Class of 2026Issaquah, Washington
AboutHello! My name is Aditi and my Polygence project is on the effect of dance and dance movement therapy on mental health. I chose to work on the project because as a classical dancer I am very curious about the effect of dance. After my project is complete, I would like to write a research paper about my findings.
The Effect of Dance and DMT on Mental Health
Started May 25, 2023
Abstract or project description
Abstract: Significance: Mental health forms the bedrock of our overall well-being and influences our ability to navigate challenges. Therefore, mental health is an important part of one's well-being; understanding and nurturing mental health has become increasingly imperative to prioritize. It encompasses an individual's emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It plays a significant part in every aspect of life; hence it is crucial to guard and improve psychological wellness. The World Health Organization describes mental wellbeing as a state of wellbeing during which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can affect the traditional stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to his or her community. This description asserts that mental wellbeing is possibly more than just the absence of some mental illness (Mukherjee & Jaiswal, 2021). It is important to care for our mental health for general wellness. There are various risk factors that contribute to poor mental health. Research has shown us that some changes in our lifestyle including having a positive outlook and regular exercise can positively affect our mental health (Mckenzie et al., n.d.). Mental health illness is widespread and treatments for it are still being explored. Finding simple and easily implementable solutions is critical to improving the general population's mental health. According to paper 1, Dance can have numerous positive effects on mental health including positive effects on depression and overall well-being (Mukherjee & Jaiswal, 2021). Dance forms help enhance one’s mental health and the dancers had positive effects on depression and experienced psychological well-being.
Objectives: The first objective in this research is to determine if dance has a positive effect on one's mental health. The second objective is to determine if dance or dance movement therapy has the greatest impact on mental health.
Methods: A literature search was conducted for research studies examining the effect on mental health that dance and dance movement therapy had. Twenty papers were selected from published journals. These papers were then submitted through a further screening process using the inclusion criteria created. Eight papers were selected which fit the criteria of dancers practicing for three hours a week for at least two years, dance movement therapy studies had ten sessions or more, and all studies had ten participants.
Results: The results of this review informed us that dancing has several mental health benefits. Dance and dance movement therapy helps in improving self-esteem and keeping the mind sharp. The participants were cognitively stimulated when doing dance steps, therefore dance is both a physical activity and a mentally stimulating activity that improves brain health. From the studies analyzed, dance and dance movement therapy were demonstrated to lower depression and increase overall well-being. Regarding objective two, Dance movement therapy had a more significant impact than dance on lowering depression.
Clinical Implications: Dance can be implemented as a form of treatment for mental health illness. Dance can also be used as a preventative measure to keep the mind and body healthy.