Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #199
CE Offered: BACB
The Application of Behavior Analysis in Dance Education
Sunday, May 30, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University)
Discussant: Alison Cox (Brock University)
CE Instructor: Sarah Davis, M.A.

Behavioral research has evaluated interventions to improve performance in a variety of sports and recreational contexts.This symposium includes four diverse empirical papers that explore the application of behaviour analysis in dance. The first will compare the effects of verbal and video feedback on the performance of beginner/intermediate level dancers. The second will investigate the impact of music choice on participants’ exercise duration in Zumba dance classes. The third will present a pilot evaluation of a recreational dance program with embedded behavior analytic components to support children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The fourth will build on this previous presentation by discussing the facilitators and barriers of this behavior analytic informed recreational dance program for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Taken together, these papers will provide practical information regarding the implementation of behavior analysis in dance.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
A Comparison of Verbal Feedback and Video Feedback to Improve Dance Skills
SHREEYA DESHMUKH (USF), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Mallory J. Quinn (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Research has shown that video feedback and verbal feedback can improve a variety of skills related to several sports. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of these two forms of feedback for improving dance skills. In this study, the dance skills of three beginner to intermediate dancers, ages 6 to 12, were assessed. A multiple baseline across participants with an embedded alternating treatments design was used to allow for a direct comparison of the two interventions. Verbal feedback involved the researcher providing praise and corrective feedback after the participant attempted the skill. Video feedback involved the researcher recording the participant attempting the skill and presenting the video to participant while providing praise and corrective feedback. The results indicated that verbal feedback was more effective for one participant, video feedback was more effective for one participant, and the two forms of feedback were equivalent for a third participant. The limitations discussed included potential ceiling effects, preassessment of the dancers’ skills, and procedural changes. Future research should consider a replication of this study with more participants to determine which factors influence the effectiveness of the procedures for each participant.
Evaluating Choice of Music to Increase Duration of Zumba Sessions in a Virtual Setting
ROBIN ARNALL (The Sage Colleges, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Nova Southeastern University), Becca Yure (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: One area that has been overlooked in the behavior analytic sports literature includes the inclusion of participant choice, especially relating to factors such as choice of music or other elements. This study examined the effects of choice making on the duration of exercise behavior in the form of participating in a Zumba dance class. Participants were divided into choice (selecting genre of music with class) or no-choice (random assignment of music with class) groups. Participants in both groups could terminate participation in each class at any point; thus, they could choose to participate for their desired duration of engagement in exercise behavior. Exercise duration was measured across individuals in both the choice and no-choice groups to determine the possible differential duration of engagement when having the opportunity to select the genre of music or not. Results indicate that the opportunity to engage in choice making behavior, in the form of song selection, impacts exercise behavior with regard to duration of participation in the activity. The researchers suggest that behavior analysts continue to examine the effect of different opportunities to choose on exercise behavior.

A Pilot Evaluation of a Recreational Dance Program With Behavior Analysis and Therapy for Children With Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

SARAH DAVIS (Brock University), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University), Nicole Staite (Brock University), Madeline Pontone (Brock University), Dana Kalil (Brock University)

The purpose of this study was to pilot Dance with a B-E-A-T (Dance with Behavior Analysis and Therapy), a recreational dance program with embedded behavior analytic components to support children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities). Behavioral components included evidence-based instructional modifications and motivational strategies. Four children (3 females, 1 male) between 7 and 12 years old with neurodevelopmental disabilities participated in 1-hour sessions, across 8 weeks. The percentage of correctly performed steps on a task analysis assessed children’s gross motor performance across 10 dance and balance skills. Three children participated in the post assessment and showed 33.7% improvement in their overall gross motor performance. Self-efficacy and consumer satisfaction questionnaires were also completed. Self-efficacy scores were variable, but caregivers and children reported they were very satisfied with the dance program. Results are promising and support further development of behavioral components to support recreational programming for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.


Stakeholders in Dance: A Case Study Examining Facilitator Perspectives of Dance With a B-E-A-T

MADELINE PONTONE (Brock University), Courtney Denise Bishop (Brock University ), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University), Sarah Davis (Brock University), Kendra Thomson (Brock University ), Maureen Connolly (Brock University)

Recreational dance programs with behavioural modifications can provide children with neurodevelopmental disabilities an opportunity to enjoy dance, which may in turn improve their motor performance, social skills, and perceived self-efficacy. Recreational programs often include multiple stakeholders, such as facilitators, participants, and caregivers. This case study builds on a pilot evaluation of Dance with a B-E-A-T (Behaviour Analysis and Therapy), a recreational dance program with behavioural modifications for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Through semi-structured interviews with three graduate students, who served as facilitators of this dance program, we aim to understand what components of the program facilitators found contributed to the program’s success, components that they perceived to be challenging, and any successes or challenges they experienced implementing the program. Interview questions posed to facilitators were informed by an inductive thematic analysis of previously completed interviews with caregivers of former program participants. Preliminary data from facilitator interviews suggest that facilitators perceived that behavior analytic and other therapeutic components were helpful for individualizing the program for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Facilitators also provided recommendations (e.g., thinning the schedule of reinforcement, including reliability training for data collection) to improve future implementation of this dance program.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh