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date: 24 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Dance can be seen as an evolutionary gift that supports self-protection and enables wellbeing. Since early history and across cultures, humans have turned to dance as a talisman to cope with stress. Through its cognitive direction, emotional impact, and physical energy, dance is a means to resist, reduce, and escape stress. Integrating brain, body, and self, dance can also be seen as a form of exercise that is communicative with its own languages. Dance–stress connections are played out on theatre stages, in the professional dance career, in amateur dance, and through therapeutic interventions. In this chapter, conceptualizations of dance, stress, relationships between them, and stress management are presented. Both stress and dance are multifaceted and involve potential, interpretation, and action. The chapter concludes that stress and dance are subjective and objective as well as positive and negative, and awareness of these possibilities can lead to actions for wellbeing.

Keywords: cognition, culture, dance, emotion, evidence, exercise, language, perception, stress, therapy

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