The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the lived experiences of community college dance students. Previous research was examined to provide a more holistic picture of dancers during their college years and while in the workforce. The literature reviewed indicated that the emergence of dance as a field of study was controversial. Its beginnings were marked by debates concerning (a) the very definition of dance as a body of motion and a body of knowledge that includes a history and a philosophy as asserted by Dimondstein (1985), (b) its legitimate place within the academy (the perception that university dance programs were vocational in nature with little academic value) as noted by Stinson (1990); and, more recently (c) the possibility of some resolution to make dance not only a performing art but an academic discipline in its own right (Savrami, 2012). The theoretical framework of social cognitive career theory was used but was modified to include only the tenets most frequently cited in the literature that directly influenced the career identity of dancers particularly in relation to their motivation to academically persist and graduate. The phenomenological analysis, in the tradition of Moustakas (1994) and Wertz (2005), produced an early thematic matrix of 18 codes that were reduced to six major themes: aspirations, academic commitment, emotional identification, anticipated outcome or career expectation, vicarious learning, and challenges. One of the major recommendations included conducting a longitudinal study focusing on how students navigate an unpredictable job market, including the discussion of issues of workforce preparation in the academic curriculum and major.
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Cintron Delgado, Rosa
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Child, Family, and Community Sciences
Educational Leadership; Higher Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Lopez, Benjamin, "Dance Students at a Two Year College: Making Sense of their Academic, Cultural, and Social World" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5384.