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J Dance Med Sci. 2012;16(2):65-73.

A mixed methods investigation of dropout among talented young dancers: findings from the UK Centres for Advanced Training.

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Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Creekside, London SE8 3DZ, UK.


The aim of this study was to understand reasons for dropout from a dance-talent program in the UK, using a mixed methods design. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten dropout students to explore the influencing factors in their decision to leave the program. In order to triangulate these findings, reasons for dropout were then examined from descriptive records of 147 young dancers who had withdrawn from the talent program over a four-year period. Overall, the most frequently cited reasons for dropping out were conflicting demands, change in aspirations, course content, difficulty making friends, and lost passion. Injury, financial factors, low perceived competence, and teacher behavior emerged as minor reasons. Intervention strategies that focus on changes in course content may be the easiest to implement and most effective means to enhance student retention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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