Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Occupational Stress and Coping Strategies of Professional Ballet Dancers in Korea

Young-Eun Noh, Tony Morris, Mark B. Andersen
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 24 Number 3: Page 124 (September 2009)

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Abstract: Twenty professional ballet dancers from Korea were interviewed to identify the stressors they experience and the coping strategies they use during practice and performance. Inductive content analysis of the data identified four major sources of stress: physical (i.e., physical appearance, poor physical condition), psychological (i.e., desire, slump, personality), interpersonal (i.e., relationship with a dance director, relationship with other dancers), and situational factors (i.e., performance demands, finances). The results demonstrated that, within physical factors, physical appearance (e.g., maintaining a particular body type, keeping low body weight) was a preeminent problem. We also found three general dimensions for coping: psychological strategies (i.e., individual cognitive and emotional strategies, avoidance strategies), behavioral strategies (i.e., dysfunctional behavior, hobby activities, social interaction, dance-related behavior), and physical relaxation. The coping strategies mentioned most frequently were in the behavioral strategies dimension. Identifying sources of stress and coping strategies in dance can provide a basis for intervention programs, which can help to reduce stress by developing effective coping skills.

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