Creative dance in the literature classroom: (Re)making meaning and stretching boundaries

Sofia Jusslin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This article explores the integration of creative dance in students’ meaning-making processes in the literature classroom. Analytical focus lies on fifth-grade students’ interpretations of a poem and how interpretations are created and expressed in creative dance. The material, generated in the pilot study of an educational design research project, was analyzed thematically. A total of three key themes emerged: (1) meaning-making through literary reading,(2) (re)making meaning in dance and literature, and (3) stretching boundaries. Findings suggest that students’ literary reading was not represented through dance, but made and remade into new bodily interpretations in the intra-action between dancer and literature. As such, dance can adhere to literature’s striving to broaden and create new horizons, and meet readers on an affective level. In conclusion, this article presents principles for integrating creative dance in the literature classroom. 

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenom texter och världar
Subtitle of host publicationSvenska och litteratur med didaktisk inriktning – festskrift till Ria Heilä-Ylikallio
EditorsHeidi Höglund, Sofia Jusslin, Matilda Ståhl, Anders Westerlund
PublisherÅbo Akademi University Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-765-927-7
ISBN (Print)978-951-765-926-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • Educational Design Research
  • creative dance
  • dance literacy
  • literary reading
  • meaning-making
  • new materialism


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