Psychology for Dancers: Theory and Practice to Fulfil Your Potential

Schofield, Cathy and Start, Lucy (2018). Psychology for Dancers: Theory and Practice to Fulfil Your Potential. Abingdon: Routledge.



Psychology for Dancers: Theory and Practice to Fulfil Your Potential examines how psychological theory can be related to dance practice. Aimed at the dancer who wants to maximize their potential but has no grounding in psychology, the book begins with an examination of basic psychological concepts, approaches and methods, before applying theory to dance.

The book explores why dance is so important in many people’s lives: as a form of fitness, a profession, or visual entertainment. Each chapter then examines a different aspect of psychology related to dance in an applied context. Self-perception is examined as dancers are under great scrutiny; a grounded sense of self will ensure a positive perception of self-worth and body image, and suggestions are made as to how a healthy and motivational climate can be created. The book also places an emphasis on how cognitive skills are as important as technical skills, including the ability to learn and recall steps and choreography as efficiently as possible. Social factors are related to the dance context, with a discussion of effective leadership and communication skills and the importance of group cohesion. Finally, there is a review of the impact of emotions on dance practice and how best to manage these emotions.

Each chapter reviews important psychological theories, offering practical suggestions on how they can be applied to dance practice. Psychology for Dancers is an invaluable resource for students, professionals, and teachers of dance.

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