THE POWER OF DANCE: A LOOK AT THE PUBLIC’S AWARENESS OF PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS & THE INFLUENCE OF CULTURE AND GENDER
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThroughout the years, using dance as a creative outlet has improved various types of health including physiological, mental, social, and behavioral health. However, in my personal experience and that of others, I have noticed disparities in the awareness of these health benefits and in dance participation due to multiple factors, including culture and gender. To further explore this, a survey and interviews were used to collect information regarding participants’ experience with dance, how it relates to culture, as well as their perspectives about its effect on health. The results showed that a majority of participants chose to become involved in dance out of personal interest and believed that dance had a greater effect on mental health, although it did affect physiological, social, and behavioral health as well. Regarding the influence of culture and gender, those who indicated participating in cultural dance did so as a way to feel more connected with their culture or heritage. Ultimately, respondents from both the survey and the interviews shared the common view that most dance classes/performances consisted primarily of females, with little to none male participation, emphasizing the need for increased awareness of the benefits of dance and more diverse representation in dance participation.