Success in Salsa : students’ evaluation of the use of self-reflection when learning to dance

Hanrahan, Stephanie J. & Mathews, Rachel A. (2005) Success in Salsa : students’ evaluation of the use of self-reflection when learning to dance. In Proceedings of the Conference of Tertiary Dance Council of Australia : Dance Rebooted : Initializing the Grid, Ausdance National on behalf of Tertiary Dance Council of Australia, Deakin University, Melbourne.


Achievement goal theory stipulates that achievement goals guide our beliefs and behaviour (Roberts, 2001). The two main achievement goals orientations identified in the sport and physical activity literature are task and ego orientations (Nicholls, 1984). A person with a strong task orientation defines success in self-referenced terms, as improving one’s own performance or mastering new skills. Someone with a strong ego orientation defines success normatively, as being better than others (Duda & Hall, 2001). The majority of existing research suggests that having a strong task orientation is a good thing, whether in regards to motivationally adaptive responses (Standage & Treasure, 2002), self-referenced sources of enjoyment (Yoo & Kim, 2002), adaptive sources of confidence (Magyar & Feltz, 2003), or students’ satisfaction with learning (Zandvliet & Straker, 2001). Similar to many studies with athletes, Nieminen, Varstala and Manninen (2001) found that dance students tended to have stronger task than ego orientations. Even so, any method that 2 encourages dance students to focus on the process of what they are doing rather than what others are doing (i.e., comparing themselves to others) would be beneficial in helping students attend to relevant cues and improve their skills. Both teachers and students can become frustrated when either the desired level of improvement in student skills is not being achieved or when teachers are repeatedly saying the same thing with no apparent result. While teachers may need to provide more accurate, detailed or individual feedback, or improve the motivational climate of the class, sometimes the situation is that the students need to engage more directly in the learning process. One possible intervention is the use of structured self-reflection. Using self-reflection sheets that cause respondents to focus on specific elements of technique or skills, and rate one’s own performance, should theoretically promote a task focus. Hanrahan (1999) suggested that engaging in self-reflection may enhance intrinsic motivation as well as performance. Selfanalysis and self-monitoring have been found to positively influence the acquisition of physical skills (Lounsbery & Sharpe, 1996; Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 1996). The purpose of this study was to have dance students engage in structured self-reflection for a number of weeks and then evaluate the self-reflection process.

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ID Code: 4590
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 1875255168
Divisions: Past > Schools > Dance
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 23 Jun 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:14

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