The Experiences and Perceptions of Male Dance Teachers

25 Jan 2017

Drawing by Dr Helen Owton, The Open University.

Researchers from The University of Northampton and The Open University are inviting male dance teachers to participate in a research project focused on their experiences and perceptions of teaching both boys and girls to dance. Previous research on children’s perspectives of their dance teachers suggest that they experience their teachers as important role models who support and motivate them. However there has been little research that focuses on the dance teachers’ perspectives. To address this imbalance the researchers of this project have recently collected data on female dance teachers’ viewpoints. From this data themes around the status of dance teaching, gender differences and inequalities in dance, and the importance of the ideal body in dance have emerged. The current project seeks to give voice to male dance teachers and to learn about their perspectives of teaching both boys and girls to dance as well as to learn about their own experiences of dancing as children. The aim is to inform best practice to support children to dance and to understand further the particular challenges and opportunities that boys in dance face.

The project has ethical approval from the University of Northampton and the researchers abide by The British Psychological Society code of conduct for ethical research. Participants will be informed of their ethical rights prior to them agreeing to take part. If the dance teachers wish to participate, they will be asked to take part in an interview with one of the researchers. Interviews can be conducted by Skype, phone or face-to-face and will take approximately an hour. Days and times for the interview are negotiable between the participant and researcher. The researchers plan to disseminate the research findings through publications in academic journals, presentations at dance conferences and other relevant academic conferences and through information made available to dance professionals.

If you wish to take part you need to be male and have taught both boys and girls to dance. If you want to take part or have any questions please contact Dr Helen Clegg at or on 07889682956.