Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy


Dance/Movement Therapy Graduate Program


This is a theoretical based study that focuses on members of the Jamaican diaspora in the United States. Jamaican immigrants, or members of the diaspora, comprise the largest Caribbean immigrant group in the United States. These individuals have encountered a race stratified culture that is vastly different from their native culture. The culture within the United States also encourages individualism which is counter to the community-based values of the Jamaican culture. Encountering a new culture can be difficult and being assigned a new way of identifying can be stressful. This stress can manifest as depression, anxiety or feelings of isolation and alienation. These issues can result in feeling disconnected from their culture. Dance is a significant aspect of the Jamaican culture. Dancehall, a contemporary form of dance, is a major part of Jamaican identity. This study concludes with a discussion that recommends the use of dancehall in a dance/movement therapy setting to effectively address the loss of identity in a culturally appropriate and meaningful way for this population.