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12Foundations for Excellencethemselves, have a positive impact upon the students' fitness. Research has shown that dance performances are of a higher intensity than technique classes and rehearsals, and recent evidence with professional dancers demonstrated significant increases in fitness during performance periods (Wyon and Redding, 2005). A similar pattern seems to have emerged with the CAT dancers, meaning that while fitness is a trainable characteristic, it may change according to performance demands. Alternatively, we know that some CATs offer fitness training as part of their programme so this supplementary training may also play a part.Changes in heart rates over time (lower heart rates indicate greater aerobic fitness)Psychological variablesRegarding the psychological variables, we reported on self-esteem, passion and the motivational climate. Self-esteem is a global trait representing the favourable and unfavourable attitudes individuals have towards themselves. High self-esteem indicates largely favourable attitudes towards oneself. As such, high self-esteem can help dancers to cope with training, auditions and performances that can be both physically and emotionally demanding. We found that self-esteem values are relatively high in the CAT cohort; this is particularly positive given previous findings that dancers have low self-esteem or self-confidence (eg Laws, 2005). Self-esteem did not change over time which is what we would expect of a trait measure (ie it represents general feelings about the self over time). Passion for dance is intuitively important in staying committed to training but we tend to assume that individuals are either passionate or not. Furthermore, we often assume that once an individual is passionate about an activity, they will feel that way for life. However, our findings indicate that passion for dance can fluctuate: students appeared to become slightly less passionate about dance from winter to summer in both years. Could it be that exam pressure from schools and colleges, and the prospect of summer holidays, lessen the extent to which students feel passionate about dance during the summer term? We cannot answer this question yet, but interviews with young dancers who dropped out of the CATs showed that passion for dance can fade altogether. All of the young people who had withdrawn from the programme had been passionate about dance earlier in their development, but this had disappeared over time. Early intense involvement in dance, a lack of technical challenge, and a critical evaluation of dance as a career may all play a role in this loss of passion. More research is needed to understand fully the role of passion in dance talent, but it seems that while not exactly trainable, this is certainly a changeable characteristic. So even if a young dancer is passionate at audition, we cannot assume this passion will remain no matter what throughout his or her development.We have examined the potential impact of performances on physiological fitness, but what about the psychological impact of performance seasons? A final variable to discuss is the motivational climate (for a definition, see Sanna Nordin-Bates' paper). As the following chart shows, task climate perceptions were significantly greater than ego climate perceptions at all time points. This is an important finding suggesting that dancers perceive their teachers to value them equally, emphasise individual progression and encourage peer collaboration. However, during both years of the study, ego perceptions increased significantly in the summer data collections compared to the winter values. Is talent innate or trainable? 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