Dance Intervention Study

A scientific investigation of dance and creative movement as an intervention to improve motor skills, perceived physical competence, self-efficacy, and self-confidence in individuals with disabilities and developmental challenges. 


Children and teens between the ages of 8-12 years old with an autism diagnosis


To evaluate the effects of dance and expressive movement on motor skills, behavior, physical health, and overall well-being.


Participating Children & Teens

Participating children and teens attend weekly one-hour dance classes over a period of 10 weeks. Dance classes are taught by volunteer dance teachers through the Expressive Movement Initiative (EMI) dance program at UCLA. Each participant is paired one-on-one with a dance teacher who modifies movements to accommodate your child’s unique needs and ability level.

Parents & Caregivers

Parents and caregivers will be asked to complete a battery of questionnaires and surveys at the beginning and end of the 10-week dance program. 

NOTE: In accordance with UCLA safety guidelines, weekly dance classes will be held on Zoom throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Expressive Movement Initiative holds accessible dance classes over Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Participating children and teens get a unique opportunity to make friends and engage in adaptive dance classes and receive a $100 gift card upon completion of the study.


For more information, please contact Jeff Anderson at

This study is supported by the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P)

Affiliated Websites & Resources