A Step in the Right Direction: Early Lessons from a Longitudinal Study of Dance Education as a Developmental Catalyst

  • James S. Catterall
  • Julie E. Kendig
  • Linda T. Mesesan
  • Dawn S. Reese
  • Kimberley G. Zanti


This chapter reports on the development and implementation of a 10-year longitudinal study of an after-school organization featuring intensive dance education for youth aged 8 through 18. Called The Wooden Floor (TWF), the organization’s mission is to use dance as a creative development catalyst in order to empower youth from diverse backgrounds to strengthen self-esteem, self-discipline, and their sense of accomplishment through dance, academic, and family programs. Data collection began in February of 2014 and was repeated in 2016, thus establishing the first and second of six planned data panels. This chapter describes the background of the study and its theoretical grounding and reports preliminary results of scale analyses for the 2014 cohort of 375 students through the first two data panels.


Dance-centered arts programming Dance and socio-emotional development Longitudinal study 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. Catterall
    • 1
  • Julie E. Kendig
    • 2
  • Linda T. Mesesan
    • 3
  • Dawn S. Reese
    • 3
  • Kimberley G. Zanti
    • 1
  1. 1.Centers for Research on CreativityTopangaUSA
  2. 2.Centers for Research on CreativitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.The Wooden FloorSanta AnaUSA

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