Measuring Affective Data from Argentine Tango Dancers

Janice Wang

MAS630 Fall 2011


Introduction & Motivation

For my final project, I wanted to measure, as much as possible, the emotional experience of Argentine tango dancing. I decided to focus on Argentine tango because it is entirely improvisational; Unlike most other social dances, there are no fixed steps or rhythms, so it is up to the two people dancing to define how they choose to move to the music. My initial motivation was rather selfish; as a tango dancer myself, I wanted to see if this subtle process of interpretation and negotiation could be revealed by physiological signals.

This is a largely exploratory study where I attempt to examine the effect of 1) dancing alone vs. with a partner and 2) familiarity with the music.

In the background section, I cover some prior studies in the field of physiological signal measurement related to music and dance. In the experimental setup section, I describe the experiment design of my study. Data processing covers how raw physiological data is processed. Data analysis offers a quick background in analyzing skin conductance response. The stories section offers a look at the participants’ individual data, while the couples section looks at possible synchronization between participants. The trends section looks at the relationship between arousal and musical structure of the songs, as well as other general results. The conclusion & discussion section includes possible alterations to the study and future studies.