Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Stacey Wood

Reader 2

Michael Spezio

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© 2015 Ella S Wilson


A qualitative investigation is proposed to examine flow experiences in professional ballet modern dancers in order understand the nature of this psychological experience. It is not well understood where and when professional dancers experience flow, and whether or not their subjective experience is correlated to what an audience evaluates in a dancer’s performance. The study of performance quality and subjective experience of the dancer has not been studied within the dance movement analysis literature. This is an important topic to research to further understand what factors facilitate or debilitate a professional dancer’s well-being. This study aims to determine any facilitating and mediating factors of flow experiences in professional ballet and modern dancers. Additionally, it aims to address whether a dancer’s performance is perceived as being competent, and if the dancer’s experiences of the performance matches the levels of competency. Two hundred professional ballet and modern dancers (100M, 100F) will participate in this study. These participants will be recruited from the professional companies based in the United States. This study will also analyze the relationship that the reported flow scores have with evaluations of performance competency. Each participant will be interviewed to determine their personal experiences of flow, if they have had any. Following the interview, they will complete the Activity Experience Scale – 2 (DFS-2). A researcher will observe a rehearsal and a performance to evaluate each participant using the Performance Competency Evaluation Measure. Following the rehearsal or performance, the participant will complete the Event Experience Scale-2 (FSS-2). The mean scores from the FSS-2 will be analyzed using a two-by-two factorial ANOVA to determine if modern dancers experience significantly higher levels of flow in performance with no effect across gender. The effects of performance competency evaluations between the style of dance and mean flow scores were examined using mediation analysis and Sobel’s test. Additionally, it is predicted that the number of hours of rehearsal and performances will be established as a mediating factor between the style of dance and mean flow scores. The same methodology will be used for mediation analysis to test this hypothesis.