Effects of auditory rhythm on movement accuracy in dance performance

Costas I Karageorghis, Lianne P Lyne, Marcelo Bigliassi, Peter Vuust

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The present study addresses the impact of the rhythmic complexity of music on the accuracy of dance performance. This study examined the effects of different levels of auditory syncopation on the execution of a dance sequence by trained dancers and exercisers (i.e., nondancers). It was hypothesized that nondancers would make more errors in synchronizing movements with moderately and highly syncopated rhythms while no performance degradation would manifest among trained dancers. Participants performed a dance sequence synchronized with three different rhythm tracks that were regular, moderately syncopated, and highly syncopated. We found significant performance degradation when comparing conditions of no syncopation vs. high syncopation for both trained dancers (p = .002) and nondancers (p = .001). Dancers and nondancers did not differ in how they managed to execute the task with increasing levels of syncopation (p = .384). The pattern of difference between trained dancers and nondancers was similar across the No Syncop and Highly Syncop conditions. The present findings may have marked implications for practitioners given that the tasks employed were analogous to those frequently observed in real-life dance settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102511
JournalHuman Movement Science
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


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