| Published: March 03, 2021

Exploring superstitions among dancers in India: a qualitative study

Sharmistha Mondal

Department of Psychology, Christ University, Bangalore, India Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.032/20210901

DOI: 10.25215/0901.032


Presently, rationality is witnessing a drastic transition in the belief system recognized with the developed attitude of skepticism. Superstitions are beliefs where despite many relocations and justification through rationality, individuals withhold them. This study aims at addressing the vacuum of understanding the intertwined cultural elements of both dance and superstitions by exploring the common superstitious beliefs and rituals, rationale and impact of such beliefs among Indian dancers. This is a qualitative study, with 10 professional dancers sampled through purposive sampling technique, where one-to-one and telephonic interviews are used for the data collection. Further, through thematic analysis several domains along with various themes and sub-themes are identified that includes things ensured before performances, preferences and rituals for best performance, it’s importance, impact of failure to perform rituals, attribution of performances below expectations, rituals that are acknowledged as superstitions, origin of such beliefs, external influences and bias towards superstitions. The findings suggest that superstitions have a positive impact on dancers’ performances, whereas its absence foster negative outcomes, indicating that positive aspects of superstitions outweigh its negative connotations. Based on the findings, further studies can incorporate this positive metaphysical reinforcement of belief system in promoting their well-being.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429



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Published in   Volume 09, Issue 1, January-March, 2021