Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Research in Dance Education

For a Special Issue on

Leadership in Dance Education

Manuscript deadline
30 January 2024

Cover image - Research in Dance Education

Special Issue Editor(s)

Angela Pickard, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
[email protected]

Edward C. Warburton, University of California at Santa Cruz, USA
[email protected]

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Leadership in Dance Education

Research in Dance Education - Innovations in Arts Practice aims to inform, stimulate and promote the development of research in dance education and is relevant to academics, dancers, teachers and choreographers. The desire to improve the quality and provision of dance education through lively and critical debate, and the dissemination of research findings is uppermost. The journal sets out to include contributors from a wide, diverse community of researchers, extending to all aspects of dance in education.

Leadership in Dance Education special issue

Deadline for paper submission is 30th January 2024


What are dancers’, dance educators’ and those working in dance organisations, experiences of leadership and leadership development? The study of leadership has grown in popularity and critical study over the past several decades, with leadership development seen across various fields as a more important and complex task than ever before (Uhl-Bien et al., 2007). Given its huge spread, leadership studies surely must be a successful field, enthusiasts may feel. After all, leadership necessitates wide-ranging expertise and knowledge; in educational settings, changes in policy and pedagogy are continuously shaping the work of our leaders (Normore, 2004). Recent crises and states of leadership across the globe, however, makes it hard sometimes to understand the reasons for the current leadership craze, not only in society but also in the arts and academia. This confusion can be especially acute in dance because of the dearth of research literature on this topic. The art of dance, dance education and arts education more broadly, and the impacts of dancing on well-being have been studied abundantly, but few studies have focused on leadership in dance.


One important goal of this special issue is, therefore, to understand better what studies in leadership can learn from dance, and vice versa. The premise of this issue is that leading in dance and dance education settings can be considered a special task, where art-making and creativity must somehow meet management and organisation on equal terms in order to flourish (Freedman, 2007). We also assume that the dancing body is central to the identity of leaders in dance and their ability to engage colleagues (Risner & Musil, 2017). While mainstream leadership research has been limited to individual-centric and theoretical models, new ways of conceptualising leadership have begun to consider it as an aesthetic event, a co-constructed reality, a bodily experience (Hansen et al., 2007; Reynolds et al., 2017; Zeitner et al., 2016).


For this special issue, we welcome theoretical and empirical contributions using a range of methods (e.g., autoethnographic, case study, mixed-method, philosophical, practice-based) that address ideas, issues or topics that may include (but are not limited to) the following:


  • traits, mindsets, or knowledges necessary for leading in dance-specific contexts;
  • dance-based practices that could inform leaders working in other areas;
  • experiences and practices of aesthetic, collaborative, embodied, or relational leadership;
  • structural challenges or workplace policies that have shaped the application of dance leadership in cultural or educational institutions;
  • development of leadership skills (e.g., habits of mind, emotional intelligence, kinaesthetic observation skills) that contribute to the teaching and learning of dance;
  • innovative curricular or pedagogical practices that address leadership in dance education;
  • contributions of intersectional identities on dance leadership studies, including gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexual identities, spiritual or religious identities, among others.


By exploring leadership as a historically situated and socio-cultural phenomenon, this special issue seeks to reveal the pedagogic and/or institutional forces at work determining the integration of leadership studies in dance and dance education. We encourage contributions that expand the conversation to include study of those who are recognised as holding Leadership positions (i.e., big “L”), such as artistic directors and heads of degree-granting programmes, as well as those who exhibit everyday leadership qualities (i.e., little “l”), such as dance teachers, students, staff and community members. This special issue asks:


  • what is the history and theory of leadership as it relates to dance and education;
  • how do differing methodological perspectives on leadership inform dance education;
  • in what ways does dance leadership manifest onstage, in rehearsal, or in the studio classroom;
  • how do dominant political paradigms and historic inequities constrain the dance leadership “pipeline” and what does it mean to incorporate diversity and equity in leadership, to create an “inclusive” dance leadership;
  • in what ways can dance integrate and implement women’s and gender studies research, social sciences research, and/or dance science research or somatic practices into studies of leadership;
  • what can we learn from dance leadership during crisis and, alternately, what can we say about a crisis in cultural leadership;
  • where is dance education leadership located today on the international map of artistic and scholarly pursuits in dance?



Freedman, K. (2007). Artmaking/Troublemaking: Creativity, policy, and leadership in art education. Studies in Art Education, 48(2), 204–217.

Hansen, H., Ropo, A., & Sauer, E. (2007). Aesthetic leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 18(6), 544–560.

Normore, A. H. (2004). Socializing school administrators to meet leadership challenges that doom all but the most heroic and talented leaders to failure. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 7(2), 107–125.

Reynolds, S., Tonks, A., & MacNeill, K. (2017). Collaborative leadership in the arts as a unique form of dual leadership. The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, 47(2), 89–104.

Risner, D., & Musil, P. S. (2017). Leadership narratives in postsecondary dance administration: Voices, values and gender Variations. Journal of Dance Education, 17(2), 53–64.

Uhl-Bien, M., Marion, R., & McKelvey, B. (2007). Complexity Leadership Theory: Shifting leadership from the industrial age to the knowledge era. The Leadership Quarterly, 18(4), 298–318.

Zeitner, D., Rowe, N., & Jackson, B. (2016). Embodied and embodiary leadership: Experiential learning in dance and leadership education. Organizational Aesthetics, 5(1), 167–187.

Deadline for paper submission is 1st September 2023

We seek contributions of ideally 5000–8000 words addressing any of these suggested questions and topics focused on Leadership in Dance. When submitting please click the special issue tab on ScholarOne so that the submission can be considered for the special issue. The papers will be blind reviewed by two reviewers. A decision will be returned that may require major or minor amendments or the paper may be accepted without further work or rejected if the paper is deemed unsound or unsuitable. The process of review until acceptance can take up to 6 months. If there are more papers submitted than exceed space to print within the special issue, these will be considered within the reviewing process for publication in the main issue.

Papers by previously unpublished authors may be submitted to be considered for the Linda Rolfe New Writers Prize as part of this issue or a main issue. The New Writer’s Prize is an open competition across the issues published within the year. Two/three articles will be shortlisted but only one prize will be awarded by the board. The winning article will receive a prize bundle. Please indicate if you wish to enter when you submit your paper by selecting ‘New Writers Prize’ as the manuscript type.

Manuscripts should be submitted online at the Research in Dance Education Manuscript Central site at For further information on the journal and Instructions for Authors, please visit the journal’s dedicated website



Submission Instructions

Select "special issue Leadership in Dance Education” when submitting your paper to ScholarOne

Expected publication date is approximately Autumn 2024.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article