Skip to main content

The Goldsmiths Dance Sophistication Index (Gold-DSI): A Psychometric Tool to Assess Individual Differences in Dance Experience.

The Goldsmiths Dance Sophistication Index (Gold-DSI): A Psychometric Tool to Assess Individual Differences in Dance Experience.

Session 1

Presenter Name:Dawn Rose

School/Affiliation:Lucerne University (Switzerland)

Co-Authors:Daniel Müllensiefen, Peter Lovatt, and Guido Orgs.



Dance is an important topic in psychology due to its unique facilitation of performance, perception, memory and motor actions, and exchange of nonverbal social information. Dance has become increasingly relevant as a basis for developing embodied art-based interventions for neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. Here, we introduce the Dance Sophistication Index (DSI), a 26-item questionnaire to measure individual differences in participatory and observational dance experience.


The Gold-DSI was developed using mixed methods in three stages: 1. A stakeholder workshop was used to explore the concept of dance sophistication using a grounded theory approach. 2. Item formulation and reduction for an online survey (N=424). 3. Hierarchical factor analysis was used to fit a preliminary model. Six new items were added to capture individual differences in dance observation. Two samples tested final model construction (N=127) and evaluation (N=190).


The final version of the Gold-DSI comprised of 20 items related to one general factor that captured experience in dance participation including four secondary factors (Body Awareness, Social Dancing, Urge to Dance, and Dance Training). A further six items separately measured observational dance experience.


The Gold-DSI enables the systematic study of dance and dancing from artistic and scientific perspectives. Research on dance appreciation requires careful assessment of observational dance experience as a predictor of aesthetic judgment. Studying dance expertise provides insights into the neural mechanisms of visual action and body perception. Finally, as dance is included in rehabilitation programmes for various pathologies, the DSI enables assessment of prior engagement with dance as a source of individual differences between participants.


Rose, D., Müllensiefen, D., Lovatt, P., & Orgs, G. (2020). The Goldsmiths Dance Sophistication Index (Gold-DSI): a psychometric tool to assess individual differences in dance experience. Psychology of   Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, Advance online publication.



Poster PDFPoster PDF Video LinkVideo Link