Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Tamerin Capellino

Second Advisor

Michele Barr

Third Advisor

Krysti DeZonia


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to (a) identify the level of touch self-efficacy (TSE) of college-level dance faculty as measured by the Touch Self-Efficacy (TSE) Scale, (b) explore the factors that influence the use of touch in dance instruction, and (c) describe the perceived benefits as reported by college-level dance faculty.

Methodology: In this mixed-methods approach, a sequential explanatory design was conducted in 2 separate phases of research. The first phase provided an opportunity to quantitatively investigate the levels of TSE in college-level dance faculty. The second phase qualitatively explored the factors influencing the use of touch in dance instruction.

Findings: College dance faculty members reported (a) student permission, (b) students’ receptiveness to tactile feedback, (c) responding to students’ needs, (d) pedagogical beliefs, (e) instinct, (f) familiarity with students, (g) failure of other teaching approaches, (h) courses taught, (i) intent, and (j) necessity due to the nature of dance as factors influencing their use of touch in instruction. College dance faculty members reported that touch (a) supports individual and group learning, (b) promotes successful epiphanies and transformations, (c) creates a positive learning environment, and (d) provides effective communication.

Conclusions: None of the variables, including age, gender, primary area of instruction, and previous formal training in the use of touch, had a significant effect on the TSE score. The study demonstrated the extensive use of touch in dance instruction and dance educators’ elevated TSE scores in comparison to previous studies.

Recommendations: Recommendations to advance this understanding include (a) study of TSE levels in other fields, (b) replication of the present study but with attention to the perceived benefits of touch as reported by college-level dance students, (c) replication of the present study with a target population of dance educators not teaching at the college level, (d) comparison of dance educators’ methods and touch techniques within different dance genres, (e) study of the role of self-touch as a pedagogical practice in dance instruction, (f) exploration of practices and best practices for securing permission to touch in dance instruction, and (g) further research to explore the academic practice of touch between students in dance instruction.