The Well of Dance

Wellcome!

This website has links to research and academic reviews regarding the benefits of dancing and dance-movement therapy – on well-being, brain health, and a variety of other categories listed on the side. The blog is meant to offer examples, rather than being comprehensive. Currently the focus is on research regarding adults and older adults.

Feel free to share your thoughts below a post. (-:

Warmly,

Joanne Cuffe, M.Ed.
Dance facilitator in Victoria, BC, Lekwungen Territories

p.s. Please be in touch with suggestions, links, feedback, curiosities, etc. Thank-you.
p.p.s. Thank-you to Peter Renner, whose Benefits of mindfulness and meditation website was the spur for this website.

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Dance therapy with individuals surviving brain injuries

Dance/movement therapy in the rehabilitation of individuals surviving severe head injuries. 1985. Cynthia F. Berrol PhD, ADTR, and Stephanie S. Katz ADTR. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 1985, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 46-66.

Abstract: “Approximately 700,000 individuals are admitted to hospitals annually as a result of severe brain injuries. Of the survivors, upwards of 70,000 suffer pervasive, long-term disruption of all domains of human function and marked alteration of the quality of life. Effective treatment requires a well-orchestrated multidisciplinary team approach. This paper will address rehabilitation issues in relation to dance/movement therapy. First the pathological consequences of neurotrauma will be reviewed. Likewise, basic mechanisms of recovery, treatment principles and special therapeutic considerations will be addressed. Finally, intervention strategies will be discussed within the context of both group and individual settings and illustrated via case studies.”

Review: Physical benefits of dancing for older adults

Physical Benefits of Dancing for Healthy Older Adults: A Review. 2009. Justin W.L. Keogh, Andrew Kilding, Philippa Pidgeon, Linda Ashley, and Dawn Gillis. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 2009, 17, 1-23.

Abstract: “Dancing is a mode of physical activity that may allow older adults to improve their physical function, health, and well-being. However, no reviews on the physical benefits of dancing for healthy older adults have been published in the scientific literature. Using relevant databases and keywords, 15 training and 3 cross-sectional studies that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Grade B–level evidence indicated that older adults can significantly improve their aerobic power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait through dancing. Grade C evidence suggested that dancing might improve older adults’ lower body bone-mineral content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. Further research is, however, needed to determine the efficacy of different forms of dance, the relative effectiveness of these forms of dance compared with other exercise modes, and how best to engage older adults in dance participation.

“Keywords: dance, exercise, falls, functional ability”

Dance therapy group effects on stress management & stress reduction

Dance movement therapy group intervention in stress treatment: A randomized controlled trial (RCT). 2012. Iris Bräuninger. The Arts in Psychotherapy Volume 39, Issue 5, November 2012, Pages 443–450.

Abstract
“This randomized controlled trial compares the effect of a dance movement therapy (DMT) group intervention on stress management improvement and stress reduction with a wait-listed control group (WG). 162 self-selected clients suffering from stress were randomly assigned to a WG or a DMT intervention that received 10 group therapy sessions. Stress management [Stressverarbeitungsfragebogen/SVF 120], psychopathology and overall distress (Brief Symptom Inventory/BSI) were evaluated at baseline (t1: pre-test), immediately after completion of the ten sessions DMT group intervention (t2: post-test), and 6 months after the DMT treatment (t3: follow-up test). Analysis of variance was calculated to evaluate the between-group (time × condition) and within-group (time) effect of the DMT intervention. Negative stress management strategies decreased significantly in the short-term at t2 (p < .005) and long-term at t3 (p < .05), Positive Strategy Distraction improved significantly in the short-term (p < .10), as well as Relaxation (p < .10). Significant short-term improvements were observed in the BSI psychological distress scales Obsessive-Compulsive (p < .05), Interpersonal Sensitivity (p < .10), Depression (p < .05), Anxiety (p < .005), Phobic Anxiety (p < .01), Psychoticism (p < .05), and in Positive Symptom Distress (p < .02). Significant long-term improvement in psychological distress through DMT existed in Interpersonal Sensitivity (p < .05), Depression (p < .000), Phobic Anxiety (p < .05), Paranoid Thinking (p < .005), Psychoticism (p < .05), and Global Severity Index (p < .01). Results indicate that DMT group treatment is more effective to improve stress management and reduce psychological distress than non-treatment. DMT effects last over time.”

“Keywords: Dance movement therapy (DMT) research; Stress management and stress reduction; Randomized controlled trial (RCT); Treatment effectiveness; Group therapy”

Meta-analysis: Effects of dance movement therapy & dance on health-related psychological outcomes

Effects of Dance Movement Therapy and Dance on Health-Related Psychological Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. 2014. Sabine Koch, Teresa Kunz, Sissy Lykou, & Robyn Cruz. The Arts in Psychotherapy Volume 41, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages 46-64. *Article does not have free open access.

 

Abstract: “In this meta-analysis, we evaluated the effectiveness of dance movement therapy1 (DMT) and the therapeutic use of dance for the treatment of health-related psychological problems. Research in the field of DMT is growing, and 17 years have passed since the last and only general meta-analysis on DMT (Ritter & Low, 1996) was conducted. This study examines the current state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of DMT and dance from 23 primary trials (N = 1078) on the variables of quality of life, body image, well-being, and clinical outcomes, with sub-analysis of depression, anxiety, and interpersonal competence. Results suggest that DMT and dance are effective for increasing quality of life and decreasing clinical symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Positive effects were also found on the increase of subjective well-being, positive mood, affect, and body image. Effects for interpersonal competence were encouraging, but due to the heterogenity of the data remained inconclusive. Methodological shortcomings of many primary studies limit these encouraging results and, therefore, further investigations to strengthen and expand upon evidence-based research in DMT are necessary. Implications of the findings for health care, research, and practice are discussed.”
“1: This term includes the practice of dance movement psychotherapy (UK) and dance/movement therapy (USA).”

 

“Keywords: Dance movement therapy; Therapeutic use of dance; Meta-analysis; Review of evidence-based research; Randomized controlled trials; Integrative medicine.”

Use of dance with people experiencing homelessness

It Gives Me Purpose: The Use of Dance with People Experiencing Homelessness. 2010. Melissa Knestaut, Mary Ann Devine, Barbara Verlezza. Therapeutic Recreation Journal Vol. 44 No. 10.

Abstract: “According to the National Coalition for the Homeless (2009), there are approximately 1.35 million people who experience homelessness on any given day. Psycho-social issues that these individuals must address to survive daily vary, but most common are depression, stress, alienation, lack of continuity in their life, and uncertainty of their future. Engagement in leisure is one way to reduce the various psycho-social consequences of homelessness. Thus, the purpose of this case report is to discuss the benefits of a leisure activity, specifically a structured dance class for adults experiencing homelessness. The intent of the class was to decrease stress, increase positive feelings, encourage self-determination, and learn how dance can be used as a coping mechanism. Dance was used as a context for coping with stress and other effects of homelessness. Results indicated that participants experienced an increase in positive effects and a decrease in negative effects after participating in the dance class.”

Keywords: Dance, homelessness, leisure, self-determination, stress