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Dancing for enhancing mood: Benefits for adolescents on a pediatric behavioral health unit

Chelsea Lin, MD, Sebastian G. Kaplan, PhD, Pamela Wilson, MS, LRT/CTRS, FDRT, Suzanne M. Thompson, MA, LRT/CTRS, FDRT, CHTP, BCTMB, LMBT


Adolescent mental health is a significant public health priority. A need exists to identify helpful interventions that are cost-effective and appealing for adolescents. Dance-based interventions have been shown to improve mood and alleviate emotional distress in adolescents. The purpose of this article was to examine the effectiveness of incorporating dance movement sessions (DMSs) into inpatient psychiatric treatment for adolescents. DMS included group stretching, creating dance steps, and performing the completed choreography. The authors assessed pre- and post-DMS self-reported mood. In addition, participants provided feedback about their feelings and opinions after completing a DMS. Overall, differences between pre- and post-mood ratings were statistically significant, suggesting a positive effect on participant mood. We discuss the potential role for DMS for adolescent inpatient settings and for interprofessional collaboration.


dance, dance movement, recreational therapy, inpatient, adolescence, interprofessional collaboration

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