This qualitative research focuses on educational and social issues of a contemporary dance workshop in a psychiatric context, at the University Hospital of Tours (France). Although, there is currently a considerable amount of data on dance therapy, there seems to be a lack of data investigating the relevance of contemporary dance activities without therapeutic intention and within the psychiatric context. The theoretical field of this research paper exposes the fundamental dialectic between art, contemporary dance and health, and the specific practice used in the workshop, at the crossroads of contemporary dance and perceptual education™ (a somatic awareness practice derived from Fasciatherapy™).
From individual interviews of the medical team, a categorical analysis and hermeneutic research material allowed to better understand the effects of this teaching practice and to highlight the social and therapeutic relevance of the alliance between contemporary dance and perceptual education™ in the psychiatric context in general.
The results seem to be in convergence with the instrumental and intrinsic benefits of the practice of arts in general: the relevance of the specific approach that allies contemporary dance and perceptual education™ is confirmed by its therapeutic effects, its cultural value and its socializing nature.
Although the specific dance and somatic education approach does not have a therapeutic intention, the results of the research reveal a strong therapeutic and social importance in the introduction of contemporary dance in the domain of mental health and call for a more extensive research, in the specific but also in other affiliated domains.