dance/movement therapists use movement to approach a patient’s health holistically, working with populations as diverse as teenagers dealing with anxiety, veterans suffering from trauma and elderly patients with dementia or alzheimer’s. the american dance therapy association defines dance/movement therapy as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual.” dance therapists can work in private practice, nursing homes, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other environments, where they combine the work of a traditional therapist with a deep knowledge of the body and how movement is connected to our overall health. studying dance therapy in undergrad is by no means a requirement for pursuing it in in graduate school; beardall says the majority of her students majored in dance and minored in psychology, or vice versa. “it’s important to explore if that’s something they want to pursue for the rest of their lives.”
the amount of actual dancing depends on the setting and the patient. sometimes patients dance to “have someone witness what they want to express,” says hornthal; other times sessions are sedentary, with the dmt trying to connect a patient’s experience to their breath or their posture. instead of seeing a doctor irl, telehealth allows you to connect with a medical provider online. since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, many physicians have expanded their telehealth practices so they can safely get in touch with patients sans contact. “if the world was a bunch of people sitting in a room, and you raise your hand, then you better have something interesting to say,” says our february cover star @rajafeatherkelly.
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in the dance/movement therapy graduate program, students learn to the emotional, typical course of study. classes a career in dance therapy, also referred to as dance/movement therapy, requires a graduate degree from from an adta-approved institution as well as at least 700 hours of supervised clinical study. this rigorous, experientially based program integrates the study of classical as well as innovative forms of dance/ , dance movement therapy activities, dance therapy certification, history of dance therapy, dance movement therapy courses
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