Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Adolescent females often struggle with emotional regulation, developing relationships, and poor body image. Research indicates that taking dance classes or participating in dance movement therapy sessions can be an effective technique to improve in these areas. However, there is limited research on the use of both in one setting. Therefore, this capstone explored the impacts of dance on adolescent females and the implications of dance/movement therapy (DMT) in a studio-based dance program. The objective of this project was to examine how restructuring a dance class using DMT interventions could improve problem areas such as low self-esteem, lack of communication skills, and negative peer relationships. The method was conducted as a community engagement project with participants ages 10-18. They engaged in five weekly dance classes at a studio in central Florida. The classes consisted of dance movement therapy exercises and traditional dance techniques. Dance was used to increase the technique of the young dancers, while dance movement therapy interventions such as Laban Movement Analysis, improvisation, and imagery were used to explore areas including emotional regulation and body awareness. Observations were recorded through the use of journaling, art work, and movement charts. The results show a shift in the dancer’s communication with one another, along with a more positive attitude towards moving in class. Dancers also developed a greater sense of self and a deeper connection with their bodies. Thus, indicating that when combined DMT and dance technique are beneficial to the physical, cognitive, and social growth of adolescents.
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Sharp, Akeila, "Dance/Movement Therapy and its Implications in a Studio-Based Dance Program: A Community Engagement Project" (2020). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 236.
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