Publication Date

Fall 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies


David Terry


Communication Studies, Dance, Interviews, Oral Histories, Paradox, Pedagogy

Subject Areas

Communication; Pedagogy; Dance


This research investigates how dancers constitute and make sense of themselves and the worlds they live in through the interstitial, and intersectional processes of remembering. I investigate the following two research questions within this thesis: 1) How do dancers remember their pedagogical experiences in dance studios? 2) What happens to oral histories when they are approached as dances, and when they are literally danced? I frame the first research question within my literature review and I investigate what I call Traditional Western Dance Pedagogy. While the characteristics of Traditional Western Dance Pedagogy are not universal, unchanging, and absolute, they are important markers of the dominant pedagogical practices in dance environments. I frame the second research question within my chapter on method and methodology. My research method moves through five steps. 1) Qualitative In-Depth Interviews. 2) Collaborative Rehearsals. 3) Live Public Performances Question and Answer Sessions. 5) Wrap-up interviews. I discuss how the steps of my method shaped the results of both research questions. I then present the results of both research questions and deconstruct the research. This research was greatly shaped by the intersecting contradictions of past histories, and the productive unplanned tensions that moved each story to the future.