Theatre & Dance ETDs

Publication Date



Dance is formed from the interactions between the choreographer and the dancers that occur during the workshop and rehearsal phase of the dance making process. The choreographer's art is brought to life not solely through the creation of the choreography, but through the interpretation of the choreography in the bodies of the dancers. Thus, the time spent coaching dancers is an important piece of the choreographer's work. Artists have written about the value of dancers in their work, and educators provide theories about training dancers in the classroom, but little has been written about practical methods for the professional choreographer to engage their dancers throughout the creative process. The importance of facilitating engagement during the dance making process is illustrated in this dissertation by the author's application of methods used in sports psychology with dancers in the choreographic project, "Players of the Ring", which was performed at the University of New Mexico in February 2014. When choreographers make engagement in the work a priority for dancers by building a community, fostering a positive team environment and encouraging motivation they make possible a more successful performance of their work by invested dancers.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Theatre & Dance

First Advisor

Jewell, Donna

First Committee Member (Chair)

Santos Newhall, Mary Anne

Second Committee Member

Conde Reche, Vladimir

Third Committee Member

Knights, Zoe




Dance, Sports Psychology, Motivation, Choreographic Process, Engagement

Document Type