Student scholarship aids research in dance as therapy for victims

The Department of Sociology has awarded the inaugural Ann Louise Page Scholarship for Undergraduate Research Excellence in Sociology to Tatum Schwartz,  a senior from Chapel Hill pursuing a B.S. in sociology, concentration in families and intimate relationships. Schwartz will use funds to continue to examine the therapeutic benefits of movement for dancers who have experienced sexual trauma.

“From both my own experiences and from hearing from my peers, I was interested in the ways trauma, particularly sexual trauma, intersected with different ways of moving. After hearing so many of my peers express resentfulness and fear at re-entering the dance world after experiencing this type of trauma, I wanted to better understand the minds of dancers with these complex histories,” said Schwartz.

She began this research in the department’s senior capstone course focusing on the intersection of somatics and interpersonal violence for dancers. The award will allow Tatum to significantly expand her sample size and interview more dancers, as well as help defray transcription costs. 

“My main goal is to construct a trauma-informed curriculum for dance and movement instructors. Lack of support in the way dance atmospheres are organized was one of the prominent themes I found in my capstone, so I’d love to use the additional data to try to formulate a set of guidelines for offering a more supportive environment that feels safe to those who are more susceptible to having a triggering experience,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz plans on submitting her findings to a peer-reviewed journal. After graduation, she also intends to pursue an M.A. in Social Work and continue investigating how movement can provide therapeutic relief to victims of violence.


About the Ann Louise Page Endowment for Excellence in Sociology. 
This scholarship is made possible by the Ann Louise Page Endowment for Excellence in Sociology. Page served in the Department of Sociology for over thirty years and retired as a full professor in 2009. An active researcher and committed teacher, Page made provisions before her passing in 2020 to support research efforts within the department by students and faculty alike. The Ann Louise Page Scholarship for Undergraduate Research Excellence in Sociology is designed to aid the original research efforts of sociology majors by providing $1,000 awards for research and dissemination expenses. To learn more about Page and the award visit  Dr. Ann Louise Page: Dedicated member of the Appalachian Community | College of Arts and Sciences

About the Department of Sociology
The Department of Sociology offers a Bachelor of Arts and seven Bachelor of Science concentrations (applied research methods; criminology; families and intimate relationships; health and aging; power and social change; social inequalities; and individually designed, which requires departmental approval). The department also offers minors in sociology and health and aging, plus two online graduate certificates: aging, health and society, and sociology. Learn more at

About student research at Appalachian
Appalachian State University encourages faculty-mentored student research, which provides students with the opportunity to work side by side with faculty on meaningful research or creative endeavors. These projects often result in presentations, performances or exhibitions at regional, national and international conferences and events. Students who engage in research are able to apply knowledge from the classroom into real-world experiences and learn how to problem-solve, effectively communicate and analyze complex issues. Appalachian’s Office of Student Research (OSR) was established in 2005 to expand the opportunities necessary for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in research and creative activities at Appalachian. Learn more at

Compiled and Written by James Johnston and Ellen Gwin Burnette
January 20, 2021

Tatum Schwartz, recipient of the Ann Louise Page Scholarship.
Published: Jan 20, 2022 2:35pm