In particular: IDEAs to consider Barriers and facilitators to implementation of dance-mat activities Potential impact of engagement on physical, emotional, school and social functioning (e.g. enjoyment, stimulation) Potential engagement of hard-to-reach groups Unanticipated consequences of involvement in the dance mat scheme or research process
Dance mats are a far more interesting and versatile technology than might be initially thought –argue that from the initial findings may be used in multiple ways – for dance, as a game, as play, as a sport and for exercise; in particular has attributes that most resemble computer games. Depending on what you want to do with it and who you think your audience is, will help in understanding how you use it. It is what Pasch describes as a hybrid technology – does not fit into any one of these categories. - Play “behaviour for the purposes of fun and enjoyment with no utilitarian or abstract goal in mind” (shaw) Four reasons people play – relaxation and recuperation; reduce surplus energy; to practice and rehearse skills; to reduce anxiety and confront fears in a safe place - Play becomes game when competition involved. Game as “any form of playful competition whose outcome is determined by physical skill, strategy or chance”. Ping pong eg: for fun without keeping score it is play, keep score = game. - Sport is ‘institutionalised competitive play involving physical skill, strategy and chance”. There is a higher degree of organisation, governing bodies, leagues. -Reason for asking what is a dance mat: concerns peoples motivation for doing it. Eg. Pupils who claim to like a sedentary lifestyle not sport or exercise. Pasch argues they may be discouraged if they see the dance mats as a ‘sport’ or an ‘exercise’. On the other hand, if they enjoy it as a playful activity – might it make them feel more like being physically active? . Crucially, vast literature trying to figure this out because active games like these are still relatively new still need to classify their key features and attributes. Eg. New taxonomies through which to understand.. -Key: different motivations for different types of PA - all can be motivational, but all also potentially obstacles – need to be clear of aims and desired outcomes.
Aims may go beyond physical activity too. Once PE was about teaching sport skills; increasingly adding health. Stakeholders in this research with different aims and objectives. ZigZag developer aims – PE company so other uses ‘additional’ – not developed to be used for computer training, mats, etc etc…
Examples of ways used for different ‘types’ of PA: Feedback from participants in italics. Dance: ‘a transitional’ activity to dance Play: teacher views vary – some do not see as ‘serious’ PE Game: light competition Sport: dance leagues idea – remind pasch argument: non-competitive non-sports may not like or don’t intro too early.
Some kids but not all like mats. High intensity. Boys and girls can enjoy (but depends ‘how’ sold to them)
Not dance exactly – boys in IDEAs study say ‘I hate dance its for girls’ but embrace wii dance/dance mats. Dance involves body memory, dance mats involve eye body. Reaction activity and dance like activity. Can be dance, but isn’t necessarily…
Engages kinaesthetic sense of movement (Nansen, 2009) Controller as input device: the mat New configuration of place, time and movement between gaming and everyday life. Importance of screen (authentic vg) In IDEAs study – apparent correlation with disadvantage and several platforms – playstation, x-box, etc. Teacher comment “ in this neighbourhood they may not have carpets on the floor but they’ll have every console” If computer game need to know something about how people engage differently with these technologies, and how to use it effectively. Three key themes in literature. immersion, attainment, effort and control
‘A metaphorical term derived from the physical experience of being submerged in water. We seek the same feeling from a psychologically immersive experience that we do from a plunge in the ocean or swimming pool: the sensation of being surrounded completely by other reality, as different from water is from air, that takes over all our attention, our whole perceptual apparatus…’ (Murray) Different levels or degrees of immersion. Dance mat visual focus on a screen but turn around and ‘out’ of game; Note girls body awareness and comments about ‘being seen’ or ‘watched’. Compare to VG headset and matrix like experience. Marco Pasch et al study of sport video games: student saw them as playful enjoyable experience not workout or exercise. Study used motion capture technology, video observation and interviews, considered key motivations for playing and how immersive. Four key elements to immersion –control, mimicry of movements, proprioceptive feedback, physical challenge…
Pasch: Motivational issues in gaming: relaxation (not exercise) and attainment. Note use of batek boards - reaction boards. Preference shows need to maintain ops. For higher attainment. Dance mats can – but need to be managed by staff. Different measures of attainment for different aims (eg competitive scores, calorie burn, time, relative scores to other schools). If scoring don’t stay too long on ‘s’ or constant fail.
Note relationship between control and effort. Baudrillard 1996 “The domestic world, almost as much as the world of work, is governed by regular gestures of control and remote control. Buttons, levers, handles, pedals… have replaced pressure, percussion, impact or balance achieved by means of the body, the intensity and distribution of force, and the abilities of the hand” ie. world governed by ‘gestures or control’ rather than ‘effort’ Highlight argument people tend to adapt their gaming strategy to reduce the amount of effort and increase the amount of control. “Players learn to economize on their effort to meet the instrumental ends of the game” (Simon, 2009). Reducing ‘gestural excess’ –control with least effort or ‘excess’. Control and less effort mastery of a second order – of the game developers and the technology itself. Eg. wii tennis without moving – not just beaten the game but the whole technology. However quote suggests otherwise… simon suggests ‘return of effort’ and its redeployment by games industry. First. Can’t play without energy expenditure – thus effort needed to play game not just gesture. But also music has own effect– enhance mood, enjoyment and shown to enhance endurance, particularly for women (Maconecarlo et al 2006)
What is a dance mat? How is it used, what for (aim) and for whom? How can it be best used? What do the evidence and early findings reveal about these questions?
Transcript of "Pct presentation oct 2010"
Translational research and initial findings of
the dance mat evaluation(s)
Duika Burges Watson
Two linked evaluations:
1. Implementation evaluation of the Middlesbrough
Healthy Towns Partnership Dance-mat initiative
Aim: to characterize the essence of key practices in
implementation to facilitate translation in other
2. Impact of Dance Exercise Activity in Schools (IDEAs)
Qualitative aim: explore benefits and barriers to
engagement with the scheme and the potential effect
of this engagement on physical, emotional, school and
1. Staff interview (n=21)
2. Pupil focus group (n=24)
6 months follow-
Apr /May 2012
1. Staff and junior health trainer interview (n= 15)
Translational research involves knowledge
exchange and co-production with the
application of knowledge through an ongoing
system of interactions between users and
What is a dance mat?
How is it used, what for (aim) and for whom?
How can it be best used?
What do the evidence and early findings reveal
about these questions?
What is a dance mat
Dance, game, play, sport, exercise?
New taxonomies: dance pad based computer games; exertion
games; dance based rhythm video games; movement based
sports video game; active games.
+ physical dimension
- Aesthetic /creative
(Figure: types of physical
activity, adapted from Pasch
et al, 2009 )
Program: innovative communication technology
“It’s about peer mentoring... looking beyond physical activity
…so smoking, drug misuse, teenage pregnancy” (PE lead)
Researchers: innovative health technology
physical activity focus, well-being, academic
achievement (social indicators).
Policy makers: innovative health technology
“broaden the range of activities… part of an active lifestyle
that includes opportunities for traditional forms of exercise”
Junior health trainers: game/play
Dance, play, game, sport?
Dance: “it’s a way to incorporate dance to a group of boys, who
if you say ‘dance’ they switch off straight away” PE teacher
Play: “a special activity … like a bookend” PE teacher
Game: “The mats are good like, it’s like a laugh as well, for
people who aren’t as good as everyone else its a laugh, they’ll
laugh along with you.” Junior Health Trainer
Sport: “look beyond the traditional sports of rugby, football,
hockey, netball…most professional] people with their eyes open
can see that that works for quite a lot of kids, but it doesn’t work
for every kid” PE teacher
“I would never have got them to dance in a dance
studio, not in a million years... I mean maybe one or two
but not a full group 15 to twenty lads, in a dance studio,
all asking to dance to certain tunes”
“they are absolutely shattered at the end, really. Much
more exhausted from 30 minutes on a dance mat than
they would be from 60 minutes in a PE lesson.
“the ones that like footy get bored straight away “
“We’ve used it to hook some of the boys into dance,
when they found out they were going to do dance we
started them off on the mats. So we kind of weaned
them off to hook them into dance. They do the same
steps but without the dance mats there.”
“yeah its funny, but the girls who are already into dance
just found it impossible on the mats – they couldn’t do
“sometimes I don’t’ think they realise it is actually
physical activity like PE. They think its like a video game
so they do it, they love it” JHT
“you just use your feet instead of your thumbs” JHT
“I thought they’d have like a screen, like, instead of just
a blank wall” JHT
JHT “sometimes you have to share a mat and
there like other people around you, and there
will be people watching you, you’ve got to share
DBW “so you’d rather do it on your own”
“The dance mats, they are alright like, but
after awhile like once you’ve used them quite
a lot the novelty wears off – but they are still
fun like, but the batek boards just like you can
beat your score every time ,like, if you know
what I mean, so there is always a chance of,
like, improving your score so which makes it
better in my opinion”
“[using mats] disguises the fact that they are
actually doing a lot of hard work and working
their heart and lungs” PE Teacher
“F: the session was a buzz wasn’t it, it was
M: it’s just the music with primary school kids it
just engages them…” JHT in conversation
Effort v control
- exertion gaming or dance? A hybrid technology
- opportunities to use creatively for dance, play,
game or sport with different populations
- Know your aims, objectives and audience
- Immersion, attainment and effort v control
To be continued…
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