Reviews and Back Jacket Comments

Review in American Journal of Dance Therapy v. 25, n. 2, 127-128.

  • Read this review in PDF format.


Back Jacket Comments

“This book is unique, a wonderfully original contribution to and for all of us—dancers, teachers, therapists, choreographers, artists—as it integrates concepts we have intuitively understood and which, indeed, have diversely informed our disciplines. . . . This is the book that many of us would have liked to have written! Its ideas will serve to unify the dance community by giving
validity to all of us. . . . We all came to dance through many paths and we all comprehend movement on many levels. Dr. Press has merged the paths and synthesized the levels for us and for the rest of the world as well. Her book is indeed a gift.”

—from the Foreword by Miriam Roskin Berger, D.Arts, ADTR. Former Director,
Program of Dance Education, New York University.


“In The Dancing Self Carol Press eloquently describes how the choreographer/ dancer engages the physical world (time, space, substance) to intertwine subjectivity and objectivity in a mutually transformative process. Her insights into the self-restorative function of art are profound and she illustrates her thesis with a vivid analysis of the life of one of our finest choreographers, Paul Taylor. The Dancing Self is one of the best analytic works on creativity which I have read in recent years. Dancers will learn much about the psychology of their craft. Therapists will gain an appreciation of the power of the body and spirit in the life of the self.”

—George Hagman, LCSW. Faculty of the National Psychological Association for
Psychoanalysis and the Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology, New York City.


“This book is for anyone even vaguely interested in the interconnectedness of art, modern dance history, aesthetics, education, creativity and psychology with the emphasis on self-awareness. It has been thoroughly researched, painstakingly constructed and lovingly written. Personally, I feel highly honored to have had a whole chapter devoted to me, although being presented as a ‘case’ was somewhat bewildering before rereading it in a calmer and more objective way. Brava, Carol Press!”

—Paul Taylor, Choreographer


“Dr. Carol Press acts as an attuned muse, an empathic introspective educator and a group dance conductor as she playfully has us dance through her pages, thus helping the reader further integrate the mind body self.”

—Irene N. H. Harwood, Ph.D., Psy.D. Psychoanalyst, Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute; Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Psychiatry.


The Dancing Self achieves that most important of creative goals, the engaging and insightful blending of previously unrelated ideas and paradigms. In a tour de force, Carol Press discusses psychoanalytic theory, dance history, dance theory, and dance education. She moves fluidly between theoretical complexities, biographical studies, and didactic methodology. This unique volume uses psychoanalytic theory to illuminate the subjective and objective aspects of dance theory and practice. Throughout the author impresses us with her description of the wide scope of dance as a road to creative expression and with her insights about many of the innovators in modern dance. Perhaps the most persuasive aspect of the book is our feeling that the self of the author is enthusiastically dedicated to creativity in dance expression and dance education in all people of all ages. I recommend The Dancing Self to all readers interested in aesthetic passions and the core role they play in the development, expression and transformation of the human psyche.”

—Carl T. Rotenberg MD, FRCP(C). Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Medical College Psychoanalytic Institute; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine.