The Dancing Mind


2023 Spring


Dr. Zeynep Catay, Yililn Zhang


VR Experience Design


Quest 2, Multiplayer, Unity, hand-tracking

This is a continuation of my 2022 project, The Me in Me.
Movement is an essential instrument for creating a mind-body connection. Collaborating with a dance/movement therapist, we extend the therapeutic movement experience to virtual environments while engaging participants’ full-body movements, which are currently underexplored in both VR and mindfulness. It is still a work in progress but you can read our research abstract here.

User Journey

Breath Work

Breath in and out based on audio instructions. Breathing is tracked through the headset microphone and causes changes in the environment.

Movement Trail

Close your fists to create trails in the air.  Use gesture tracking to render trails and trace along the patterns in the virtual space.


Observe your virtual body and how it moves. Feel free to move around in your own way. This is for the participants to get used to their virtual bodies before transition to the multiplayer practice.

Social Engagement

Say hi to to other players with body languages. Practice positive communication with your virtual body.

We included this instruction since participants naturally gravitated towards social engagement during playtests.

Guided Movement

Follow the visual and audio movement instructions with others. Incorporate breathing as you move.

Group Photo

Celebrate the experience by taking a group photo! Reward to encourage repeat participation.

Character Design

Inspired by Half+Half VR, the character is a soft translucent blb designed to remove individual identities and reduce self-consciousness. When the player closes their fists, the hand movement trails will be rendered.

Prototyping Process