EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 2, No. 1, 2010, 15-28
UDC
316.628:793.31(=14)
ADULT ATTENDANCE IN GREEK TRADITIONAL
DANCING CLASSES
Filippos Filippou*, Dimitris Goulimaris, Stelios Baxevanos and Maria Genti
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences
Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Abstract
The ample attendance of adults in dancing associations in order to learn Greek traditional
dancing has rendered it necessary to investigate the reasons that lead them to participate in such
activities. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the demographic characteristics constitute
differentiation factors of the attendance motives in Greek traditional dancing classes. Adapted on
the Greek population the Participation Motivation Questionnaire by Gill, Gross, and Huddleston
(1983) was used for the data collection. In the study 454 individuals of over 30 years of age who
were taught Greek dancing in dancing associations took part. A frequency analysis, OneñWay
Anova and Man Whitney U test was used for the data statistical process. From the results it seems
that the demographic characteristics of the sample partly differentiate the factors of the attendance.
More specifically, age and years of attendance do not in the least influence the motives of
attendance (p<.05) while sex, educational level, place of residence and previous dancing experience
partly influence the attendance motives (p<.05).
Keywords: dance event, motivation, cultural associations.
Introduction
The use of Greek traditional dancing is nowadays various and with multiple targets. It
composes a part of the curriculum of Physical Education both in primary and secondary education,
it is used as a means of exercise and of physical fitness improvement (Pitsi, 2002; Genti, Serbezis,
Douda, & Kouli, 2008), as a means of national identity boost (Filippou, 1993) and promotion of
Greece abroad (Filippou, Pitsi, & Stavridis, 2000; Filippou, 1993). However, it is mainly taught in
hundreds of cultural associations all over Greece, in municipal cultural enterprises and ìCentres for
Open Protection of the Elderlyî. In recent years a decrease has been observed in individualsí
attendance of 15-18 years of age (Serbezis, 1999) and an abundant adultsí attendance in dancing
associations in order to learn Greek dancing.
* Corresponding author. Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Democritus University of Thrace,
Campus, Komotini, 69100, Greece, e-mail: ffilippo@phyed.duth.gr
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
15
Filippou et al.
The increased adultsí attendance in dancing activities has made it necessary to investigate
the reasons that lead those adults to participate in similar activities. What are the reasons, internal or
external, that motivate adults to join and stay in Greek traditional dancing taught classes?
Motivation contributes to a great degree in the creation of the appropriate climate which will
maximize the interaction in teaching (Salvaras, 2000). More specifically, internal motivation is
defined as the power that leads an individual to occupy with some activity in order to take pleasure
and not obtain some benefits. The individuals fell autonomous, they participate in the class and they
learn new skills with joy. Motivation derives from the activity itself (Trilianos, 1993). On the
contrary, an external motivation exists when the individual becomes active by drawing motivation
from external amplifiers of this motivation such as grades, rewards, praises and prizes. They are
motivated not by the activity itself but by the use of a social amplifier (Koliadis, 1997). The
external factors mostly concern the influences that an individual receives from his family and social
environment.
It is widely acceptable that investigating the reasons for which the individuals choose to
participate in kinetic activities is a useful tool for their motivation comprehension (Biddle, 1997).
Study results have shown a significant number of motives among them the entertainment, the skills
development and several social factors (Biddle, 1998). A factor which influences significantly
individualsí motivation and especially internal motivation is the capability of the people
themselves. The term capability is referred to the estimation that individuals do about the worth of
their abilities, that is, how capable they feel (Koliadis, 1997). This becomes even more apparent
when the activity has some degree of difficulty and challenge so as to lead individuals to the zone of
the forthcoming development (Vygotsky, 1998).
Gill, Gross and Huddleston (1983), through their questionnaire propose thirty possible
attendance reasons in athletic/kinetic activities which can be grouped to the achievement /status,
team atmosphere, fitness, energy release, skill development, friendship and fun factors. Patsiaouras,
Keramidas and Papanikolaou (2004), adapting the aforementioned questionnaire on the Greek
population established eight factors for attendance motives which are: skill improvement
attendance, team attendance, attendance for fun, attendance for success and increase of status,
attendance for making friendships, attendance for good physical fitness, attendance for energy
release and appeasement, attendance for the sport and moment challenge. The adaptation includes
32 questions since two more questions were added to the ´ factor friendshipª. The adaptation was
implemented in a sample of 30 individuals.
According to Sachinidis
(1995), the most important social function of dancing is
socialization both of the young people and of the elderly through the several dancing activities
which the dancing associations offer throughout Greece. Zografou (2003) also agrees with the
aforementioned view underlining the importance of the function of dancing associations. Thus,
according to Zografou (2003) the positive elements that should be promoted are: a) dancing
associations give the opportunity to many young people to become active through their attendance
in events. Thus, dancing procedure ceases being a privilege of a few societies and of people as it
was few years ago b) they bring young people into contact with dancing and through it with music,
song and costume a fact which offers them new experiences and knowledge. Moreover, the long
term procedure for the performance preparation, which is the ultimate aim of the coexistence,
provides the members who compose the group, a more immediate communication c) they give the
opportunity of participating in dancing associations which is an antidote for isolation and passive
attitude, characteristics of the modern society
(Bell,
1978). That is, the dancing associationsí
function, mainly in urban centres, has a social significance too, since it contributes to the procedure
of socialization of their members and they reinforce the coherence of the community or any social
group (Loutzaki, 1994).
According to French Ministry of Cultureís study results (Donn‚t, 1996) women of old age
constitute the majority of those who attend traditional dancing classes. For 69% of the sample the
expected benefits from their attendance in a dancing association are recreation as well as release
16
Adult attendance in Greek traditional dancing classes
from the stress and tension of the daily routine problems. 46% expects to spend some pleasurable
moments with friends or family.
Zanou, Chasandra and Goudas
(2001) study factors of company
(bonding, pleasant
atmosphere and good mood), having fun, dance teacher and teaching showed the highest
percentages in the samplesí preferences. The studyís sample was adult individuals, members of
dancing associations in the county of Trikala and the data statistical process was carried out with the
qualitative analysis method.
Doulias, Kosmidou, Pavlogiannis and Patsiaouras (2005) study investigate the motives
which drive teenagers to participate in activities which dancing associations offer. The study results
showed that the most significant attendance motives were the desire to have fun, the need to feel as
members of a team and to make friends. On the other hand, success and status gaining through their
participation were not motives for their attendance.
McCleary, Weaver and Meng (2006), study showed that
´escapism and relaxationª,
´socialisationª, ´originalityª, ´dance learning-improvement of dancing dexteritiesª, ´enjoymentª
and ´enthusiasmª (Escape & Relaxation, Socialization, Novelty, Dance Learning, (Dance) Event
Enjoyment, and Excitement) constituted six motive factors which drive American people to
participate in dancing activities (social dance learning classes in competition dance events and
festival dancing). The ìescape and relaxationî factor seems to be experienced to a higher degree by
the participants since its preference percentage was 15.1%. Moreover, three cluster groups were
identified based on the dance event motivation dimensions: Multipurpose Dancers, Dance Learning
and Enjoyment Seekers, and Socialization and Relaxation Seekers.
According to Frederick & Ryan (1993) sex, age, educational level, domestic, professional,
social and financial situation constitute factors which influence to a significant degree manís
attendance in physical activities. For instance, men and adolescents choose to attend activities
which demand competition contrary to women and the elderly who do not consider competing
important.
The aim of the study is to investigate the attendance motives as well as the demographic
characteristics of the sample as differentiation factors of the attendance motives in Greek traditional
dancing classes.
Method
Participants
In the research 454 men and women of over 30 years of age took part. Those people were
taught Greek dancing in dancing associations, in ìCentres of Open Protection for the Elderlyî
(COPE) and in municipal cultural associations in the prefectures of Chalkidiki, Imathia, Kozani,
Rodopi and Thessaloniki. The selection of the sample was random. The majority of the sample
consisted of middle aged women who were secondary education graduates (table 1). The large
majority of the sample lives in urban centres, it does not have any previous dancing experience and
had attended courses for more than 3 years (table 2).
17
Filippou et al.
Table1
Demographic characteristics of the sample
Gender (%)
Age
Education
Male Female
Group
(%)
(%)
28.2
71.8
30-45
47.1
Primary
12.8
46-60
43.4
Gymnasium
19.8
60+
9.5
Lyceum
25.8
University
32.6
Table 2
Demographic characteristics of the sample
Live in
Dancing experience
Dance lessons
(%)
(%)
Years
(%)
Urban centre 63
Yes
30
1
25.6
Village
37
No
70
2
13.4
3
25.1
3+
35.9
Instruments
The Gill, Gross, and Huddleston (1983) Participation Motivation Questionnaire (PMQ) was
used for the data collection since it evaluates the motivation in attending physical activities, as this
was adapted on the Greek population by Patsiaouras et al (2004).
This questionnaire was modified in order to record the attendance motives of adults in Greek
traditional dance teaching classes. It was tentatively submitted to 30 individuals, who participated in
Greek dancing courses and who, on the one hand answered to the questions and on the other gave
their own observations and suggestions. After statistical analysis three variables were cancelled
while some others were rephrased.
The final questionnaire consists of two parts. The first investigates the demographic details
of the participants with six variables. The second part which investigates the attendance motives
consists of 29 variables. The answers were given in a five degree Likert scale from ìabsolutely
disagreeî to ìabsolutely agreeî.
Procedure
The adults gave their consent for their attendance in the study. The completion of the
questionnaire was anonymous and it was carried out in the practice grounds before or after class.
The completion time was around 15 minutes. After filling in their questionnaires, they placed them
in a poll in order to secure their anonymity.
18
Adult attendance in Greek traditional dancing classes
Results
Validity and reliability of questionnaire
In order to control the validity of the questionnaire, a factor analysis was conducted. From
the analysis results as they were displayed in a recent international congress (Filippou, Goulimaris,
& Genti, 2009) eight factors emerged from the factor analysis. The first factor, (rejection of
boredom) concerns the elimination of stress and daily preoccupations. The second factor, (status-
recognition) refers to the participantís expectations to achieve recognition from the others and gain
social appeal. Participation in dancing activities is challenge for the participants (third factor). The
fourth factor (improvement of dexterities) refers to the sampleís desire to improve his/her dancing
level and to learn new dances. The participants face their attendance as chance for exercise and the
upkeep or even improvement of their health (fifth factor, exercise and health). The sixth factor
(team) pertains to the participantís desire to constitute members of a team. Acquaintance with new
individuals, creation of new friendships and being with friends constitute an attendance factor for
the sample
(seventh factor, friendship). Finally, the eighth factor
(popularity) concerns the
participants who aspire to be popular and important by participating in something they are good at.
A reliability analysis was performed in order to examine the reliability of the items
constituting the eight factors under study. The reliability test was based on the calculation of
Cronbachís alpha. The reliability analysis results pertaining to the aforementioned factors are
showed in table 3. The analyses have showed that the factors have a satisfactory reliability score
(·>.60). All variables contribute positively to the improvement of the factors reliability.
Table 3
Reliability analysis of the attendance motives factors
Factors
Cronbachís Alfa
Boredom rejection
.99
Achievement/ status
.85
Challenge
.99
Skills improvement
.98
Exercise & Fitness
.83
Team atmosphere
.93
Friendship
.89
Popularity
.60
From the sum of the questions score of each factor divided by the number of the factor
questions eight new variables representing the eight factors of attendance motives were created. As
table 4 shows, the factor ´Exercise and healthª is experienced by the sample in a greater intensity.
The factors ´Dexterity improvementª and ´Friendshipª presented the second and the third higher
rate respectively. The next rates presented the factors ´Teamª and ´Boredom rejectionª. Finally,
the factors ´Status- Recognitionª, ´Popularityª and ´Friendshipª presented the lowest rates.
19
Filippou et al.
Table 4
Means and standard deviation of the eight participation factors
Factors
M
S.D.
Boredom rejection
3.3
.82
Achievement/ status
2.7
.68
Challenge
2.0
.75
Skills improvement
4.1
.85
Exercise & Fitness
4.5
.47
Team atmosphere
3.6
.56
Friendship
4.0
.70
Popularity
2.7
.46
Sex as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Man Whitney U tests for independent samples which do not follow a regular division were
conducted to examine whether there are any statistically significant differences as to the
participation factors owing to the participantsí sex. From the analysis application a statistically
significant effect of the factor ´Sexª was found only for the factor ´Boredom rejectionª (table 5).
From the comparison of the M (means) it is concluded that for the factor ´Boredom rejectionª men
take part in a greater degree (M=3.55 & S.D. =.85) than women (M=3.31 & S.D. =.80).
Table 5
Sex as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Factors
Mann-Whitney U
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed)
Rejection of boredom
17242.0
.003*
Achievement/ status
19704.5
.329
Challenge
19870.0
.383
Skills improvement
20736.0
.915
Exercise ñ Fitness
20143.5
.550
Team atmosphere
20399.5
.683
Friendship
20548.5
.799
Popularity
20630.5
.846
*p<0.05
Age as differentiation factor of the participation factors
One - Way ANOVA variance analyses were conducted, to examine whether there are any
statistically significant differences as to the participation factors owing to the participantsí age.
From the analysis application it was found that there was no statistically significant effect of the
factor ´Ageª to any of the participation factors (table 6).
20
Adult attendance in Greek traditional dancing classes
Table 6
Age as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Factors
F
P
Rejection of boredom
F(2.453)=.998
.370
Achievement/ status
F(2.453)=.370
.691
Challenge
F(2.453)=.630
.533
Skills improvement
F(2.453)=2.577
.077
Exercise
F(2.453)=.344
.709
Team atmosphere
F(2.453)=.257
.773
Friendship
F(2.453)=.422
.656
Popularity
F(2.453)=.109
.897
*p<0.05
Educational level as differentiation factor of the participation factors
One - Way ANOVA variance analyses were conducted. to examine whether there are any
statistically significant differences as to the participation factors owing to the participantsí
educational level. From the analysis application it was found that there was statistically significant
effect of the factor ´Educational levelª only on the factor ´Popularityª (table 7). From the test of
multiple comparisons Shceffe there were found statistically significant differences among
individuals who were university, high school and secondary education graduates. From the
comparison of the M (means) it is concluded that for the factor ´Popularityª the individuals who
were university graduates participate in a greater degree (M=2.13; S.D.=.35) than those who were
high school graduates (M=1.99; S.D.=.30) and secondary education graduates (M=2.00; S.D.=.35).
Table 7
Educational level as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Factors
F
P
Rejection of boredom
F(3.453)=.523
.666
Achievement/ status
F(3.453)=1.230
.298
Challenge
F(3.453)=1.461
.225
Skills improvement
F(3.453)=1.778
.150
Exercise
F(3.453)=.538
.656
Team atmosphere
F(3.453)=1.913
.127
Friendship
F(3.453)=.564
.639
Popularity
F(3.453)=4.873
.002*
*p<0.05
Years of attendance as differentiation factor of the participation factors
One - Way ANOVA variance analyses were conducted, to examine whether there are any
statistically significant differences as to the participation factors owing to the participantsí years of
attendance. From the analysis application it was found that there was no statistically significant
effect of the factor ´Years of attendanceª to any of the participation factors (table 8).
21
Filippou et al.
Table 8
Years of attendance as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Factors
F
P
Rejection of boredom
F(3.453)=.290
.832
Achievement/ status
F(3.453)=.916
.433
Challenge
F(3.453)=.652
.582
Skills improvement
F(3.453)=2.082
.102
Exercise
F(3.453)=.447
.720
Team atmosphere
F(3.453)=1.306
.272
Friendship
F(3.453)=.388
.762
Popularity
F(3.453)=2.42
.083
*p<0.05
Previous dancing experience as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Man Whitney U tests for independent samples which do not follow a regular division were
conducted to examine whether there are any statistically significant differences as to the
participation factors owing to the participantsí previous dancing experience. From the analysis
application a statistically significant effect of the factor ´previous dancing experienceª for the
factors
´Challengeª,
´Skills improvementª and
´Fitnessª was found
(table
9). From the
comparison of the means it is concluded that:
a) For the factor ´Challengeª individuals with previous dancing experience participate in a
greater degree (M=4.23; S.D.=.91) than those without any experience (M=4.07; S.D.=.82).
b) For the factor
´Skills improvementª individuals with previous dancing experience
participate in a greater degree
(M=4.64; S.D.=.46) than those without any experience
(M=4.54; S.D.=.47).
c) For the factor ´Exerciseª individuals with previous dancing experience participate in a
greater degree (M=2.14; S.D.=.86) than those without any experience (M=1.93; S.D.=.68).
22
Adult attendance in Greek traditional dancing classes
Table 9
Previous dancing experience as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Factors
Mann-Whitney U
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed)
Rejection of boredom
21216.00
.685
Achievement/ status
20692.00
.399
Challenge
19248.00
.034*
Skills improvement
18927.50
.023*
Exercise
18895.00
.022*
Team atmosphere
19907.00
.119
Friendship
21568.50
.908
Popularity
20234.50
.229
*p<0.05
Place of residence as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Man Whitney U tests for independent samples which do not follow a regular division were
conducted to examine whether there are any statistically significant differences as to the
participation factors owing to the participantsí place of residence. From the analysis application a
statistically significant effect of the factor
´Place of residenceª only for the factor
´Skills
improvementª was found (table 10). From the comparison of the means it is concluded that citizens
participate to improve their dancing level in a greater degree (M=4.17; S.D.=.89) than village
dwellers (M=4.04; S.D.=.78).
Table 10
Place of residence as differentiation factor of the participation factors
Factors
Mann-Whitney U
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed)
Rejection of boredom
22178.00
.153
Achievement/ status
21661.50
.064
Challenge
22699.00
.279
Skills improvement
21388.50
.037*
Exercise
23254.00
.551
Team atmosphere
23716.00
.801
Friendship
23990.00
.980
Popularity
23299.00
.539
*p<0.05
23
Filippou et al.
Discussion
In recent years an abundant attendance of individuals of over of 30 years of age is observed
in dancing associations. Middle and older aged men and women and of any educational level, old
dancers and non experts in Greek dancing come to dancing associationsí classes with the desire to
learn to dance Greek traditional dancing. Their significant participation balances the reduced
attendance as well as its ceasing from group activities of individuals of a younger age and in this
manner covers the gaps which are created in populating the dance activities of the associations.
Adult dancers constitute a fundamental asset for the smooth functioning of dancing associations.
For the aforementioned reasons the investigation of the demographic characteristics as
differentiation motive attendance factors was deemed necessary. Thus, the study results can be used
both for the better organization and function of the classes and for the recruitment of a larger
number of adults.
The studyís results as far as the demographic characteristics of the sample are concerned
concur with the results of other studies (Donn‚t, 1996; Papaioannidou, Basdeki, & Filippou, 2005)
where middle and older aged women of university education graduates constitute the majority of
those who learn traditional dancing.
The western view that dancing concerns only women was confirmed by our studyís results.
The small percentage of men should not make an impression since both in Greece and abroad the
trend is not for men to take part in dancing activities. Perhaps, the reason for not taking part is the
established viewpoint that dancing concerns exclusively women and not men. A view which comes
from childhood since the boysí attendance in childrenís classes of the dancing associations is too
small in relation to girls. It comes from the west and from classical and modern dancing and
completely wrongly includes traditional dancing too which conversely promotes the man dancer.
The age of the participants in relation to their long term attendance, their experience and the
financial contribution they make allow us to conclude that adults constitute a factor which, on the
one hand, contributes conclusively to the right function of the associations and on the other to the
uninhibited organisation and realisation of associationsí performances.
The results showed that traditional dancing, as motor activity, attracts individuals of high
educational level and has the ability to keep their interest unabated evidence of the position that
traditional dancing holds on these peoples system of values.
As to the locus in which the dance is presented we can observe a location divergence. Being
primarily an expression of the agricultural-farming traditional society it can be found today mainly
in the urban centres as a consequence of folklore.
On the contrary, the associations of rural areas which have classes for adults are sparse.
Perhaps, this is due to the desire of the people living in those areas to detach themselves from
anything that connects them to the past, anything that is considered as old fashioned and
conservative.
Finally, we could say that a tendency to return especially to the same association can be
observed by individuals who were formerly dancers and ceased their attendance for reasons such as
studies, having a family or work. Their return shows that their attendance termination was due to
personal reasons and not to poor relationships with the managing councils of the associations or the
dancing teachers.
From the study it becomes evident that Greek dance is susceptible to multifaceted
approaches, as well as the multiple benefits one expects by his/her dance attendance. The
individuals that attend courses of Greek traditional dance take part in them because they expect to
24
Adult attendance in Greek traditional dancing classes
exercise themselves and maintain or even improve their health, to improve their dancing level and
learn new dances, to have a pleasant time with their family or friends, to socialise with individuals
who have the same interests, to relax from the daily routine. On the contrary, the participants are
less interested in gaining prestige and recognition as well as being popular through their attendance
since the factors ´status - recognitionª and ´popularityª are in the last place of their choice.
Moreover, they do not face their attendance as a challenge and opportunity for new experiences.
From the results it seems that adults do not face dancing as a hard and strenuous motor activity and
occupation but as a social activity which gives them the opportunity to work out and to improve
their physical fitness as well as to enjoy themselves and to feel members of a team.
These results contradict the survey findings of Zanou et al. (2001) and Doulias et al. (2005)
studies since the resulting participation motive factors are different to the three studies. The
differences with Zanou et al.study are probably due to the type of activity. In the specific study the
sample participated in general physical activities while in the present the activity was traditional
dancing. As far as the Doulias et al. study is concerned the differences are probably due to the
different age composition of the sample.
The questionnaire that was used for our study is also used to many researches and in many
countries (Kirkby, Kolt, & Liu, 1999; Longhurst & Spink, 1987; Wang & Wiese-Bjornstal, 1996).
However, a common number of motive factors did not emerge from these studies. In Kirkby et al.
study (1999) seven factors emerged, in Longhurst and Spink (1987) four and in Wank and Wiese-
Bjornstal (1996) research, eight. The differentiation in type and in the number of the factors is
probably due to the methodology differences, to the variety of physical activity, to the sample or
even to the different years of age and to the cultural variety of individuals (Kirkby, Kolt, & Liu,
1999).
The results provide the opportunity to claim that traditional dancing constitutes an activity
suitable for adults and especially for those of middle and older age. It does not encourage
competition since the participation for ´status - recognitionª and ´popularityª has the lowest mean.
On the contrary, it constitutes an exercise suitable for their age and their motor level and a tool of
socialization which is necessary for those ages.
Greek traditional dancing is an activity in which the notions of internal and external
motivation coexist. The factors ìboredom rejectionî, ìteamî, ìfriendshipî and up to a point
ìdexterity improvementî, function as internal motivation since they are related with the pleasure
and satisfaction that someone derives from learning something new attempting to overcome his/her
limitations or simply enjoying his attendance in an activity. They participate for the pleasure which
results from their attendance, without aiming at the teaching results themselves, since according to
the aforementioned researchers, internal motivation is defined as the engagement in an activity for
the sheer pleasure it offers rather than its effects. This of course, does not exclude benefits for
participants, such as gaining new experiences or improving their dancing level since through their
improvement they feel satisfaction, joy and the sense that they have managed to go beyond
themselves.
Our studyís results agree with the results of other studies which investigated the attendance
motives in physical activities. Thus, the results of our study agree with the results of Deci & Ryan
(1985) study. Both studies agree that internal motivation leads to attendance through which the
participant aims at the internal satisfaction, such as the pleasure that can be derived when someone
learns some new dexterity while the external motivation functions as a leader for participating in
activities aiming at benefits and rewards.
However, for a part of the sample, dancing functions as external motivation since they aim
at specific results and benefits from their attendance. More specifically, dancing seems to function
partly as a recognisable control of behaviour (Deci & Ryan, 1985). A part of the sample has been
convinced that they will gain personal benefits such as health improvement or recognition and
25
Filippou et al.
popularity and moreover they rate them as significant benefits. In this manner the external source of
motivation is internalised without thereafter having the need for its presence.
The study results can be considered as impressive and subversive as far as the effect of the
demographic characteristics of the sample to the attendance motives is concerned; both because
they are in contrast with the results of other studies and with the results themselves.
Frederick & Ryan (1993) and Hassandra, Goudas & Chroni (2003) studies have shown that
the demographic characteristics (sex, age, educational level) and the social and environmental
factors influence to a significant degree the attendance motives in physical activities. In our
research, age and years of attendance did not constitute differentiation factors of the attendance
motives. This means that both individuals of 30 years of age and those with 65 years of age
participate being motivated by the same motives. This is probably due to the activity itself since the
traditional dancing of a people forms a multivalent activity which offers opportunities for the
participation of all members in a: a) creative experience, b) type of social practice, c) expression of
feelings.
Sex constitutes a differentiation factor only for the factor
´boredom rejectionª. The
presumed result would be for women to participate in classes in a greater degree than men with the
aim of getting out of home and breaking away from the monotony of every day life. However,
according to the results, men participate in a greater degree with the aim of unwinding and relaxing
from the tensions of daily routine.
The educational level of the participants has a significant effect only on the factor
´popularityª. Educated individuals seem to participate in a greater degree than the rest with the aim
of being popular; evidence that they consider dancing as an activity with great status.
The place of residence of the participants has a significant effect only on the factor
´improvement of dexteritiesª. According to the results, city inhabitants are interested in a greater
degree in improving their dancing level than village dwellers are. This is probably due to the effect
of the folklore movement which has the bourgeois seek out relative activities in his escapist
attempts. Perhaps the individuals who constitute the sample originate from agricultural populations
and through their attendance aim at returning to the origins. Finally, most probably village
inhabitants believe that their dancing level does not need any improvement since they considered it
satisfactory.
Those who were former dancers participate in a greater degree because they face their
attendance as a challenge to improve their dancing level and see dancing as exercise which helps
them maintain or even improve their health. We could say that these results are expected since the
individuals have been convinced, through their long term attendance, of the multiple benefits that
dancing offers.
In conclusion, we could claim that dancing constitutes an activity with a multivalent
character offering to the participants many opportunities for exercise, relaxation and socialization.
The demographic characteristics only partly constitute definitive differentiation factors of
attendance motives.
26
Adult attendance in Greek traditional dancing classes
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Submitted November 25, 2010
Accepted January 27, 2010
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