The effect of a traditional dance training program on dancing skills, rhythm and orientation abilities and on intrinsic motivation of individuals with hearing loss
The aim of this study was to examine whether exercise training with Greek traditional dances improves rhythm and orientation abilities and dancing skills in individuals with hearing loss and increase intrinsic motivation for participation. Eight individuals (5 female and 3 male) with hearing loss > 70dB, aged 22.4±1.9 years volunteered to participate in an 8-month study. The exercise training program consisted of two sessions of Greek traditional dancing weekly. Each session lasted 60 minutes. At the entry and the end of the study, all participants' underwent simple exercise tests to estimate the rhythm and orientation abilities and dancing skills with the implementation of special activities designed to evaluate these abilities. The Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) was also used to assess participants' subjective experience. Rhythm was evaluated in three pattern rhythms with increasing difficulty; while the assessment of the performance in dancing skills was done in 5 levels (1-5). A descriptive analysis of the results showed that the participants improved: a. their dancing skills as two individuals reached level 3-4, three individuals reached level 4-5, and lastly 3 individuals level 5, b. their rhythm ability, as four individuals (50%) performed all the rhythmic skills and the rest four (50%) performed the easiest two rhythmic patterns. Also, IMI total score was increased by 30% (p<0.05) after the 8 months training. The results indicated that exercise training with Greek traditional dances in individuals with hearing loss is feasible and able to improve their rhythm ability and dancing skills and increase intrinsic motivation for participation. © JPES.