Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Catie Borbotsina

Second Advisor

Nancy Beardall

Abstract

This Community Engagement Project was created to explore how movement, laughter and breath can create connection for intergenerational women. A community event was facilitated at a suburban YWCA as an observational tool and for information gathering. Arts based research was conducted and evidence of non-verbal movements were recorded through observation, video recordings, and reflections from the participants in the session. In addition, published peer reviewed articles that explore these elements of expression were utilized as an alternative lens. Recent current events that are affecting women worldwide, such as the #metoo and Time's Up movements, offered the backdrop for this project. The participants for this project were women ages 18 to 75 who signed up for a movement and laughter yoga program at a suburban YWCA. The workshop was conducted in a two-hour period with an opportunity for questions and reflections. These women were taken through mindfulness and guided imagery meditation, dance and movement exercises that included mirroring, Bartenieff/Laban Fundamentals, and Laughter Yoga. The results of this community-based project showed evidence of the nonverbal connections, movement, breath, and laughter can facilitate with this population.

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