Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Theatre and Dance

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



For my project, I researched bipolar disorder to create a dance film highlighting the associated symptoms and emotions of hypomanic and depressive episodes. The purpose of this research is to bring awareness to and educate on the reality of these mental health symptoms to reduce mental health stereotypes and stigma. I researched academic texts and peer-reviewed articles about bipolar disorder written from the perspective of those diagnosed with it and used the symptom criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to compose, choreograph, film, and edit my dance film. The completed film showcases what daily life could look and feel like to those with the disorder. The film highlights pedestrian activities and symptomatic behaviors as well as the internal thoughts and emotions expressed through modern dance choreography. This film was presented in two Western Kentucky University Dance Program student choreography shows; Last Chance to Dance and The Dance Project. This dance film will also be uploaded on the internet for public access, creating a research archive and allowing the message to spread beyond its initial release.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Meghen McKinley


Dance | Psychology