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Understanding Chorophobia: The Fear of Dancing

written by: Debbie Roome • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 4/23/2011

The fear of dancing is an unusual phobia that many people have never heard of. Read on to learn more about this fear and how it affects people’s lives.

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    Definition of Chorophobia

    The fear of dancing is sometimes referred to as a social phobia and is often caused by a combination of factors. These include the following:

    • A fear of not being able to dance and looking foolish to other people. This is closely connected to a fear of embarrassment.
    • Some sufferers have a fear of coming into close contact with another person or being touched by them. This is sometimes related to a fear of the opposite sex. It can also be connected to a fear of crowds.
    • In some households and church communities, dancing is regarded as sinful. A person with this type of upbringing may struggle with an aversion to dancing that develops into a phobia.
    • Chorophobia can sometimes be traced back to a traumatic event involving dance. This is often an experience in a person’s childhood and may involve something like falling off the stage during a dance recital or being partnered with a child who had problems with personal hygiene.
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    The Physical Symptoms of Chorophobia

    The fear of dancing can produce a number of physical symptoms in a person if they are unexpectedly exposed to dancing or are expected to dance themselves. These symptoms are similar to those found in most phobic responses and are caused in part by the release of adrenaline in response to fear:

    • Sweating and feelings of intense fear
    • A rapid heartbeat
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Abdominal discomfort
    • Dizziness
    • Frequent need to urinate
    • Shaking
    • Difficulty in swallowing
    • Nausea and vomiting
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    How Chorophobia Affects a Person’s Life

    Dancing may seem to be an insignificant part of most people’s lives but it can have a surprising effect on someone suffering from chorophobia. Here are some of the ways it affects a person:

    • People with a fear of dancing will avoid any places where they may see dancers or be expected to take to the dance floor themselves. These include restaurants that offer dancing, theaters, school plays, churches, dance schools and wedding receptions.
    • Sufferers may even find video of dancing evokes fear in them and will choose television programs and movies carefully in order to avoid exposure to dancing.
    • Mothers with chorophobia may find it impossible to enrol their daughters in dance classes and help with costumes and shows. This is one way that the fear of dancing can overflow and affect the lives of other members of the family.

    While chorophobia is not a common fear, it is one that needs to be addressed. It can limit a person’s lifestyle and cause physical and emotional symptoms that result in great distress. There is help available for overcoming phobias and for the sake of family and friends, a sufferer should take steps towards recovering from their fear of dancing.

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    References

    The Encyclopedia of Phobias. Fears, and Anxieties, Ronald M Doctor and Ada P Kahn, Facts on File Inc, 2000

    Fear of Stuff. http://www.fearofstuff.com/humans/the-fear-of-dancing/

    Bupa. Anxiety Disorders. http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/a/hi-anxiety