|In every occasion, be it a wedding, prom and birthdays, dancing will always be a part of the event / Photo by CC0 Public Domain via PxHere.com|
Dancing is an activity that is usually part of social events or celebrations such as weddings, proms, and birthdays. Although most people would consider dancing as fun, there are some individuals who think of it as intimidating and would rather avoid the prospect of dancing. This activity, instead of being a source of enjoyment, becomes the cause of their shame, anxiety, and fear.
Continuously prodding them to dance may add to their fear instead of encouraging them. Sometimes, just the sight of others dancing can make them feel overwhelmed. What makes it even more difficult is that a person’s refusal to dance is perceived as an abnormal social behavior. This is is what happens when a person suffers from Chorophobia.
The website Common Phobias defines Chorophobia as the “fear of dancing”. It comes from the two Greek terms “choro” which means “dance” and “phobia” which means “fear”. It is categorized as a specific phobia.
Procaffeination states that because of their fear of being aroused or excited, phobics tend to stay away from attending parties, functions and public events. They may also feel uneasy around people who are dancing enthusiastically to the beat of the loud, blaring music.
As enumerated by Healthtopia, the possible factors that could have led to the development of Chorophobia are:
Phobias are often caused by circumstances that made a person feel distressed. In this case, it may have been prompted by being humiliated while dancing or experiencing a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of their dance presentation. Any traumatic event or situation connected to dance may put a person at risk of being affected by Chorophobia.
Related phobias and depression
This condition may also be associated with other phobias. Chorophobia is often linked to the fear of being touched or Haphephobia. This may also be prompted by their fear of public places, otherwise known as Agoraphobia. Social phobias may also be one of the reasons why a person has an intense fear of dancing.
Depression and other mental illnesses may also lead one to have Chorophobia. As a result, they have a feeble mind and are incapable of coping with situations that suddenly arouse or excite them.
The way they were raised
The manner of upbringing can also be a factor that contributed to a person’s Chorophobia. For example, if they had strict parents who did allow them to dance or to go to events related to dancing, this could result in them being afraid of dancing itself. Another instance is if their parents had influenced them to think that dancing is a sin. They may be afraid that if they try dancing, their parents may punish them for it.
According to All About Counselling, the symptoms of Chorophobia manifest when a phobic is coaxed to dance or in the presence of other people dancing. This fear increases when a person is requested directly to dance or when others make fun of them for not joining.
The signs that someone is suffering from Chorophobia are refraining from being part of social events, experiencing an irregular heartbeat, having short breaths, hyperventilating, and sweating too much. They may also exhibit symptoms of a panic attack which include shaking, vomiting and nausea, feeling faint and dizzy, feeling numb, experience stomach problems, and diarrhea.
On occasions where everyone is expected or required to dance, they may try to isolate themselves. When others try to persuade them to dance they may act aggressively towards them. They may also be hyperaware of places where dancing occurs. Most individuals who are extremely afraid of dancing understand that it is not rational, except for children.
Due to Chorophobia, one may also suffer from a lack of confidence and self-esteem. If a person has been experiencing symptoms of this phobia for six months or more, and if this has made them abstain from going to social events, it is advised that they seek the assistance of a doctor.
In consulting a doctor, they may find the best method of treatment. The main approaches used for treating Chorophobia are psychotherapies, and for serious panic attacks that are induced by their fear of dancing, medicines may be prescribed by a health professional.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to find the underlying source of the phobia. Chorophobia often stems from negative thoughts and behavioral traits that are connected to dancing. In regular CBT sessions, the therapist guides the patient on how to change their negative thoughts about dancing by shaping them into positive thoughts. They will also help the patient develop the proper behavior that may make it easier for them to deal with their phobia.
Hypnotherapy may be utilized to be able to access their patient’s subconscious mind which will aid them in identifying the negative thoughts and images their patient has about dancing.
Exposure Therapy and Relaxation
This kind of psychotherapy may help the phobic gradually overcome the fear and anxiety that comes from dancing. In one session, the therapist may reenact a situation where the patient is required to dance. They may also show the patient things related to dancing, such as movies, photos or researches, to gauge the phobic’s reaction. Afterwards, the phobic will be constantly exposed to circumstances that involve dancing and how to relax in such situations.
Different relaxation strategies will be taught to the patient. Some of the strategies the phobic will have to learn are mind visualizations, breathing control and muscle release exercise. The patient will then be asked to apply these relaxation strategies in their exposure sessions until such time that they will be able to handle their fear of dancing.
For severe panic attacks that stem from Chorophobia, a doctor may recommend some medicines they could take to help ease their fear and anxiety. Often, anti-anxiety medicines and antidepressants will be prescribed to them to help maintain the balance of brain chemicals like serotonin. Taking these medicines will help them manage their symptoms.
|Anti-anxiety medicines and antidepressants can help maintain the balance of serotonin chemicals in the brain / Photo by I Viewfinder via Shutterstock.com|
Other Ways of Dealing with Chorophobia
Other than professional treatment, people who are affected by Chorophobia may also try self-help methods. Phobics are advised to search which parts of dancing cause them to feel nervous and afraid. Upon identifying the source of their fear, they may be able to point out the real problem and find a proper solution for it. If dancing makes them feel embarrassed, they may try to have a better grasp of dancing by having private dance tutorials with an instructor.
Using the various treatments available, which include both professional and self-help methods, these may eventually help cure them of their Chorophobia.