The Dancer’s Mind is a 3 year study into creativity, novelty and the imagination, being undertaken by Plymouth University in tandem with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and Coventry University.

As our project nears conclusion, we are making the data collected so far available on the Open Science Framework: doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/URDJ4

Creative products have been thought of as the result of a creative process involving the generation, recognition, selection, evaluation and elaboration of ideas related to a task or problem.

The Dancer’s Mind study investigates the capacity of mental imagery to inspire the creation of original movement material. Forms of mental imagery include visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

The project applies the Interacting Cognitive Subsystems model of mental representation, which distinguishes between three internal ‘cognitive loops’ that give rise to imagery about sound & speech (morphonolexis), space & movement (spatialpraxis), and emotional schemas, all of which are linked by a sense of meaning.

Within the creative arts, contemporary dance provides a natural arena for the study of embodied cognition, with choreographers frequently giving dancers ‘tasks’ that build on these forms of mental imagery.

The overall goal of the Dancer’s Mind project is to develop training materials that assist professional dance students to access these techniques as a resource for the development of creative practice at its highest level.