How Does Taking Dance Affect Underserved Peoples’ Individual and Cultural Identity? : Student Showcase
The Student Showcase highlights students involved in the Leadership Scholars program. This month the student showcase highlights Lucienne Sullivan ’20. Lucie ‘s presentation was titled “How Does Taking Dance Affect Underserved Peoples’ Individual and Cultural Identity?”
Why Did Lucie Choose this Topic?
Judith Lynne Hanna once said, “Dance therapy provides an outlet for energy and a safe and playful environment in which many areas of conflict can be identified and worked through, and appropriate adult roles and behavior tried out.” This quote describes what dance does for a person in their lives. Dance is therapeutic, and it works as a safe outlet with the help of many programs worldwide for many individuals requiring this approach. There are struggles for some in a dance world, but for many, dance gives people a good life.
This topic was chosen because dance has gotten me through many hardships and struggles that I face daily, and I wanted to see if others have been moved by dance, as I have. When I began, I hoped to learn that dance has had a successful impact on the real world by changing peoples’ lives and, I want to learn that dance, where needed, is available. I based my research on the global theme of individual and cultural identity because I wanted to know that peoples’ identities in society were improved by dance. Through boosting authentic self-confidence, dance enriches people who are underserved in their communities, to the extent that their individual and cultural identities are positively affected.”
Lucie not only researched this topic but also interviewed Amy Giordano, Director of the esteemed Gus Giordano Dance Studio. She found that dance not only improves physical ability and stamina, it also is proven to impact self-control, self-expression, dedication, positive work ethic, self-exploration and internal focus (taken from an interview with Amy Giordano). In addition, these improvements continue to benefit people even after they end their dance careers. For individuals exposed to substance abuse, gang violence and other negative activities, dance can be used as a safe outlet.
Amy Giordano summarized it as, “I strive not only to train well-rounded dancers but also well-rounded people. I want all of my students to have the skills to succeed in life regardless of the career path they choose.”