The purpose of dance therapy is to help people
achieve greater self-awareness and a positive sense of well-being.
The idea is that through authentic movement, one can express oneself and
come into contact with the conscious and unconscious parts of their personality.
This contact leads to accepting one's self for who they are. Dance/movement
therapy is based on the idea that the body and mind are interrelated.
The American Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as
"the psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process which furthers the
emotional, cognitive and physical integration of the individual."
The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) was founded in 1966 and there
are currently 1200 members in 46 states and 20 foreign countries.
Examples of those receiving dance/movement therapy are those individuals
with eating disorders, adult survivors of violence, sexually and physically
abused children, dysfunctional families, the homeless, autistic children,
the frail elderly, and substance abusers. More recent approaches
to dance/movement therapy emphasize disease prevention and health promotion
and treat many people with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, chronic
pain, and breast cancer.
The American Dance Therapy
This is the link to the official dance therapy organization. There is a description of dance/movement therapy, contact information for leaders in the organization, a description of the profession and where one can get their education, and information on current research.
This is a website for the group called innermotion which is a survivor dance theater company composed of men and women who were sexually abused as children. Included is a list of contacts for those that have been abused.
National Coalition of Arts Therapies
This organization was founded in 1979 and is dedicated to the advancement of the arts used for therapeutic purposes. There are links and special information on music therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, art therapy, poetry therapy, and psychodrama.
for Dance Therapy (http://www.dancetherapy.com)
This institute was founded by Petra Klein who conducts seminars, training, and education is dance/movement therapy. You can also order books, videos, and music on her website.
Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (http://www.sackomen.org/dancetherapy.html)
This site has a description of the benefits of dance therapy for women suffering with breast cancer.
This is the site for the institute that develops new training approaches to psychotherapy. The goal is to develop kinesthetic awareness and give the individual a medium for creative expression. This also contains a number of links relating to this topic.
Columbus Center for
Movement Studies (http://www.being-in-movement.com)
This site is for a school that teaches many types of movement therapies for different purposes. They teach such things as Aikido, the Feldenkrais Method, , being in movement, and authentic movement. A description for all of these is also given.
Hancock Center for
Movement Arts and Therapies (http://userpages.chorus.net/hancock)
This webpage gives a description and purpose of dance/movement therapy. The center gives classes in the dance therapy to adults, children, and the elderly.
This is a counseling center that utilizes dance and movement as a therapy device. They use the term Living Dance to describe a kinesthetic approach to self-discovery, awareness, and and self-confidence. This service helps people struggling with eating disorders, depression, and other negative responses to stress.