Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Marjorie Charlop


Depression is a disabling mental disorder that has huge impacts on one’s life and is therefore considered a global health concern. Efforts to find the most effective treatments have led to the development of antidepressants and cognitive therapy treatments. However, exercise as a form of treatment for depression has been growing in popularity. Recently, Dance Movement Therapy has gained exposure as a possible form of exercise treatment. Therefore, in the current study, West African dance was studied in order to determine its effects on depression. It was hypothesized that West African dance would target and alleviate symptoms of depression as outlined on the Beck Depression Inventory. Participants were already enrolled in the dance class and the Beck Depression Inventory was administered to the participants. Results indicated that West African dance had a significant positive impact on depression by lowering overall depression scores and psychological depression scores. This study contributes to current literature by offering a unique form of dance with rhythmic drum beats that has not been studied before. Future research should be aimed at further establishing the efficacy of West African dance and the long-term effects it has on depression.