Investigative Research of Leadership That Emerges Out of Latin-Style Dance Activities: The Dance of Leadership

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Nancy I. Robbins


Annette E. Craven


Dorothy Ettling


Carrie Taylor-Hamilton


The subject of this research conducted at a purposively selected research site was leadership as it emerges through Latin-style couples dancing. Participants included dance members of two dance groups associated with the purposively selected research site. Research included participant observation, individual interviews, and a confirmatory focus group for data triangulation. An exhaustive literature review of the theories of leadership, and concepts of meaning making and establishing common understanding by exploring roots in semiotic inquiry, the hermeneutic cycle, semantic theory and linguistic analysis is included in this research. Data analysis incorporated conceptual integration as the tool to juxtapose concepts of leadership with dance to reveal dance leadership, which this researcher defines as the leadership that emerges during dance activities. To illustrate the concepts revealed in this research, this researcher relied heavily on the work of Fauconnier and Turner (2000) in conceptual blending theory. Participant observation was scheduled with each dance group as they prepared for a significant dance event or performance during data collection. Individual interviews were conducted to establish the dancers’ perspective of leadership, and a confirmatory focus was also utilized to ensure data triangulation. Conceptual integration networks accompanied by corresponding discussion regarding each blended network are utilized for, and presented in, data analysis. Results suggest that dance leadership is a valid concept as revealed through this research. Future research should include detailed interviews and focus groups with purposively selected members of various dance communities regarding concepts of dance leadership as applied to other dance forms, and research that incorporates an analysis of research of non-verbal metaphor.

This document is currently not available here.