Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Kelvin Ramirez


In Western society, having the “ideal” body image and size is a societal issue. It is advertised throughout media outlets that the “ideal” body is what should be desired, and any other body type is “abnormal”. This capstone thesis focused on the effectiveness of dance as therapy and changing the perspectives of all body types, to support and empower all bodies including plus-sized bodies. The use of individual interviews, in an open dialogue model, with a select few members (3) of Soul thru Sole, including the CEO of the dance company; which focuses on empowering women no matter their age, race, or size was incorporated in this thesis. Observations were noted and discussed after every rehearsal for the showcase. Individual interviews with the participants highlighted increased body satisfaction, improved outlook on personal body image, increased confidence, and improved overall well-being. The author of this capstone thesis noted gaps in the literature pertaining to the exploration into the lasting effects of increased representation of all body types, including “plus sized”, in dance. Limited resources are available regarding empowering and embracing other sizes outside the “ideal” thin body type. There is an urgent need for more research on the lasting effects of being inclusive about size and showing more representations on all body types.

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