The application of psychodynamic ideas to professional dance training
Concern about the welfare of professional dance students is growing as it becomes clearer that the training is not producing emotionally healthy and mature young people. Psychodynamic ideas and concepts offer a means of analysing the problems of the training and indicating where change needs to be implemented. This paper looks first at the areas of adolescent development towards separation, autonomy, the creation of peer relationships and the development of sexual identity and awareness, and shows how traditional dance training fails to facilitate their growth. The paper then discusses envy and competition and argues that they need to be addressed within dance training if they are not to be so destructive. The paper then suggests that group theory could enable the better use of the dance class. Finally, the idea of the body storyline is used to show that dance training has the capacity to have a creative and remedial effect on students, if training institutions provide a sufficiently facilitating environment.