The influence of dance in the body image of children, exploratory study

  • Carla Martins
  • José Guilherme
  • Patrícia Estevão


The research design follows the qualitative, non-experimental methodology being an exploratory study. The research problem is: does dance practice influence the body image of girls, aged between 8 and 12 years?.

Dance is a vehicle of communication, education, knowledge acquisition and integration with the world (Simões, 2014); of identity and personality construction, aesthetics, knowledge of oneself and others, and creativity (Ferreira, 2011, cited by Costeira & Mendes, 2017).

Body Image is a mental representation or set of representations of one's own body that progressively changes throughout life as the body develops and changes (Collins, 1981, cited by Olga & Vasconcelos, 1995).

Beliefs, for Dilts et al. (1996) are unconscious processes of organized thoughts; they are considered as a belief system as they relate to expectations that are specific to the objectives, self-efficacy and outcome. The purpose of the study was to characterize the influence of dance on the body image (BI) of children, according to their perception.

The sample consisted of five female children, aged between 10 to 12 years old who had four years of practice in dance.