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In our experimental study we used dance as “a living and embodied interview”, aiming to harness each participant’s entire physical body to create knowledge about the leader-follower relationship. We conducted a dance session under the guidance of a dance pedagogue using an auto-ethnographical approach.

The aim of the study was to consider how dance as creative movement works as a research method when studying the leader-follower relationship. During the research process we found it relevant to consider more thoroughly the meta-theoretical assumptions embedded in this kind of arts-based method. At the beginning of the paper, we briefly describe four meta-theories: postmodern social constructionism, critical realism, pragmatism, and phenomenology.

As findings we present five “dance stories” describing how we as followers in an academic work setting perceived our leader-follower relationship through dance. Dance as a research method revealed to us knowledge and meanings beyond our rational and discursive-level understanding. Dance would be suitable for diversifying research on such phenomena as power relations, emotions, and identity, which are something we can feel, but which are not easily explicitly reached by words in conventional interviews.



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