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Let the Gods Dance: Transformation Through Haitian Dance

This thesis is an exploration of the transformation of body and mind through Haitian dance from depth and liberation psychological perspectives. More personally, it focuses on the author’s transformational experience while being part of a Haitian dance community in Brooklyn, New York. Haitian dance is ingrained in Haitian culture, which embodies the history of Haitian people, mythology, gods, music, rituals, and ceremonies. This hermeneutic research examines Haitian dance as a way to access the somatic unconscious and support psychological healing and individuation. The research describes the somatic experience of archetypal energies, embodied consciousness, and myths through Haitian dance and how this enhances healing. In addition, this thesis explains how the author’s Haitian dance class provides healing for both individuals and a community from a liberation psychology perspective. Through dance, dialogue, and activism, participants gain deeper understandings of themselves and each other’s history and experiences.