UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Journal: 
Research in Dance Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Dale Johnston
Refereed: 
Yes
Volume No.: 
7
Issue No.: 
1
Page numbers of article: 
3 - 14
Year of publication: 
2006
Country of publication: 
United Kingdom
Country of Research Data: 
Australia
Language: 
English
Abstract: 
Authoritarian teaching practices in ballet inhibit the use of private speech. This paper highlights the critical importance of private speech in the cognitive development of young ballet students, within what is largely a non-verbal art form. It draws upon research by Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky and contemporary socioculturalists, to establish the relationship between speech and the use of cultural tools. It supports the notion that speech and actions necessarily form an inseparable alloy in the development of higher mental functions and abstract intelligence, which include ballet and choreography. This paper concludes with the assertion that limiting the use of private speech in ballet training has a detrimental impact upon student cognition. In order for young ballet students to think effectively, they must be encouraged to use all the tools of the mind at their disposal, particularly private speech.
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