Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Margaret Jolley

Reader 2

Anthony Shay


This project presents dance as treatment for Orthorexia Nervosa, an eating disorder defined as an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Eating disorders disconnect body, mind, and spirit of an individual, and dance therapeutically connects these aspects. The specific effects of orthorexia on the body, mind, and spirit are analyzed; supported by evidence from research sources such as literature of books and scholarly journals, videos, an interview with board-certified dance/movement therapist Rachel Gonick-Mefferd, and a series of interviews with Dr. Thomas Doyle, in which he supplied a case study exemplifying dance as treatment for orthorexia. Conclusively, eating disorders and specifically orthorexia affect one’s entire being — physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual health — and interfere with one’s entire life and daily functioning. Dance, as a holistic therapeutic approach, is effective in addressing and remedying every single one of these elements, healing one’s whole self. Therefore, it is suggested that dance may be an effective treatment for orthorexia.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.