2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Jenna Lindberg

Dance That Moves: Using student choreography as a vehicle for student expression and identity formation
With the emphasis on sports and athletics in a majority of high schools, dance teams and clubs are often overlooked as a valuable space to cultivate student voice, expression, and identity formation. In the spring of 2018, we ran a dance competition to provide a platform for students to make a statement about an issue important to them using their own choreography and performance. Through individual and group interviews conducted with the students, they expressed the transformative effect creating their piece within the safety and support of their dance group had on them. When asked, “How do you think the skills you’ve picked up in this club/on this team will help you in the future?” responses were centered around skills such as time management, reliability, self-motivation, perseverance, communication, goal setting, and leadership. As a result of creating and learning choreography as a group, students gained a greater understanding of their own identity and recognized the impact sharing their ideas could have. Furthermore, because of this experience, the students learned the importance of combining music and movement in order to articulate those ideas to their communities.