Performance psychology applied to dance
Moyle, Gene (2008) Performance psychology applied to dance. In Summers, Jeffrey (Ed.) 43rd Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, 23 - 26 September 2008, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
The recent interest in the area of performance psychology has included a focus on applied practice within the performing arts. The use of psychology within this field has been occurring for many years, although practice has been observed to originate primarily from within clinical psychology in dealing with ‘problems’ (e.g. eating disorders). During the past 15 years, increased interest and focus has come from the field of sport psychology and its application to fields such as dance. Experience with the application of sport psychology in the dance profession has shown that dancers identify primarily with the concept of performance psychology. The focus of applied performance psychology practice with dancers has been observed to incorporate principles from across sport, clinical and organisational psychology, yet packaged together in such a way that the focus is on performance enhancement – whether that be in terms of dance technique, artistry, creativity, or personal skill development both on and off the stage. This paper focuses upon sharing the practitioner’s experience of the delivery of performance psychology to dancers (both professionals and dancers-in-training), and discussion of the considerations related to this undertaking within this unique population.
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