Dance practice and well-being correlates in young women

Women Health. 2017 Nov-Dec;57(10):1193-1203. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2016.1243607. Epub 2016 Oct 4.


Clinical research has shown the mental health benefits of dance practice. This has become a significant subject of inquiry in psychotherapeutic settings for the elderly and adolescents. However, the relationship between dance practice and correlates of psychological well-being, such as mindfulness and life satisfaction (LS)-two relevant indicators of mental health, has been explored relatively little in young women. The present study contrasted mindfulness and LS in young women (n = 81) who practiced dance regularly in three modern dance schools in the Province of Barcelona with a control group of non-practitioners (n = 120) studying at a university in Barcelona. The data were collected during the first semester of 2015, and the total sample had an average age of 20.88 ± 3.36 years. Analyses of covariance showed higher levels of both mindfulness and LS in the dance practitioners, while a multiple regression analysis showed that, after controlling for age, dance was the factor most strongly associated with LS, explaining 28% of the variance in LS. These results are discussed in terms of the embodiment theory, and conclusions suggest that dance may be an effective gender-focused practice to enhance well-being and promote mental health in young women.

Keywords: Dance; life satisfaction; mindfulness.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dancing / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Mindfulness*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult