Dance Psychology

Dance is the only art in which we are ourselves are the stuff of which it is made
— Ted Shawn

Dance is an art that goes back to the beginning of all people. Across cultures and times, dance has fulfilled a basic human need for creative self expression. Whether you are a professional dancer or a passionate social dancer, dance is likely to have a special place and meaning in your life. Dancing gives us a unique opportunity to tap into our most powerful emotions, to express creativity, and to feel truly alive. If you partner dance, you may also thrive on the unique interpersonal connection between leader and follower.

Regardless of its numerous benefits, dancing puts you at risk for physical and emotional challenges that can adversely affect your career or social dance experience:

  • High Expectations & Low Self-Esteem: When your performance is not commensurate with your expectations, your self-esteem and self-confidence may be undermined
  • Performance Anxiety: Though many dancers experience some nervousness, for some excessive worry turns into debilitating performance anxiety.
  • Body Armor: From childhood, the body experiences and registers emotional events. Previous trauma, frozen in time, can create a body “armor” that limits your physical and emotional self-expression.
  • Body Image: Due to the great emphasis on physical appearance, as a dancer you may be painfully preoccupied with your body size, shape, weight and eating habits. You may have developed a negative body image and/or an eating disorder.
  • Psychological stress & injuries: Although dancers train their bodies intensively, the psychological causes of physical injury are often ignored. Psychological stress is found to be a major factor in physical injury.
  • Life as a dancer: When it comes to navigating the uncertain terrain of finding work, the emotional pressures can be overwhelming, especially without adequate social and financial support.

Dance Psychology is rooted in the belief that body and mind are powerfully interwoven. The mind plays a pivotal role in the dance experience and, in turn, dancing has a powerful effect on the mind. Dance is seen as a bridge between the psyche and the body as well as the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind. In Dance Psychology, we explore the ways in which your mind can enhance or inhibit your physical movement, self-expression and connection with a dance partner. By cultivating inner listening, mindfulness and self-discovery, we improve the flow of communication between your mind and body, so that you become better able to:

  • reduce and manage your performance anxiety
  • maximize self expression in your dance movement
  • enhance the quality of connection with your dance partner
  • transform a negative body image
  • understand the conflicts and traumas that inhibit your creativity
  • quiet the voice of self-criticism and increase self-confidence
  • expand the connection between emotions and movement

Please feel free to contact me by email or phone to learn more about Dance Psychology and to schedule an appointment.