Effects of Movement Improvisation and Aerobic Dancing on Motor Creativity and Divergent Thinking

Veronique Richard, Sigal Ben-Zaken, Małgorzata Siekańska, Gershon Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Creativity is considered to be an embodied concept, where internal psychological and external behavioral processes are intertwined. Creativity enhancement programs often target the cognitive side of this bi-dimensionality leaving the impact of motor interventions underexplored. To address this gap in the literature, we tested the effectiveness of two motor programs on motor creativity and divergent thinking (verbal and figural). A total of 92 college students (Mage = 25.36, SD = 2.66) were randomly allocated to a movement improvisation, an aerobic dance, or a control condition. Participants in both motor programs took part in ten 30-minute classes twice a week over a period of 5 weeks. The findings revealed a significant effect of the motor programs on motor fluency and flexibility. Movement improvisation yielded the greatest effects on those variables, followed by aerobic dancing and control condition. Movement improvisation also impacted significantly more figural originality than the control condition. However, the effects were limited to the motor domain and failed to transfer into other divergent thinking variables. The findings highlighted the contribution of movement programs to creative potential development, and the imperative role of a non-judgmental environment, where individuals are free to move spontaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • aerobic dance
  • divergent thinking
  • motor creativity
  • movement improvisation


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