Descriptive study of aerobic dance-exercise instructional skills

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to describe the instructional skills demonstrated by 29 aerobic dance-exercise instructors as identified through the Aerobic Dance Observation System (ADOS). A secondary purpose was to describe the instructional skills across demographic and contextual variables such as years of teaching experience, certification, age, gender, facility, and equipment.

Twenty-nine aerobic dance-exercise instructors (Male = 5; Female = 24) were observed in a variety of facilities: recreational programs, educational institutions, health clubs and aerobic dance-exercise studios. Each facility had different features and equipment such as floor type (hardwood, concrete or padded), portable or built-in sound system, mirrors and microphones.

The exercise classes consisted of low-impact, high-impact, or step classes that varied from 50 to 90 minutes in length. Class sizes ranged from 4 to 150 individuals from all levels of fitness.

Data were collected using three different methods: demographic questionnaire, on-site data analysis (Tech Checks and the physical location of the instructor) and videotaped analysis (instructional cues, nonverbal cues, general/specific feedback and choreographed movement patterns). Through descriptive statistical analysis, a profile of the instructional skills used in aerobic dance-exercise teaching environment was compiled.

The findings from this study indicate that overall the aerobic dance exercise instructors demonstrated more similarities than differences in their patterns of teaching across demographic and contextual variables. The instructional profile describes instructors leading from the front of the room providing limited instructional information.