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Free Content Bodyself: Linking dance and spirituality

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Inner-directed movement is a sacred practice that can heal emotional wounds lodged in the body. When the body is attended to with ever-present openness to arising sensations, feelings and images, and drawn on to move and be moved from an inner wholeness, emotional and spiritual transformation occurs. This article reveals the ways in which dance and spirituality co-mingle in girls’ and women’s lives through creative dance. The author presents a qualitative arts-based inquiry – which was her doctoral dissertation – to explore how creative movement impacts adolescent girls from a first-hand perspective. To locate herself within the research, the author explores her encounters that led to dance and spirituality as an inquiry of bodyself discovery, rupture, healing, insight and ecstasy. Findings include body-image acceptance, authenticity with peers, and bodyself respect and reverence as a result of individual and group dance work. Narratives are framed within Jungian active imagination, Authentic Movement, spirituality concepts of self and bodyself, and a feminist perspective of female embodiment through creative movement.

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Keywords: Authentic Movement; adolescent girls; body; creative movement; dance/movement therapy; women’s spirituality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Northern British Columbia

Publication date: 01 January 2014

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  • Research into spirituality receives comparatively little attention in western dance practices but Dance, Movement & Spiritualities provides a platform for those practitioners and researchers who are actively and creatively working with spirituality at the centre of their practice/research. Contributions are invited from across disciplines.
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