Dance has become a popular sport and hobby in more recent years. Many schools now provide options for dance classes, and universities have created degrees in dance. Dance may provide a therapeutic factor as well. This study aimed to identify the age at which participants began to dance as an outlet for positive or negative emotions. This study also examined whether being a life-long dancer, as compared to someone who has recently started dancing, has effects on the general well-being and depression levels of the dancer. Results show that the average age participants found dance as a useful outlet for emotions and feelings was 13 years old. Significant relationships were found between the life-long dancer and quality of life and depression levels of the dancer, but the effect size was small. The study found that 80% of participants self-reported using dance for the mental health benefits it presents. Also, 65% of participants reported largely using dance as an outlet for emotions/feelings.
Colleen Murphy, M.A.
First Advisor Department
Dr. Abby Braden
Second Advisor Department
Douglas, Courtney, "Dancing Through the Pain: Dance as a Psychotherapeutic Outlet" (2016). Honors Projects. 285.