The purpose of this study was to discover the impact of ballroom dancing on the marital relationship. In order to do this the researcher first conducted a literature review on numerous aspects such as the marital relationship, movement therapy, the history of dancing, ballroom dancing and different theoretical approaches to marriage counseling. From the literature and personal experience, the researcher developed four hypotheses. To possibly answer these hypotheses and discover what the impact is of ballroom dancing on the marital relationship, the researcher utilized a qualitative research methodology. A sample size of three couples were randomly chosen to participate in the research study. Ethics and issues of validity and reliability were addressed throughout the research process. In-depth interviews were conducted with all three participating couples and from these interviews four different themes emerged. Four categories were then developed from the information obtained from the interviews as well as from the literature review. The research results indicated that the participating couples felt that through ballroom dancing they acquired improved communication in that it occurred more frequently and was more in-depth. The participants were of the opinion that their intimacy levels had enhanced. They related having more physical contact with one another, feeling early courtship emotions again and reinstating the importance of the marital relationship for them and their extended families. The couples seemed to develop strategies for conflict management as they went through the process of learning to dance. In the early stages of their dancing the couples recounted incidences of arguing however they all seemed to progressively make conscious decisions to ulitise strategies for conflict management which they found effective. Negotiation, investment and cooperation appeared to be essential tools for the couples to succeed in dancing. Added to this the couples seemed to be of the opinion that they became more competent in these behaviours as they progressed with their dancing.
Dissertation (MA (Counselling Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.