Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Carrie Pledger is Adjunct Instructor of Dance at Piedmont Virginia Community College, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. She holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in teaching from the American University. She has worked in research for the National Institutes of Mental Health and for UVA Neurosurgery, and taught at both the secondary and college level.


As a disciplinary program, dance falls between the arts and physical education. As a result, it can often be overlooked or sidelined by either program, to the determent of its great value for community college students. Dance and its attention to movement, mental focus, and physical control provide important neurological benefits that affect both the mind and the body. This study examines research studies that identify the neurological benefits of dance and evaluates student perceptions of its value on physical and mental well-being. The research on student perceptions was conducted at Piedmont Virginia Community College.