The joy dance: Specific effects of a single dance intervention on psychiatric patients with depression. Sabine C. Koch, Katharina Morlinghaus, Thomas Fuchs. (2007). The Arts in Psychotherapy Volume 34, Issue 4, Pages 340–349.
Abstract: “This study investigated the specific effects of a dance intervention on the decrease of depression and the increase of vitality and positive affect in 31 psychiatric patients with main or additional diagnosis of depression. Patients participated in one of three conditions: a dance group performing a traditional upbeat circle dance, a group that listened just to the music of the dance (music only), and a group that moved on a home trainer bike (ergometer) up to the same level of arousal as the dance group (movement only). While all three conditions alleviated or stabilized the condition of the patients, results suggest that patients in the dance group profited most from the intervention. They showed significantly less depression than participants in the music group (p < .001) and in the ergometer group (p < .05), and more vitality (p < .05) than participants in the music group on post-test self-report scales immediately after the intervention. Stimulating circle dances can thus have a positive effect on patients with depression and may be recommended for use in dance/movement therapy and other complementary therapies.”