Therapeutic Uses Of Dance: Contributions To the Mental Health and Wellbeing Of People Across the Life Span: VICKY KARKOU

Fakultät für Gesundheit, Soziales und Medizin, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK

Dance is currently receiving growing attention for its potential to contribute not only to physical but also to psychological health.  Its value is reported in seminal publications from WHO (e.g., Fancourt and Finn 2019) and acknowledged by national clinical guidelines (e.g. NICE guidelines for schizophrenia and dementia). Publications such as the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing (Karkou, Oliver and Lycouris 2017) explore how diverse forms of dance can contribute to the wellbeing of children, adults and older people.  Some of these dance forms can be found in the community, education, hospitals, as well as in dance studios and theatres, offering a colourful picture of possibilities. However, further research is needed to explain mechanisms, key ingredients and establish specific psychological outcomes relating to the therapeutic value of dance.
This presentation will explore what we already know about the impact of dance on the brain and the body’s physiology, explaining some of the mechanisms of why dance may have an impact on improving wellbeing.  It will also present results from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on outcomes such as depression and anxiety.  Examples of specific studies will also be presented as illustrations of useful dance practice with vulnerable groups. Finally, the presentation will summarise some important features of engaging with dance practice with therapeutic benefit and make suggestions for future research in the field.

Vicky Karkou is the Director of the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing and an internationally known academic and researcher in the arts and arts psychotherapies. She joined Edge Hill University in 2013, originally as a Professor in Performing Arts and more recently as a Professor in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine where she contributes to the Faculty’s research agenda.


Vortragsreihe „Musik & Medizin“
Die Vortragsreihe Musik & Medizin präsentiert wissenschaftliche und künstlerische Beiträge führender internationaler Expert*innen verschiedener Disziplinen. Diese untersuchen die Wechselwirkungen und Mechanismen zwischen Erfahrung und Verarbeitung sowie psychophysiologischen Auswirkungen von Musik auf den Menschen und wie Musik Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden fördern kann.
Die jeweiligen Vorträge sind auch Teil einer disziplinübergreifenden Lehrveranstaltung. In dieser werden an den Schnittstellen der Disziplinen Themen aus dem Forschungsfeld der eingeladenen Vortragenden diskutiert.

Konzeption und Organisation der Reihe „Musik & Medizin“
Katarzyna Grebosz-Haring (Systematische Musikwissenschafterin | PB (Inter)Mediation, Interuniversitäre Einrichtung Wissenschaft und Kunst | Universität Mozarteum Salzburg / Universität Salzburg).
In Zusammenarbeit mit Günther Bernatzky (Biologe | Fachbereich Biowissenschaften, Ökologie und Evolution, Universität Salzburg) und Leonhard Thun-Hohenstein (Kinder- und Jugendpsychiater | Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität Salzburg)


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