Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Desiree Crevecoeur-MacPhail


Dancers are at an increased risk for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Research has shown that body-related talk may play a significant role, as indicated by the association between receiving appearance-related comments and negative body image. Conversely, other research suggests that focusing on body functionality, including the physical abilities of one’s body, is associated with greater body appreciation and body satisfaction and reduced body surveillance. To examine the effects of different types of body-related language on dancers’ body image, 15 undergraduate dance students participated in this study which required them to complete an online survey in which they read instructions for a dance exercise that included either appearance-related, function-related, or neutral cues. Participants were required to perform the exercise, complete the Body Image States Scale (BISS), report their perceived performance level, and indicate their dancer identity. The outcome of this study found that type of language did not impact body image scores or performance level. The study also found that dance style identity did not impact body image scores. Understanding how language impacts dancers may help dance instructors promote positive body image in their students.


Presented at the virtual Spring 2021 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.