Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-29-2023

Faculty Advisor(s)

Julianne Pedersen


“Dancing is visceral, but it is more than just physical,” my jazz professor Steven Sofia likes to say. Dancing is an art of multitasking; it’s interdisciplinary in that it is physically, but also mentally overwhelming on a dancer’s conscious mind. Psychologically, dancers can be more efficient in how they approach training, but there’s a lack of prioritizing the conscious connection between mind and body in the dance community.

So, what mindfulness tactics can contemporary dancers utilize to most efficiently bridge their conscious mind with their physical body? Made possible with funding from the Center of Undergraduate Excellence, I attended Alonzo King Lines Ballet’s 3-week pre-professional summer intensive program in San Francisco where I trained with top choreographers whilst researching non-physical exercises that dancers can incorporate in their rituals as concrete methods of shifting into a “dance mindfulness.” The long 6-hour days going from rigorous technique classes to stressful rehearsals were the ideal playground to experiment with warm-up tactics. During this introspective process, I discovered a culmination of mindfulness practices including yoga flow, deep breathing, affirmations, and intentional rest were most effective. Prior to a physically-taxing rehearsal, my body didn’t just need an elaborate physical warmup, but rather deep breaths partnered with affirmations like “I am strong, I am in control of my body” tremendously primed my body. The key to accessing my fullest physical potential was actually through prioritizing my mental wellbeing and building somatic awareness. As the mental mind is very rarely paid regards to within dance, this research has proven that dancers need to be prioritizing their mental body as much as their physical body.


Presented at the Fall 2023 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.