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  • SPRINT project

Freelance dancers' mental health & wellbeing

On 29 November 2022, the SPRINT Project's Maria Kolitsida presented the findings of her MA study on the “Effects of the Pandemic on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Dance Freelancers” at this year’s conference of the Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology of the British Psychological Society.


Maria’s study was done in collaboration with One Dance UK and looked at the effects of the first 16 months of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of dance freelancers. Different stages of the pandemic afforded dance freelancers with different challenges and opportunities for experiencing good mental health and wellbeing, with the research highlighting the need to address the difficulties and inequalities that have existed within dance freelance work even prior to the pandemic. Maria’s research also showcases the need to further understand how the unique context of dance can impact mental health and wellbeing.


Maria is a PhD student in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham. She is supervised by Prof Jennifer Cumming, Dr Anna Lavis, and Erin Sanchez.


Funded by a 1+3 ESRC collaborative studentship from the Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP, Maria’s PhD is investigating self-harm in dance students. She is currently looking for dance teachers to participate in an interview to discuss their understanding and experiences of self-harm in their students. To participate, scan the QR code in the poster or email Maria with any questions or to take part.



To stay up to date with Maria’s research, be sure to subscribe to the SPRINT project website.


Follow @BPS_DSEP for more on the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology of the British Psychological Psychology and @onedanceuk for news and updates from One Dance UK.


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