Dance Research Lab

Welcome to the Dance Research Lab!


We are interested in the benefits and challenges associated with involvement in competitive dance for the youth and their families.

Competitive dance requires significant time commitments, including large amounts of time training, rehearsing, and performing, in addition to the other activities associated with dancers’ daily lives. Whereas shows like Dance Moms have sensationalized competitive dance and performance, there is little in-depth research on the lived experiences of youth engaged in competitive dance.

Our research focuses on themes such as:

  • Exploring how dancers’ individual needs and contexts contribute to their engagement and commitment to dance, and what role dance-specific motives play in this relationship.
  • Developing an understanding of competitive dancers’ and their parents’ lived experiences with respect to engagement in dance.
  • Exploring possible differences between the experiences of competitive dancers and recreational dancers.