Jacob Fidorra

Jacob Fidorra

Bachelor's Thesis

Impact of Vibrotactile Support on Learning Basic Dancing Steps

Markus Wirth (M.Sc.), Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier

12/2018 – 05/2019

Listening to music is as common as never before in today’s society. Despite this so called “musical socialization”, young people are less interested in ballroom dancing [1]. One of the reasons for this phenomenon might be that learning standard dances requires a decent amount of practice and therefore time. Usually dancing lessons are held in a “teacherstudent(s) relationship with very little use of other methods than verbal instructions from the teacher, her demonstration of movements, or her physical guidance of a student’s movement or posture” [2].
To investigate alternative supportive dance teaching approaches, this bachelor thesis researches the impact of vibrotactile input when learning basic dance movements. The focus of this work is on supporting dancers learning the basic steps of the Cha-Cha-Cha dance using vibrotactile stimuli.

Proof of concept for haptic support was provided in “Haptic Guidance: Experimental Evaluation of a Haptic Training Method for a Perceptual Motor Skill” by Feygin et al. [3]. The results of this work show the effect of haptic guidance on learning a complex 3-D motion. Furthermore, the positive effect of vibrotactile support was proven Huang et al. [4]. In 2008 they published the paper called “PianoTouch: A Wearable Haptic Piano Instruction System for Passive Learning of Piano Skills.”. For this work vibrotactile activators were used inside a glove to support the participants in learning rather simple piano songs. The focus of their study was passive learning [4].

The groundwork of this bachelor thesis is based on the research of Dieter Drobny [2], who published “Saltate! A Sensor Based System to Support Dance Beginners”. In this study, Drobny examined the addition of acoustic feedback to the learning of dancing steps. The results looked promising, even though Drobny admitted that the “supported task in Saltate!, dancing to the beat of the music, was too easy to learn.” [2]. The proposed work consists of the following parts:


  1. Baacke D (ed) (1997) Handbuch Jugend und Musik. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, P. 9-10; P. 93-95
  2. Drobny D, Borchers J (2010) Learning Basic Dance Choreographies Learning Basic Dance Choreographies with Different Augmented Feedback Modalities
  3. Feygin D, Keehner M, Tendick F (2002) Haptic Guidance: Experimental Evaluation of a Haptic Training Method for a Perceptual Motor Skill
  4. Huang K, Yi-Luen Do E, Starner T (2008) PianoTouch: A Wearable Haptic Piano Instruction System For Passive Learning of Piano Skills
  5. Drobny D (2008) Saltate!: A Sensor Based System to Support Dance Beginners, RWTH Aachen Universität