Student Project &
Research Symposium

Oral
Presentation

Student Project &
Research Symposium

Poster
Presentation

Student Project &
Research Symposium

Performance

Student Project &
Research Symposium

Exhibition

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM
College Center 312
Chamber of Reflection
Isabella Williams
Date:
April 22nd, 2022
Division:
Visual and Performing Arts
Department:
Psychology & Dance
Mentor:
Rachel Berman
Mentor's e-mail:
rberman3@occ.cccd.edu
Author's e-mail:
iwilliams23@student.cccd.edu
Presentation Slides
Abstract:

Dancers rely on the dance studio mirror throughout their training and entire professional career, which leads to body dysmorphia and a myriad of other disorders. Social media platforms and the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated these disorders as well as general anxiety in this group, especially among young females. Along with picture-perfect influencers presented on social media, Zoom has editing effects to alter one's appearance. The isolation of the pandemic brought about less socialization and more spare time with individuals unable to attend to their everyday responsibilities in the same manner. This leads to the inability to control other correlated impulsivities including eating disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Often when striving for perfection of a body, the same effort will go into having an orderly life with great attention to detail. Objects such as a mirror or a camera have the power to point out each insecurity. I will be exploring the psychological impact surrounding the perception of body self-image in teenage and adult dancers. My research will culminate in a dance film, exploring this idea and responding to it through personal expression and movement. Upon doing research regarding body image in dancers for inspiration, the first step of my creative process was to spend several hours choreographing. I began in January and continued doing so until April when I also filmed my project which took a few days. The last step was to piece the video clips together into my final film. By conducting a survey of my peers in the Southern California dance community, I will compile findings from real-life experiences to further assist my research. There are countless articles written about this topic in Dance publications and medical journals, but my finding will focus on a more personal level. Through my survey and other discussions with peers, I expect to find that social media and reflection in mirrors and on Zoom affect dancers more than we imagine. My dance film cultivates versions of myself and reflects my feelings about my body image on various occasions and in different settings. The dance will conclude with me finding acceptance after a journey of self-loathing and confusion. Through the facet of dance, I bring awareness to how prevalent this issue is in teenage to adult dancers, highlighting their mental, emotional, and physical states. While I am unable to offer a solution to this wide-scale issue, I hope to inspire others to lean closer to acceptance and seek a healthier perspective through the very medium that contributes to this problem known as dance. My Exhibition will help dancers experiencing a similar journey acknowledge they are not alone.

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