Adapted Dance and Individuals With Down Syndrome: A Phenomenological Approach


  • Rachel Swinford IUPUI
  • Kyra Noerr Franklin College


Down syndrome, adapted dance, lived experience


Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) often experience lower levels of physical activity (PA) and social participation when compared to peers without DS. The purpose was to examine the lived experience of participating in the dance program and interpret the meaning of the dance program. Dancers participated in a 6-week adapted dance program and were interviewed after the program. This study investigated the lived experience of a 6-week adapted dance program for 20 individuals with Down syndrome (DS) using interpretive phenomenology. Dancer interviews revealed a primary theme of dancers experiencing joy and happiness while dancing. This research helps advocate opportunities for individuals with DS to experience dance as a social, physical, and intellectual activity. Findings can support future PA and sports initiatives for individuals with intellectual disabilities.





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