Flourishing in Salsa Dance: A Qualitative Investigation of Aesthetic, Artistic, and Creative Contributions

Pablo Domene, Laura Jackson de Domene

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Abstract

Salsa has been referred to as the world’s most popular partnered social Latin dance and is likely health-enhancing when participated in for leisure and socialisation purposes. We are unaware of any qualitative research that has explored salsa dance, specifically, through an aesthetic, artistic, and creative practice lens. In this research, we sought to interpret how these elements of dance may contribute to a sense of flourishing, or holistic well-being, as described by Seligman (2011) in his PERMA model, in a positive psychology context. We designed an anonymous fully open-ended online qualitative survey to explore the experience of salsa as it relates to dancers’ flourishing. Forty-one salsa dancers completed the survey. Their average experience level was 11 years of dance practice in salsa. We used the reflexive thematic analysis approach of Braun and Clarke (2021) to analyse our data. Our actively constructed themes (A dance of positivity; Dance's cognitive embrace; Healthful bodies in harmony; and Steps, hearts, and spirits coming together) highlighted emotional and physical benefits, cognitive and learning aspects, health and wellness, and community building within the data. We believe these findings illustrate that salsa dance does indeed foster a sense of flourishing in experienced dancers within a community dance setting. The practical applications of our research in terms of promoting dance for health are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberC3WYND.2
Number of pages17
JournalQeios
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2023

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Keywords

  • adult
  • arts on prescription
  • dancing
  • interpretative
  • interpretive
  • Latinx
  • mental health
  • participatory dance
  • social prescribing
  • wellbeing

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