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All dancing bodies matter: six facilitators aiming for inclusion and wellbeing for people with special needs
Research in Dance Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-12-07, DOI: 10.1080/14647893.2021.1996471
Sylvie Fortin, Lucie Beaudry, Raymond Caroline, Duval Hélène, Patricia McKinley, Sylvie Trudelle, Guylaine Vaillancourt, Bonnie Swaine


Dance-based interventions are offered to diverse populations experiencing various life challenges. A growing number of studies demonstrate how dance has an impact on different health parameters. However, there are a paucity of studies documenting the content and pedagogy of the dance for health programs. This study examines how six facilitators with different backgrounds foster health and wellbeing through inclusive practices in dance among diverse populations with special needs. To highlight their pedagogical approaches, the data collection included ethnographic observations via video recordings, individual semi-structured interviews providing biographical information, ‘look-alike’ descriptions of each facilitators’ in class behaviour, and verbalisation of an activity with numerous details. A thematic analysis of the entire corpus revealed the strategies used by each facilitator to offer dance as an inclusive artistic practice for everybody and the knowledge informing the adaptation of the dance activities. Regardless of the diverse backgrounds of the facilitators, the results show the importance of crafting dance for health practices and framing emerging knowledge to inform future dance programs and, ultimately providing purposeful activity for enhancing health and wellbeing of people living with different needs. Future studies should examine how craft practices might be constructed as a joint interdisciplinary venture.