Want sweet dance moves? Use ABA!


By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D

Founding Editor, bSci21.org

Fresh off the press at the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis is a new study by Quinn, Miltenberger, and Fogel (2015) reporting on the use of a TAGteach system to improve dance movement. 

TAGteach, or “Teaching with Acoustical Guidance” is a form of clicker training wherein the trainer can provide more immediate and frequent auditory feedback than would be otherwise possible.


The researchers trained dance teachers to utilize TAGteach with four of their students and targeted three different dance techniques.  The students were given a simple rule that auditory TAGteach feedback meant the movement was executed properly.


The results suggested TAGteach was successful across all movements and students, though one student required a supplemental token system in addition to the TAGteach system to show performance improvement.


To read more about the study, click on the hyperlink above to the full article.  Note that you may have trouble accessing the article without access to a research database.


For you dancers out there, do you think this system would improve your dancing performance or that of your students?  Let us know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!


Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is President of bSci21 Media, LLC, which owns bSci21.org and BAQuarterly.com.  Todd serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and as an editorial board member for Behavior and Social Issues.  He has worked as a behavior analyst in day centers, residential providers, homes, and schools, and served as the director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas.  Todd’s areas of expertise include writing, entrepreneurship, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Instructional Design, Organizational Behavior Management, and ABA therapy. Todd can be reached at [email protected].

4 Comments on "Want sweet dance moves? Use ABA!"

  1. Yes, I do think this would help. I have been learning dance through group lessons for almost a year. Recently, I encountered this article as a paper copy subscriber of JABA. after seeing the research, I started taking individual booster lessons to gain feedback and have noticed a major improvement. There were no tagteach certified dance instructors in my area of Los Angeles. However, a combination of individualized feedback and video modeling has shown to be a successful intervention for helping me improve technique. do you have any recommendations on how to find a tag teach instructor? It seems the instructors do you have any recommendations on how to interest non-behaviors trained dance instructors to use tagteach methods? From the tagteach website, it seems the instructors in the area generally work with animals. In practice, it looks like dance instructors teach the techniques they were taught with whatever modifications had proven useful in past experience.

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