Amanda Arena-Miller is a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology at The New School for Social Research whose work explores the relationship between dance and interoceptive awareness, a person’s ability to sense internal bodily states.
AMANDA ARENA-MILLER is a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology at The New School for Social Research whose research seeks to understand the ways that engagement in somatic practices influence how one perceives the body both aesthetically and functionally. Her work aims to explore the relationship between dance and interoceptive awareness, or, the ability to sense internal bodily states.
Amanda has interviewed dancers of different modalities about their experiences as dancers and their perceptions about their bodies. She has also involved dancers in a physiological task that involves counting their heartbeats while biofeedback is recorded. As a GDIEST fellow, Amanda will continue to work on her dissertation entitled, Can you Feel the Beat? An Analysis of How Different Dance Practices Affect Interoceptive Awareness and Body Appreciation. While interoceptive awareness has been studied in classical ballerinas, Amanda’s research will be the first research to assess interoceptive awareness in contemporary and somatically informed dancers. This area of inquiry is significant given that classical ballet is often choreographed and aesthetically oriented while contemporary dancers’ movements often derive from or are performed with the intention to convey emotion, and somatic practices are often informed by internal bodily sensations.