Date

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Project

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. David Falcone

Second Advisor

Dr. Vincent Kling

Abstract

Stress is an extensive term that encompasses a wide range of theories and studies done to look deeper into the meaning of stress. Stress in various occupations has been looked at extensively as well, as workers in one specific profession seem to be very much affected by stress: professional dancers. This paper is split into two parts. The first looks at the definition(s) of stress, such as that of Seyle and Lazarus and Folkman, the different types of stress like eustress and distress, causes and symptoms of stress like daily hassles and physiological and psychological symptoms, ways to cope with stress such as meditation and cognition exercises, and how all of this relates to professional dancing. The second part gives detail from interviews from five professional dancers that I was able to talk to, and it shows how the responses relate to the research on stress and professional dancing. Overall, with a few exceptions, the responses were fairly aligned to the research, showing that the profession of dancing is a very stressful profession, yet at the same time is a kind of escape from the stress from outside of the profession.

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