The effect of street dance on dancers' mental an emotional health: dialogue with street dancers in Singapore
Street dance is an umbrella term for multiple dance styles such as breaking (Bboy), locking, popping, hip-hop and waacking. It was introduced to channel energy from gang fights towards more positive activities that allowed for self-expression.
With the increasing incidence of mental disorders, young adults’ mental well-being has become a pressing concern in the world today. This paper investigates street dance’s effectiveness in helping young people achieve better mental and emotional health by showcasing the strengths and shortcomings of street dance to provide insights and knowledge of street dance as a remedy to mental disorder. To achieve the purpose, two focus group discussions were conducted with nine street dancers in Singapore, with the inclusion of literature reviews, critical reflection and experience to raise credibility and provide comprehensive and cohesive research. The data analysis adopted the thematic analysis by categorising the data into different themes and topics.
The culture of street dance is very much intertwined with the dancers’ lives – it affects their actions, mindset, mental and emotional health. The dancers noted that street dance has brought many physical benefits such as muscle and strength building, improved rhythmic, body coordination and more. It also brings mental and emotional benefits like improved concentration, happiness and a sense of accomplishment. Being an advocate for the freedom of expression, street dance empowers dancers to be creative and explore their craft. On the contrary, the adverse effects of a dancer’s mental and emotional state occur from within, as well as brought on by external factors such as the competition, comparison, self-consciousness, environment and social media. These factors can potentially affect a dancer’s emotion, confidence, self-esteem. Nevertheless, the participants indicated that they are constantly finding a balance between both negative and positive emotions to provide ease of mind for themselves.
2020 – present
The Theatre Practice Ltd
Junior Executive - Advocacy