A scoping review of empirical research on dance imagery

Irene L. Muir, Krista J. Munroe-Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given the evolution of dance imagery research over the past several decades, an up-to-date synthesis of knowledge is critical to advancing research and evidence-based practice. Therefore, a scoping review was conducted to examine: (1) what is known about imagery as a performance enhancing technique for dance specialists, and (2) what research methodologies are used in this field? A total of 53 studies were included in the review. Collectively, 3548 participants were involved, including dancers, dance teachers, a choreographer, and non-dancers. Emerging adults (19–30 years) who danced professionally were primarily examined. Study objectives were categorized as exploring: (1) the impact of imagery on physical development, (2) imagery use across disciplines or between dancers, (3) the nature of dancers’ imagery use and development, (4) the use of imagery to elicit physiological responses, and (5) dance imagery questionnaire development and validation. Operational imagery definitions varied in context, with most specific to the motor domain. For methodology, studies were predominantly quantitative and cross-sectional. Taken together, several practical considerations can be gleaned from the current findings including inter-disciplinary collaborations, appropriate use of theoretical frameworks, examining more diverse samples, and greater use of dance-specific questionnaires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

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