National Research Project Finds Dance Talent Can Be Trained

National research project finds dance talent can be trained


The question of whether artists are born or made is now closer to being answered, according to research released today (Thursday 27 October) by dance science researchers from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
The research team studied nearly 800 young dancers in collaboration with the country's Centres for Advanced Training (CATs), and found that dancers training at the CAT centres showed steadily increasing levels of physical fitness, high and stable levels of psychological wellbeing, low to moderate levels of injury and dropout, and positive creativity experiences.
Report author and Head of Dance Science at Trinity Laban, Emma Redding, said the evidence was clear:
"To be successful, a dancer must be technically and artistically proficient, while also being motivated, committed and able to cope with a demanding profession.
"Talent is not static or just about particular individual characteristics; it is dynamic and affected by a wide range of factors such as relationships, the environment, and cultural and societal aspects.
"Our research found that the best way to produce such an environment was through training centres such as the CATs."
Funded for three years by the Leverhulme Trust and the Department for Education, the research comprised investigations into the psychology, physiology, anthropometry, injury, adherence, and creativity of this talented cohort of young dancers.
Emma continued: "While the individual is at the heart of this process, it is how she or he develops during training that ultimately matters. Dancers with many different backgrounds, training histories, and bodies can be successful, and the structure of the training process, the quality of instruction, and the nature of interpersonal relationships are crucial to talent development."
The research project is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world, unprecedented both in terms of its entirely representative and large sample, its interdisciplinarity, its longitudinal nature, and the way in which it addresses unanswered research questions related to dance talent development.

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