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Title: Understanding Body Image and Sense of Self in Indian Classical Dancers
Authors: Baidya, Mohana
Keywords: Centre for Human Ecology
Amrita Joshi
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: TISS
Abstract: This study examines the Body Image and the factors responsible for shaping of the same among Indian female classical dancers. It comprised of female dancers who were in the age range of 18-30 years and have been learning any one particular form of Indian classical dance for a minimum of 5 years. Data was collected through purposive snowball convenience sampling. A total of 48 respondents were included. Results indicate that the participants were largely satisfied with their overall appearance, and most of the dancers were dissatisfied with their mid torso. Body surveillance was observed in the participants pertaining to stage performances; crucial relationships like that of Guru-Shishya and feedback from the audience were primary factors for the shaping of a participant’s body image. Discrepancy between ideal vs. perceived physical self was observed, however, only pertaining to one’s identity as a dancer. Dance gave the participants an identity that is culturally appreciated, and qualities like sense of accomplishment and confidence were observed among the participants. It is possible that such qualities sometime acts as a protective factor from forming a negative body image among the participants.
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