SOMATIC EDUCATION AND THE UNDERGRADUATE DANCE STUDENT’S BODY IMAGE: A QUALITATIVE STUDY

Rita Rato, Maria João Alves

Abstract


Regarding dance practitioners, body image associated with dance movement is a dynamic and complex phenomenon involving internal processes that cause impact on the psychological, emotional and behavioural areas. Balance between internal and external body experience is crucial for the construction of body image, and is associated with the way the student acquires knowledge about his own movement. In many contexts of dance teaching-learning, we found a focus centred almost exclusively on the reproduction of movement from the external visual image, in which body shapes and movement, should match an idealized model. Somatic education, on the other hand, is a disciplinary field that privileges the somatosensory experience of the body as a source of knowledge. Starting out from an experiential approach based on movement perception, we intended to study the body image of the dance student. For this purpose, we developed and applied a Somatic Movement (SM) program to a group of undergraduate dance students. We used a qualitative methodological design with multiple data collection approach methods, which included in-depth semi-structured interviews, explicitation interviews (Vermersch, 2003), participant journals and group discussions. Our primary purpose is not only to present, develop and substantiate the adopted methodological procedures but also to articulate them with the sub-questions of the study, which according to our point of view will contribute to a more categorical knowledge of how to investigate highly subjective concepts such as body experiences.

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14571/brajets.v13.n3.319-328

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