Date of Award

12-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Art in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (MA)

Department

Creative Arts Therapies

First Advisor

Laura Downey

Keywords

Dance therapy, Improvisation in dance, Self-esteem in adolescence

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods single-subject case study pilot was to examine the impact that the dance/movement therapy intervention of improvisation and planned movement formation, created by dance/movement therapy pioneer Trudi Schoop, (Levy, 2005) can have on self-esteem. The research question was: How is adolescent girls’ self-esteem affected by the dance/movement therapy intervention of improvisation and planned movement formation? The hypothesis stated: If the dance/movement therapy intervention of improvisation and planned movement formation is utilized in dance/movement therapy sessions, then adolescent girls’ selfesteem will increase. The study occurred at a private high school with four participants for six sessions. Pre and post-test quantitative measures included the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and were analyzed using measures of central tendency due to the small pilot sample size. Qualitative data included video recorded movement responses to participants’ movement formations that were analyzed using the arts based method of creative synthesis via dance making. The creative synthesis was derived from the movement responses and the therapist/researcher’s kinesthetic responses during session. Results showed that three out of four participants’ self-esteem increased indicating support for the hypothesis. Findings suggested that the use of the dance/movement therapy intervention of improvisation and planned movement formation along with the creation of movement responses had a positive impact on self-esteem. Furthermore, it was the participants’ incorporation of salient movement qualities from the movement responses into their own planned movement formations that had the greatest impact on self-esteem. Limitations to the pilot study and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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