Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1757-1871
  • E-ISSN: 1757-188X



Western contemporary dance has long benefited from mental imagery practice for enhancing choreography, somatic embodiment and performance. Although science supports many psychophysical benefits of mental imagery practice, less is known about its effects on dance creation. Here, two dance educators report the results of a pilot study using two contrasting imagery modes in teaching improvisation. Four conservatory dance students engaged in two weeks of improvisation. In week one, Glenna used tactile-kinaesthetic imagery as verbal prompts. During week two, Susan emphasized visual prompts. Each mode gave rise to unique movement patterns and reflections on embodiment, bearing on future research questions. The authors aim to situate the study within the conversation on imagery specificity in teaching improvisation. In addition, the study supports the ongoing evolution of an articulate scientific-somatic discourse on tactile-kinaesthetic and visual phenomena within dance.


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