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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Drumming Dance: A Study on the Effects of West African Dance on Motor Performance and Motivation among Collegiate Dancers

  • Author(s): Wajid-Ali, Darlisa Gloria
  • Advisor(s): Sharp, Kelli
  • Wray, Sheron
  • et al.

Changes in cardiovascular health, balance, agility, and motivation were assessed during a 6-week West African dance and live drumming intervention with collegiate dancers. The study measured cardiovascular health with the Accelerated 3-Minute Step test, balance with the m/r Star Excursion Balance test, and agility with the Illinois Agility test. Motivation was measured using the Classroom Life Measure, Motivated Strategies Learning Questionnaire, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The intervention met for 55 minutes twice a week for six weeks; six (6) participants, 5 females and 1 male, median age of 20 +/- 2 years of age, with 12.61 average years of dancing, completed the study. Statistical analysis using one-way ANOVA revealed no significant changes, but there were individual trends that suggest that improvements in cardiovascular health, balance and agility can occur after 6 weeks of West African dance training. Responses to questionnaires revealed that participants enjoyed what they were learning in class, and felt supported by the instructor and other students in the intervention. More research on a larger scale needs to be done to assess West African dance's impact on physical fitness.

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