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Positive Thinking in Dance: The Benefits of Positive Self-Talk Practice in Conjunction with Somatic Exercises for Collegiate Dancers

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

Many dance students suffer from low self-confidence and high anxiety as a result of cultural stressors present in the training environment. Particularly, the tradition of authoritarian-style teaching has been shown to hinder the psychological development of students. This thesis researches teaching methodologies that incorporate psychological skills training and aspects of the Franklin method (a somatic practice) into collegiate dance education. The objective is to equip dancers with the positive self-talk practice necessary to combat cultural stressors in dance training. Along with a survey of published research, the methods for this thesis project included questionnaires and interviews conducted as part of a pilot workshop study. Results of this thesis study conclude that the integration of mental skills training in dance education provides students with valuable skillsets that help promote self-confidence and efficacy.

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