International Journal of Mental Health & PsychiatryISSN: 2471-4372

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Review Article, Int J Ment Health Psychiatry Vol: 2 Issue: 6

Role of Emotional ManagementTraining through NAVRAS Dance Therapy on Emotional Intelligence of Adolescents

Harsha Khandelwal1 and Uma Joshi2*
1Banasthali University, Rajasthan, India
2Professor and Director, Amity University, Rajasthan, India
Corresponding author : Professor Uma Joshi
Professor and Director, Amity University, Rajasthan, India
Tel: 9414212834
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: September 06, 2016 Accepted: November 10, 2016 Published: November 15, 2016
Citation: Khandelwal H, Joshi U (2016) Role of Emotional Management Training through NAVRAS Dance Therapy on Emotional Intelligence of Adolescents. Int J Ment Health Psychiatry 2:6. doi: 10.4172/2471-4372.1000137


This study was carried out to ascertain the effect of emotional management training through NAVRAS Dance Therapy in Indian Classical Dance on emotional intelligence of adolescents. The sample of the present study comprises of randomly selected 200 senior secondary school students including girls and boys enrolled in DAV School at Madharam of Telangana state in India. 100 students who agreed to learn dance for 50 sessions (one hour each) were included into experimental group and similar 100 students were selected from the same population (age, class, school) were into control group who were not given any dance training. Experimental group underwent Navras Classical Dance Training by practicing (nine core emotions) for three months (50 sessions).Emotional intelligence inventory was administered to measure the level. Results showed the significant effect of navras dance therapy on emotional intelligence of adolescents. The findings of the study shown increase in the level of emotional intelligence after NAVRAS Dance Therapy and no specific changes seen in the level of emotional intelligence when no intervention conducted.

Keywords: Navras dance therapy; Emotional intelligence


Navras dance therapy; Emotional intelligence


Emotions are strong feeling obtained from circumstances or relationships with others. Children’s emotional growth is a stepping stone for all later developments. If the emotions are sprouted and nurtured qualitatively, miraculous changes are certain to happen. Those children, whose emotions are taken care of, develop their personality positively and master innumerable virtues in them [1]. Emotions well cared help to be more productive and give the sense of contentment in life, whereas, disregard of emotions will leave a nagging feeling of emptiness. The lack of emotional warmth makes one feel extremely poor emotionally in the midst of great wealth [2].
The children of age range 11 to 19 are adolescences. Adolescents’ means ‘to grow up’. This is the exciting time of many varied and rapid changes. The child has to cope with various changes viz. physical changes (changes in body appearance, hormones, grows taller, puberty), emotional changes (mood swings, worries, and depression), and thought changes [3,4]. A survey study reported that 60 per cent of children enter school with the cognitive skills out of them only 20 per cent children have social-emotional skills which is needed to be successful at all the phases of life [5]. These social and emotional skills help children in improving and understanding their abilities that lead to stronger relationships with other children at school, tuition, coaching or anywhere. It is extremely important to educate children with emotional abilities as eleven per cent of children between 9 to 17 years i.e. approximately 4 million face major mental health disorder that results in significant impairments at home, schools and/or with peers [6]. These problems are faced by children due to lack of emotional competence and management. Children are bestowed with subject specific knowledge (science, social, and maths), co-curricular skills (debate, speech, quiz, abacus, etc.), extracurricular skills (music, dance, drama etc.) but they often fail in managing adverse situations emotionally or in coping with the circumstances, internal or external when they go against their will.
All learning has an emotional base. Learning to deal with is an ability to identify, understand and express emotions in a healthy way. Such learning is emotional intelligence. It helps students to be emotionally literate. According to Mayer and Salevoy [7], children learn to refine their emotions through their family and culture. School being a large agency of a child’s culture; it has a tremendous influence in the teaching of appropriateness of emotions. Helping children to understand and refine their emotional expression continues throughout their school life. People who suppress emotions cope poorly with life and are prone to depression and other problems” [8]. In this present era children are passionate of learning various skills other than their academic textbooks like abacus, calligraphy, computer courses, spoken English, etc which helps them to gain higher percentage in academic performance but at the same time when it comes to the classroom adjustment, team work, leadership, motivation, managing their feelings they often fail to cope with them [9-11]. Children lacking with emotional intelligence may score well in the exams with distinction but fails in the tests of life [12].
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, regulate, and manage emotions in both ourselves and in others [12]. It is a learned art, not an acquired quality. Goleman [13] specified five components of emotional intelligence Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social skills. Emotional intelligence is associated with greater happiness, better physical and mental health [14] more satisfying social, marital relationships and greater occupational success [15] emotional regulation, subjective health, wellbeing, quality of life, greater academic gains better cognition, academic excellence, level of understanding and positive attitude [16].
To make students emotionally intelligent by accepting and dealing with emotions to its fullest with courage and open heart to excel in their day to day life [1] dance is a powerful tool for emotional learning and experiencing them, which discharge conscious and unconscious feelings that follow with great relief. Emotions are also a key factor in most therapies, as opposed to intellectual understanding, that can lead to immediate and long lasting change [17].
Dancing is one of the promising ways, but less practiced as a therapy [18]. Dancing is one of the oldest ways to deeply experience and express all those emotions that cannot be expressed by the words [19]. Marian Chace in 1900’s, one of the pioneers figures in the field of Dance Movement Therapy confirmed the therapeutic effects on mind. He further stressed that dance could be proved useful for those people with special need who are unable to express their feelings in the form of words [20]. Dance therapy is a psychotherapeutic use of movements, facial expressions, gestures, postures for physical, mental, social, emotional wellbeing with the principle that mind and body are inseparable [21].
There are innumerable ways of dance practiced in the worldwide like Free Floating, Step dance, Contemporary, Tap dance, Hip Hop, Salsa, Belly dance, Jazz etc. [22]. Dance in India has a significant and sentimental background. Dance has been used in the form of devotion, and submission and praises in the glory of Gods in the temples by Devadasis [23]. It is used as a very powerful means to express our emotions and feelings in cinema, theatre and during special sociocultural occasions and celebrations [24,25]. Indian dance styles as practiced today in different regions have different forms like Bhangada and Gidda of Punjab, Kalbeliya and Chirmi of Rajasthan, Garbha of Gujarat, Bihu of Assam, Sambalpuri of Odisha, Lavani and Lezem of Maharashtra, Batukamma of Telangana, etc [26]. Encyclopaedia Britannia confers six forms of Indian Classical Dances namely- Kathak [27], Odissi [27], Manipuri [28], Kuchipudi [29], Bharatnatyam [30,31], Kathakali [32]. All these styles are the classical Indian dance styles that have sought international fame, not only as a means of recreation but also a means of expression of mood, feelings, emotions and interpersonal relations. In the current study emotional management training through Navras dance therapy (nine core emotions) of Indian Classical Dance is incorporated as an intervention procedure to find its effect on emotional intelligence of adolescents.
Natyashastra (Encyclopedia of Arts) is a fifth Veda which is a fusion of words from Rigveda, gestures from Yajurveda, music from Samaveda, emotions from Atharvaveda. It is the body of knowledge about Indian Classical Dance and a veritable storehouse of analogies that can be put to therapeutic use in psychological world, through holistic approach for mind, body and soul [33]. Sage Bharata Muni compiled it and considered ‘Navras’ a state of mind and a ‘primary vehicle for non-verbal communication, as ‘the essence’ or the vital element of Natyashastra [34]. The Navras is the Sanskrit term used for nine emotions and these were practiced to develop a voluntary control on these emotions. These Navarasas and their evoked emotions are: are happiness (Hasya), anger (Krodha), disgust (Bhibasta), fear (Bhayanaka), sorrow (Shoka), courage (Veera), pity (Karuna), wonder (Adbhuta), serenity (Shanta). These nine types of emotions are expressed through facial expressions (abhinaya) that carries four aspects bodily movements (Angika), verbal expression through song or poetry (Vachika), external representation through costumes (Aharya), interpretation of moods or mental state (Satvika). This gives completeness to the dance that allows the dancer and the audience to experience the full beauty and meaning of the lyrics and the movements portrayed [29]. Music that is composed for dance item typically makes use of rhythmic patterns (talas) and melodies (ragas) that suits the theme of the dance. The synergy between the music and dance is important in transmitting inner experiences [35,36].
Reviewing the literature, to the best of the knowledge of the authors, there are no published studies that have used dance training to enhance emotional intelligence. Further, there are no published studies that have compared the impact of navras dance therapy for enhancement of emotional intelligence with some other dance forms, expressions or lyrics in any culture or country. It is a unique study that has made an attempt to enhance emotional intelligence through dance training using Dashavatar dance form in famous Indian Classical dance style (Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi).


There will be no significant effect of emotional management training through Navras Dance Therapy on emotional intelligence among adolescents


Sample, tools and data collection
The samples of the study comprised of 200 adolescents including girls and boys (40 girls and 60 boys) of class VII to Class X of a senior secondary school. This study was confined to the age range 14 years to 16 years as it represents typical adolescents’ age and they are at the peak of emotional sensitivity along with energy and motivation [37]. These 200 adolescents were further divided into experimental & control groups randomly [38]. 100 children of one section of each class were (selected randomly) offered dance lessons and 100 children of another section of the same classes served as control group. It was enquired from the administration of the school if they followed any specific criteria for placing children in different sections and only after confirming from the administration about children being homogeneous and similar across all the sections they were assigned to experimental and control group randomly. They were not based on any specific criteria. Therefore, random assignment of the students and intervention was attained in the study. Since all the students were keen to learn dance and were regular students, none of them were dropped out during the study, but a few remained absent for 2/3 sessions due to different reasons. The students of control group were equally interested in learning dance, but they were not provided any dance training and were involved in routine school activities. The homogeneity of the sample was further attained by confining this study to an age range of 14-16 years confirming who belonged to grades from VII to grade X. They studied same courses because the subject selection takes place in XI classes where they are divided in science, arts, and commerce streams.
Tool for data collection
The information about the respondent’s status of Emotional Intelligence was collected by Emotional Intelligence Inventory by Mangal & Mangal. This inventory required in dichotomous, affirmative and negative form (yes or no response). It assessed four components of Emotional intelligence namely intrapersonal awareness (knowing about one’s own emotions), Interpersonal awareness (knowing about others emotions), intrapersonal management (managing one’s own emotions) and interpersonal management (managing others emotions) respectively. They were 100 items divided into 25 in each above mentioned component. This inventory reports high reliability and validity (Split half reliability 0.89; K-R formula (20) 0.90; test retest reliability 0.92; factorial validity within range 0.437 to 0.716). The score range for every component was 0 to 25 and for the whole inventory 0 to 100. The ease of administration and analysis is its merit. This instrument was used over many other internationally popular tests of Emotional Intelligence because this test is developed in India and for Indian population.
The students of the experimental group underwent emotional management training by practicing the art of Navras (nine emotions) mentioned elsewhere, in Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi classical dance style using Vishnu Stuti. Dance training was comprehensive and inclusive approach which combined the training of mind, body and emotions together. One of the popular dance items in Indian Classical Dance is ‘Dashavatar’ (The Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu) taken from the popular Sacred Epic from Shrimadbhagwat Purana [39], was employed as intervention procedure. It is mainly a theatrical form that is dramatically enacted the life stories of legendary devotees of Lord Vishnu or Shrimannarayan [26,40-42]. Researcher being trained in Indian Classical dance used her experience with dance training in deciding the time and duration for the effective intervention dance training. Some 50 dance training sessions of one hour each was given to the students of experimental group. It took some three months to complete the training. Since, the extracurricular and group cultural activities are known to facilitate social skills [43]. This dance training was given in the big groups of students where special emphasis was laid on coordination of movements, synchronization with the actions of the other members of the dance group. Since all the students were motivated to learn the dance, none of them dropped out from the dance session and it was a continuous training (six days per week) for three months except on holidays and Sundays.
Dashavatar (Lord Vishnu’s incarnation), Navras (Nine emotions) and its Expressions
• Matsya: Adbhuta (Wonder, Mystery, Curiosity)
• Kurma: Hasya (Happiness, Joy, Humor, Sarcasm, Comic)
• Varaha: Bheebhatsa (Disgust, Depression, Self-Pity)
• Narsimha: Raudra (Anger, Stress, Irritation, Fury)
• Vamana: Karuna (Sorrow, Sadness, Compassion, Pity, Sympathy)
• Parashurama: Veera (Courage, Pride, Confidence, Heroism)
• Rama: Veera (Courage, Pride, Confidence, Heroism)
• Krishna: Shringara (Love, Beauty, Devotion, Passion)
• Buddha: Shanta (Peace, Tranquility, Calmness, Relaxation)
• Kalki: Bhayankara (Fear, Anxiety, Worry, Terror)
Once the training was over the test of Emotional Intelligence was administered on both experimental and control groups. The comparison of the status of emotional intelligence of both the groups (experimental and control group) was done with the help of t-test using SPSS, version-19 to test the hypothesis.

Result Analysis

Table 1: Mean, SD, ‘t’ and p values of Emotional Intelligence of experimental group and control group of school students.


Emotional management is very important and crucial for adolescents to succeed in all aspects of life and bestow the ability to identify, understand and express emotions in a healthy way [44]. This is the most challenging skill of adolescents that lay a strong foundation to be emotionally literate and function with right emotions through right ways and at the right time. This helps in tolerating frustration better, minimize the arguments and fights, helps to create constructive, less impulsive, more focused behavior, leads to greater academic achievement and better interpersonal relationships with impressive social interactions [45].
Dance is a tool very appropriate for intervention as they were based on depicting the Navras (nine emotions) [46]. Present study confirms the role of emotional management training through Navras dance therapy by Dashavatar theme in the Classical dance (Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam) to improve emotional intelligence. Students in this study, through dance intervention learned to, experience different emotions, switch from one emotion to another at a fast succession, and synchronizing them with facial expressions and bodily movements while dancing. Such conscious effort of emotional regulation helps in enhancement of their intra personal awareness and management of emotions, the vital component of emotional intelligence [47]. While dancing in group, by placing oneself in alignment of others’ position develops empathy with self and others which is an important element of emotional intelligence [48]. To enhance the interpersonal awareness and interpersonal management of emotion, the intervention sessions were conducted in large groups specially to teach these social skills through group coordination, working in team and observing the group norms of the endeavour [49]. Such activities beyond conventional class rooms also facilitates cooperation, coordination, healthy competition compliance to group norms and team spirit enhances through such an intervention in the group setting [50]. The person starts expressing positive emotions (love, joy, courage, peace). The significant mean difference (t=22.217, p=0.001) demonstrates the effect of training of emotional management through navras dance on emotional intelligence. The level of emotional intelligence improved after the dance intervention training for three months. The mean score of emotional intelligence of experimental group, who were trained in the Navras dance therapy, was found to be significantly higher (79.06) than the mean score of the control group who did not receive such training (53.23). It shows a significant improvement of emotional intelligence by the Navras training of Indian Classical Dance through the famous Dashavatar dance theme.
If we compare the scores of individual component of emotional intelligence, results show that in all the four components (interpersonal and intra personal awareness, interpersonal and intrapersonal management) the mean scores of experimental group were significantly higher than the control group. This refutes the null hypothesis and confirms the role of Navras dance therapy in enhancing emotional intelligence of adolescents. Results show that experimental group (those who underwent dance training for 50 sessions scored higher on level of emotional intelligence including its individual components (implies that these students became more capable of managing emotions of self and others). The results proved that emotional management training through Navras (nine core emotions) dance therapy to enhance emotional intelligence for adolescents was effective.
Though, there are studies which show that dance is a cathartic therapy for emotional release [51-54] the emotional management through enhanced emotional intelligence is a significant step in the research pool of emotional intelligence training. Since emotional intelligence is basically understanding and handling emotions of self and others and developing empathy and social skills with raised motivation, Navras Dance proved to be an effective technique because of the following reasons.
Through Navras Dance the subjects were given training in frequent switching of nine core emotions from one emotion to another. It improves their voluntary control on the expression of emotions. Since dance is a recreational and expressive therapy [55], it retains high level of motivation in children [56], because they enjoy any form of dance. Navras dance theme is emotion focused dance where disciplined, rhythmic body movements are matched to the music, words and the beats of orchestra [32,57]. In a group dance practice the social skills of coordination, cooperation, team work group cohesiveness of “WE” feelings are generated which are vital elements of emotional intelligence [58]. Dance therapy demands active participation of the trainee that makes the therapy more effective and long lasting in its effects. Dance being recreational and expressive mode of activity, it acts as a stress buster [59], motivates participation which generates experiential learning and such learning leaves long term impact on the trainee. This study recommends the incorporation of dance, music, fine arts, liberal and performing arts training in the school curriculum which is grossly neglected on account of cut throat competition for excellence in core and technical subjects like science and math. If we target to be successful not only in our professional life but in our personal life, evolve as superior human beings and experience ultimate happiness, we need to focus on training of emotional and social skills early in life and dance therapy is an excellent means to enhance emotional intelligence which incorporates many life skills (empathy, social skills, handling emotions etc.).


The emotional management training through Navras dance therapy is a recreational, expressive and a cathartic therapy. It improved the level of emotional intelligence in those who practiced regularly for 50 sessions of one hour in three months. Present study proves that incorporating practicing expressive dances as an integral part of our curriculum improves emotional management and well being. It is concluded, through present study that method proved to be effective, interesting and preferred by adolescents. Students learnt emotional management techniques of dance therapy unknowingly in the form of entertainment which enhanced their emotional control and releasing their negative emotions and inducing positive emotions through conversion of a bodily physical activity (not through exercise but through rhythmic movements’ tuned to melodious music and sensitive words) and hence improving their emotional intelligence. If young generation is enriched with emotional intelligence as emphasised by Goleman [13], it will contribute to the success in student’s life contrary the common belief of wasting time in extracurricular activities like expressive dance [60].
In today’s cut throat competition for grades, position rank and placement intensive training in professional hard skill training, the need of finer, sensitive soft skill training like expressive dance is brushed aside or pushed back. It is considered as leisure time activity and paradoxically there is no leisure time available for children from a very young age due to the school bag load of grade conscious school students, parents and teachers as well. It has resulted in emotional menace in the lives of intellectual wizards at a very early age. They excel in brain games but loose in heart race. They lack in emotional management, people management and mismanage their own and others emotions. Though, they win a competition, they fail in the examination of relationships in life. It results in inability to profit from the knowledge gained and a skill learnt mishandling emotions and relationships, deteriorates the quality of life and fills life with sorrow and grief. Therefore blending the hard professional skills with soft behavioral skills through games music, recreations etc.

Limitations of the Study

It is only an experimental – control group design using only the post intervention data. The base line (pre test) data of experimental and control group on emotional intelligence is not available due to some administrative hurdles experimenter faced in the school setting. However, the analysis of emotional competence (a measure of emotional intelligence [61], of pre test- post test comparison of experimental and control group after the same intervention shows significant improvement in emotional competence (study of the authors not yet published) Though, the subjects of experimental and control groups seemed homogeneous, this study recommend to replicate the study with robust research design incorporation of base line pre test data of experimental and control group for the comparison with post intervention test scores on emotional intelligence to eliminate the contamination of extraneous variables and ascertain effectiveness of dance training intervention in enhancement of emotional intelligence (the maximization of true variance according to Kerlinger’s MAX-MINI-CON principle [62]. However it is a pioneer study in this direction. The authors further recommend replicating the study using other forms of dance and comparing the results with Navras dance therapy through Dashavatar dance form of Indian Classical Dance style. This study could not assess the long term impact of dance training intervention, it would be interesting and informative to do some follow up studies or plan some longitudinal studies to check the long term effects.
This study is a part of Ph. D research data. The data of base line (pre test) and - post test data after intervention for comparison of experimental and control group to study the effect of dance training on suppressed anger, aggression and emotional competence is in process and shall be ready soon for the publication.


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