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Interception of Dancers and Their Awareness of Emotions and Bodily Sensations

Tjaša Stepišnik Perdih
School of Advanced Social Studies

Ajda Špacapan

Interoception refers to the conscious perception of sensations from inside the body (Mehling et al., 2011) and has been described as an important mechanism in the development of self-awareness and selfhood (Christensen, Gaigg, and Calvo-Merino, 2018). Research shows that artists who use the body directly (dancers) or indirectly (fine arts) have a better starting point for interoceptive awareness (ibid), and recognizing interoceptive processes is associated with the successful integration of bodily sensations, cognitive processes and emotional experience (Price and Hooven, 2018). Since the bodily sensations and emotional experiences for contemporary dancers are often generators of their dance material, we were interested in whether interoception is related to the ability to perceive bodily sensations and to emotional awareness? In our study, we used the MAIA questionnaire (Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, 2012) and DERS (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, 2004). There were 77 participants with an average age of 28.77 years (SD=12.5). 55.8% of participants danced professionally, 31.2% semi-professionally, and 23.4% were amateurs. On average they were dancing for 17.47 years (SD=9.5). The results of our study show a significant correlation between dancers' interoception awareness and their ability to be aware of emotions and bodily sensations (moderate effect size).



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