Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Melissa Mesinas

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This thesis will explore the influence of two dance modalities (dance improvisation and Zumba dance) on divergent thinking (i.e., an aspect of creativity) in older adults using a quasi-experimental design. Given the existing research on dance as a creativity intervention in the younger half of the population, this study may address a gap in the literature by extending these findings to older adults. Once prescreened to ensure cognitive competence and adequate physical mobility, participants will complete a divergent thinking task before their designated 20-minute dance intervention. After the intervention, participants will complete a divergent thinking task. It is hypothesized that engagement in either dance intervention will increase divergent thinking abilities, although participants in the improvisation dance condition will exhibit significantly higher post-test divergent thinking scores than those in the Zumba dance condition. The personality trait, openness to new experiences, is expected to moderate the relationship between dance modality and divergent thinking post-scores; there will not be a significant difference in divergent thinking scores between the two dance conditions among those high in openness to new experiences, whereas there will be a significant difference in scores among those low in openness. Since dance is an inexpensive, easily accessible intervention with multiple benefits, it is useful to establish which dance modality may be the most effective in boosting creativity, as this information can inform the development of future interventions aimed at promoting healthy aging.