This phenomenological study contributes to the occupational science body of knowledge by describing the essence of the experience of adult dancers. Two methods of data collection were used, semi-structured interviews and a time study instrument, the “Daily Experiences of Pleasure, Productivity, and Restoration Profile.” Three participants, between the ages of 54 and 63, were interviewed concerning their personal experiences, the benefits of dance, and the meaning of dance. The data analysis resulted in the construction of four significant themes: the dichotomy of dream and reality, the fabric of support, reaching for more, and passion and purpose. These four themes shed light on the essence of adult dancers’ experiences. This study supports previous research, which argues that dance is an occupation with the power to transform the self. The transformative nature of dance can impact an individual’s health and well-being in multiple ways. In order for adult dancers to experience these benefits, however, they must be internally motivated. Although this study does fill a gap in the literature, more research is needed to understand dance as an occupation and how it is experienced by different populations of people.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2015


Dory M. Marken

Mentor Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)