Contesting Bodies: Former Competitive Dancers' Perceptions of Their Own Bodies
Although competitive dance is a common form of training and performance for
young dancers in the United States, there is little academic research on how this type of
training and performance might impact the minds and bodies of the dancers who
participate. Through interviews with five former competitive dancers, and a psychologist
and dancer, Dr. Christina Donaldson, I explore how practices within competitive dance
might impact the dancers who participate.
This research explores the impact of competitive dance on college undergraduate
dance major’s perceptions of their own body, and how those perceptions might impact
their choices as performers, choreographers, and educators. In collaboration with the
dancers, I created a choreographic work inspired by this research, and in the last chapter I
discuss the creation and presentation of this work.