Type of Resources

Dissertation/Thesis

Date Created

12-2021

Abstract

The intent of this research study was to combine three African and Eastern somatic movement practices into a modern dance curriculum. Few studies have investigated the therapeutic value of subtle body awareness in a dance class context. This integrative study combined psychological, physiological, and contemplative pedagogical approaches, which led to the development of a comprehensive five-part workshop with five adult participants. This ten-hour online class series involved learning a traditional Afro-Haitian serpent dance called the Yanvalou, the Tantric practice of Chakra Yoga, and the Five Animals qigong. The original curricular goal was to combine these three modalities into five sequential katas. Due to numerous COVID-related setbacks, the researcher modified the curriculum and examined the relationships within this trinity of movement forms. The following qualitative instruments were used in this multimethod research study: reflective journal entries, participant commentary, a post-study rubric, video documentation, and the researcher’s observations. Pre- and post-surveys were used for quantitative data collection and were cross-referenced for the purpose of identifying emergent themes. The combined result of this data provided evidence of holistic health enhancement, personal empowerment, and altered states of consciousness. This study advanced the somatic application of the Yanvalou by exploring its relationship to the chakras and qigong meditation techniques. It also informed the continued development of a contemplative curriculum that could be utilized by post-secondary institutions.

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