Bruland, Ragnhild. (2021). “The Flex Dance Program – Exploring Pathways to Resilience: A Program Evaluation.” The New School for Social Research, New York, NY.

Evaluation Focus:Evaluation Focus:Author Affiliations: The New School for Social Research
Artforms: Dance
Program: Doctoral Dissertation, Flex Dance Program
Program Description: The Flex Dance Program provides instruction in Flexn, “a unique form of street dance that originated in Brooklyn in the 1990s [which] ‘confronts issues of social injustice through the exploration of personal narratives’” (p. 17). The program utilizes mentor/teaching artists to interact with students.
Program (Study) Location: Brooklyn, NY 
Participant Type: Nonviolent juvenile offenders aged 11 to 18
Sample Size: 53 teaching artists/mentors (35 in the dance intervention and 18 in the talk intervention); youth participants
Study Published: Doctoral Dissertation, 2021
Data Type: Mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) relying on interviews as well as validated questionnaires (Reflective Functioning Questionnaire or Q-RF and Working Alliance Inventory or WAI)
Evaluation Focus: The evaluation explored “qualities and efficacy of dance mentoring programs, specifically whether there were trends in different mentorship modality groups (dance/non-dance mentoring) with regards to reflective functioning and working alliance” (p. 58).

Summary of Impact: Non-dance mentors had higher scores on the Reflective Functioning Questionnaire and higher education levels than dance mentors, suggesting that Q-RF scores may be related to education and that access to educational resources for dance mentors could be valuable.
Dance mentors had higher reflective functioning scores from one-on-one interviews than non-dance mentors “underscores their deep commitment to the intervention work they are involved in, and their capacity for autonomous and meaningful interactions with the youth they serve” (p. IV).
Evaluations with students found that 95% felt more focused and 85% less stressed after a dance-mentoring session.”

KEYWORDS: dance, Flex Dance Program, juvenile, mentoring, relationships, resilience

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