as individualized behavioral adaptations, and an enjoyable environment with positive social interactions. Recommendations for future programs include refining behavioral components such as thinning the schedule of reinforcement, increasing training for facilitators to address existing barriers to implementation, and extending the length of the program to be consistent with motor development research. This study will add to limited research on recreational dance programs for this population.