Original document was submitted as an honors thesis requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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The purpose of this thesis is to define the terms improvisation, cognition, and creativity, and therefore find the direct correlation between all three, and how they can all be involved within dance. The main intention is to determine whether or not improvisational dance can positively influence one’s creative mindset, thus improving the cognitive learning process. Furthermore, it is to discover if the development of a creative mindset can be established through dance improvisation at an early age. In this exploration, the majority of my research will come from the examination of previously conducted experiments, as well as guiding and observing an improvisation class of young adults, gaining insight simply from a dance teacher’s perspective in order to explore the idea of cognition leading to creativity through movement. In addition to the bulk of my research, I will also take a look at a class of younger students when attempting to answer the sub questions proposed, regarding the similarities within the correlation of dance improvisation and cognition, based upon different age ranges. Constructed from gathered sources, as well as my own personal explorations, research has found that there is a direct positive correlation between improvisational dance and the development of creativity, primarily due to the cognitive comprehension, retention and exploration capabilities improvisation provides for the mind. The enhancement of creativity allows for the mind to discover new and unfamiliar information that furthers one’s knowledge. This idea of creativity and the thinking/learning process stems further than just simply within the dance and arts realm. It can be influential within any part of society and can heighten the level of thinking and learning, as we know it.