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Dance Therapy

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what is it?

Dance/movement therapy (DMT) is defined by the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health and well-being.

Dance/Movement Therapy Relies on the Following Premises:
•    Movement is a language, our first language. Nonverbal and movement communication begins in utero and continues throughout the lifespan. Dance/movement therapists believe that nonverbal language is as important as verbal language and use both forms of communication in the therapeutic process.
•    Mind, body, and spirit are interconnected.
•    Movement can be functional, communicative, developmental, and expressive. Dance/movement therapists observe, assess, and intervene by looking at movement, through these lenses, as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship in the therapeutic session.
•    Movement is both an assessment tool and a primary mode of intervention.

Dance/movement therapy focuses on movement behaviors – expressive, communication, adaptive – allowing movement to tell the story for assessing and interventions. 

Dance/Movement therapists use verbal and nonverbal communication to create and implement interventions that will address the emotional, social, physical, and cognitive integration of an individual.

Why DANCE Therapy?

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Potential benefits and side effects from dance/movement therapy: 

•    Improved self-esteem                
•    Improved body image              
•    Improved relationships                
•    Improved communication skills            
•    Improved insight into patterns of behavior   
•    Improved / increased coping strategies        
•    Improved self-awareness
•    Improved emotion insight and expression

•    Improved social development
•    Improved balance and gait
•    Capacity to build resilience
•    Post traumatic growth
•    Improved boundaries
•    Improved emotion insight and expression
•    Improved regulation strategies 

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more than just“exercise”

Dance / Movement therapy is more than just “exercise”, in fact, it allows the patient to communicate complex and difficult to verbalize emotions through the performance of dance movements, which are then carefully assessed by the dance therapist. It is a multi-layered and complex treatment program in which the therapist’s expertise allows for a client to have non-verbal expression, gain insight into their situations, and work towards goals utilizing movement as the tool! 

For more information please see: The American Dance Therapy Association website at

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Potential populations served

Physical rehabilitation                       

Stress management                 


Autism Spectrum Disorder

Genetic Disorders                                           Cardiovascular          

Dementia / Memory Decline

Mental Illness – depression / anxiety 



Parkinson’s disease

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“Dance/movement therapy’s basic premise is that ‘body movement reflects inner emotional states and that changes in movement behavior can lead to changes in the psyche, thus promoting health and growth.’"  ~ Fran Levy

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