Step-by-step: Establishing expert informed recommendations for inclusive and adaptive dance instruction using a hybrid-Delphi technique


Dance is a form of expression that spans cultural and socioeconomic contexts. In Canada dance curricula exist in both dance and education contexts, yet expert informed guidelines for inclusive/adaptive dance environments are scarce. The purpose of the present study was to develop a list of recommendations for inclusive/adaptive dance opportunities through the lens of critical experts who have experience with, or identify as having, neurodevelopmental disability (NDD). A hybrid-Delphi technique was used: i) to collect and articulate expert perspectives on methods of adapting dance environments and instruction; and ii) to formulate their contributions into a set of prioritized recommendations to be shared with the dance community. Over five months three expert groups (rehabilitation professionals (n=6), dance educators (n=7), dancers and support persons/carers (n=5)) engaged in virtual focus groups to generate statements, followed by an e-survey process to rank and consolidate statements. The constraints model of motor development and the social model of disability were used to frame questions around: i) physical environment and culture, ii) instruction and strategies, and iii) assistants/carers; and informed the reduction and ranking of responses. Three key themes were identified: i) adapting the environment (physical, culture of, and instruction, ii) how to adapt instruction and strategies, and iii) ongoing communication and education. Expert discussions emphasized the importance of centering the perspectives of dancers with NDD and their support persons/carers (community group) in the final list of recommendations, as well as in ongoing education, dance spaces and culture, and communication of instructions.