Threshold Concepts and Their Importance in Cross Disciplinary Learning Between Dance and Writing Studies

Mabel Lujan ’20

Dance Major
Faculty Sponsors: Lana Oweidat and Elizabeth Ahearn


Threshold concepts, as introduced by Jan Meyer and Ray Land, are imperative to the transfer of knowledge from one situation to another or one academic discipline to another. The gap between the arts and academic disciplines is often understudied, particularly between writing studies and dance. The process of composing in dance and writing is both rhetorical and social; my interest lies in examining the parallels between the two processes.

In my research, I draw from theories developed by writing studies scholars around the ideas of threshold concepts and transfer theory. Building off the work of Elizabeth Wardle, Linda Alder-Kassner, and other scholars in Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies, my research investigates how threshold concepts can lend themselves to transformative learning and can be applied across disciplines. Based on the parallels between writing and dance, and responses from a survey I conducted, I will develop concepts that will enrich a dancer’s understanding of the two composition processes and help them to write more effectively, specifically about dance.

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