The Impact of Teacher Engagement on Student Engagement in Dance Education




Johns, Sydney

Access rights

Worldwide access

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study expands upon current research on the relationship between teacher and student engagement in the academic setting to explore this relationship in the extracurricular dance classroom. Among youth between the ages of eight and fourteen, 24 dancers were divided into two groups that each experienced high and low teacher engagement conditions while participating in dance instruction. Groups were counterbalanced so that each group experienced both conditions in reverse order. Neurophysiological and psychological engagement data were collected. In alignment with research on the positive correlation between teacher and student engagement in academics, high teacher engagement conditions resulted in high dancer engagement levels. However, in low teacher engagement conditions, a sequencing effect occurred depending on the low condition’s order with respect to the high condition. After dancers first developed a relationship of care with the teacher in the high teacher engagement condition, the dancers then perceived the low teacher engagement as a challenge and were motivated to rise to what they perceived to be higher standards, resulting in significantly higher engagement scores than they had in the high condition. However, when experiencing the low condition first, dancers had not developed a relationship of care with the teacher, so they perceived this low teacher engagement as tiredness and detachment, leading to matching low dancer engagement. This study provides insight to dance teachers about the importance of first developing a foundational relationship of care and support within each class to then be able to progress into giving challenges and encouraging growth, producing high engagement and, in turn, maximizing achievement outcomes in dance.



Psychology., Child and family studies., Dance.