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Dance movement therapy (DMT): What type of dance is it?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

‘So what type of dance is used in dance therapy?’ This is a question I often get when I talk about what I do. It’s not bound to any specific type of dance, although in some cases, some form of dance may be helpful, to offer some initial structure or work towards certain goals (e.g improving coordination, sequence memory, emotional regulation, etc). But it has nothing to do with performing, doing it right, or looking good. You may be someone who finds dancing too threatening or that loves doing it but freaks out about the idea of doing it in front of anyone. Wherever you start from, it’s about holding a comfortable and non-judgemental space that makes you feel safe enough to begin moving authentically according to however you feel like. Any movement is absolutely possible. It’s a gradual and careful process, and the first sessions might not involve movement at all if you're not ready for it. For example, a session may start with some simple mindful meditation through movement. With some guidance and practice, you gradually learn to trust and tune into the intuition of your own body and listen and respond to how it is asking to be moved.

Dance therapists can work in a wide range of areas: neurological disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer, autism, ADHD); pre-natal care; child development; cognitive and developmental delays; mental health; addiction; medical rehabilitation (e.g. cancer or cardiac patients), trauma, and physical disabilities. Dance therapists are also of help if you simply would like to reconnect with yourself through your body, enhance self-awareness, manage stress and anxiety, improve self-image or develop a more positive outlook on life.

Read more about how dance therapy is therapeutic here.

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