Choosing (E)motion: The Potential of Movement and Dance for (Re)Connection and Healing. With an Emphasis on Integrative Dance Therapy and 5Rhythms® Dance – A Research for Myself and Others

My personal perspective and experiences are the starting point and the reason for my thesis research. I write about my difficulties at school, my experiences with emotions growing up within what I consider a German cultural identity and the experience of someone encroaching upon my most intimate borders. My methodological approach is centered on writing a (dance) diary about the emotions I experience on and off the dance floor. Additionally, I conduct in-depth interviews with teachers, therapists and participants of 5Rhythms Dance and Integrative Dance Therapy. The topics I look at are: What I call the ‘performing’ element within German society and its linkages to its national history connected to the emotion of fear. Based on a literature exploration, I bring in the terms of (re)connecting and healing, and their relevance to concepts like the self, body, mind, spirit and soul as well as emotions, feelings and trauma.

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When I started with this MA Program, I was sure that I would write about some external conflict. Ultimately, my very own internal conflicts became an essential part of my master thesis project. My writing process was the start of a journey to become conscious about the unknown, scared, painful and vulnerable parts of me. It turned out to be a dancing path, experiencing that movement helps me very well to connect to myself and my emotions. Writing a (dance) diary about my experiences, conducting in-depth interviews, putting this all together into a master thesis and with this ‘putting me out there’ was not an easy task. Still, I had the beautiful experience that ‘my’ topics can be the topics of others as well. I can say that dancing, writing, listening to myself and others has touched me deeply and supported my personal (healing) process.

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