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Author:
Walker, Imogen J (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance)
Nordin-Bates, Sanna M (Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance )
Title:
The importance of control: Performance anxiety experiences of professional ballet dancers
Publication type:
Article in journal (Refereed)
Language:
English
Status:
Published
In:
Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, ISSN 1089-313X
Volume:
14
Issue:
4
Pages:
133-145
Year of publ.:
2010
URI:
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-2342
Permanent link:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-2342
PubMedID:
21703084
Subject category:
Applied Psychology
Research subject:
Social Sciences/Humanities
Abstract(en) :

Performance anxiety research abounds in sport psychology, yet has been relatively sparse in dance. The present study explores ballet dancers' experiences of performance anxiety in relation to: 1. symptom type, intensity, and directional interpretation; 2. experience level (including company rank); and 3. self-confidence and psychological skills. Fifteen elite ballet dancers representing all ranks in one company were interviewed, and qualitative content analysis was conducted. Results revealed that cognitive anxiety was more dominant than somatic anxiety, and was unanimously interpreted as debilitative to performance. Somatic anxiety was more likely to be interpreted as facilitative, with the majority of dancers recognizing that a certain amount of anxiety could be beneficial to performance. Principal dancers suffered from higher intensities of performance anxiety than corps de ballet members. Feeling out of control emerged as a major theme in both the experience of anxiety and its interpretation. As a result, prevention or handling of anxiety symptoms may be accomplished by helping dancers to feel in control. Dancers may benefit from education about anxiety symptoms and their interpretation, in addition to psychological skills training incorporating cognitive restructuring strategies and problem-focussed coping to help increase their feelings of being in control.

Available from:
2012-06-29
Created:
2012-06-29
Last updated:
2012-08-14
Statistics:
67 hits
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