Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Derek Reid


The Walt Disney Company has revolutionized the use of choreography and dance in commercial settings to showcase the value, talent, and passion of the dancer while impacting and inspiring their guests. This has led to the development of their signature style felt throughout all of their productions. Dance is vital to the Disney aesthetic as they use the art form to illuminate the “Magic.” People have very high expectations for the Disney brand, especially the theme parks. To make sure that the Disney quality is upheld they utilize their foundational rules and promote their trademark style. The creative teams ensure that the core of their productions are solid enough that every time a show or parade is altered the Disney aesthetic elements are not. Through dance, Disney is able to establish a sense of nostalgia, explain the narrative, emphasize the music, exemplify their consistency, and interact with the guests in a special way. The productions that make Disney who they are today use dance to elevate the standards and use live action performers to add extra sparkle to their guests’ experiences. The performers are able to make characters from the screen come alive and take these memorable movies and characters a step further while remaining consistent and maintaining synergy in all productions, which is critical to the Disney aesthetic. All of these elements work together to create the magic of Disney and it is impossible to pick just one element as a defining quality that outranks the others. Dance is one of the most meaningful ways in which cast members can personally interact with their guests and add the extra Disney Magic. As a result, dance plays a significant role in what makes Disney unique and exemplifies the trademark characteristics of the Disney aesthetic ensuring the integrity and quality of the Disney name, and therefore, making dance a necessity in creating “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

Included in

Dance Commons