Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Runnells, Ashley

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Honors Interdisclipinary

Advisor(s)

Deborah Sturm, Ph.D.

Abstract

This project represents multiple layers of a therapeutic dance experience intended to assist homeless women in increasing their sense of social connectedness, happiness, and self-esteem. Therapeutic dance classes were conducted at Mercy House in Harrisonburg, VA, illuminating the benefits to participants as well as the challenges of engaging this population. Further exploration occurred during the January dance therapy intensive workshop regarding developing of therapeutic dance interventions. The project concluded with a choreographed site-specific dance work exploring the stories of the participants, and a tangible creative response by way of a tea bag dress. Lessons learned included the rich opportunities present in working with homeless women through therapeutic dance and creative arts.

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