A Daughter's Story: Utilizing Movement to Cope with Grief




Mann, Ashley

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Dance is a vehicle for expressing emotions. Dancers use movement to convey a story, communicate their feelings, and connect with others. Healing a soul through movement is a concept that people have implemented for centuries. This creative capstone seeks to recognize the relief dance provides for an individual. By implementing dance to cope from a loss, the brain releases neurotransmitters and endorphins which is proven by scientists to alleviate stress. There is a general understanding that our minds cannot affect the health of our body. However, stress from a loss will negatively affect the body as well. This capstone demonstrates the power movement has on the healing process. The story portrayed in this video is from the perspective of a daughter grieving a loss. The timeline of the video mimics my experience of grieving the loss of my father. I filmed a single dancer throughout her grieving stages. The dancer communicates her thoughts and emotions with movement. The emotions felt by the audience, accompanied by her apparent psychological development, communicates how movement aids healing to the audience. This experiment is comprised of cinematography collaborated with site-specific installations following a single subject. In the video, the dancer begins on a bridge, riddled with denial. She transcends through the stages of grief and finds herself in a space where the audience sees her progression through various emotions. The ending reveals the dancer embracing her future at the bottom of the bridge, the very place she was too afraid to go. Grieving appears different from subject to subject. One of the main messages is that grief does not routinely follow a linear progression. Additionally, the creative process behind this capstone’s construction promoted the development of the healing journey. In conclusion, expressing emotion through movement is a positive outlet for those experiencing grief to process their emotions, communicate their story, and discover a connection with others.



grief, heal


Mann, A. (2023). A daughter's story: Utilizing movement to cope with grief. Honors College, Texas State University.


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