The Health Benefits of Kuchipudi Dance
Aims: Dance therapy is recognised as a form of complementary medicine. However, it is mostly used with therapeutic intent. Additionally, recreational dance has shown to be beneficial in individuals diagnosed with certain physical and psychological conditions. Indian classical dances are believed to alleviate anxiety and depression, prevent musculoskeletal problems by improving posture, body-awareness and neuromuscular coordination. This study was conducted to investigate if recreational Kuchipudi dance (an Indian traditional dance form) can be used as a public health intervention with preventive intent in healthy adults.
Methods: A repeated measures design was used. 21 healthy young individuals filled out a questionnaire assessing their level of psychological distress, problems with neuromuscular coordination and level of disability from lower back pain. They then underwent structured training in Kuchipudi dance for 6 months. At the end of 6 months, the same questionnaire was administered again, and the pre- and post-intervention scores were compared.
Results: There was a statistically significant reduction in the scores of all domains tested.
Conclusions: Recreational Kuchipudi dancing can be an effective low-cost intervention to prevent and manage psychological distress and musculoskeletal injury.