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An exploration of heart rate and perceived exertion differences between class and competition in freestyle-disco dance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalResearch In Dance Education
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2020


Freestyle-disco is a relatively new and complex competitive dance style that, to our knowledge, has yet to be researched. Thus, the purpose of this research was to explore two fundamental physiological characteristics of exercise in relation to freestyle-disco as a starting-point for future research into the style. From this, the authors hope to better understand the processes and complexities involved in studying these particular dancers. This study investigated differences in heart rate (HR) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) between class and competition in freestyle-disco and slow dance. Five female dancers aged 12 to 16 years, from one freestyle-disco school volunteered to participate in the study. HR data were recorded using heart rate monitors at two classes and two competitions. RPE scores were collected after each competitive performance and each section of the class. No significant differences in HR or RPE were found for freestyle-disco or slow dance performance between class and competition. The methodological limitations that arose in this work means that these findings are merely speculative however they do provide initial insight to an under-researched dance style. As such, we hope this research will be a catalyst for further investigation to learn more about this exciting dance style.

    Research areas

  • dance, dance competition, heart rate, freestyle-disco, perceived exertion, dance class

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