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Dance therapy

From Academic Kids

Dance therapy, or Dance movement therapy (sometimes referred to as choreotherapy), is the psychotherapeutic use of movement (and dance) for emotional, cognitive, social, behavioural and physical conditions. It is a special form of creative therapy.

Dance therapy is based on the premise that the body and mind are interrelated. Mental and emotional problems can result in muscle tension and constrained movement patterns compounding the original condition. Conversely, the state of the body can affect mental and emotional wellbeing both positively and negatively.

The name Dance movement therapy is more precise, because this form of therapy is not about achieving defined forms of dance. Even standing still is considered a dance. Among therapists there is still a debate whether music should be used.

Dance therapy can be applied to all form of psychic and psychosomatic disorders. Through the experience in movement and dance, patients are not only touched physically but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Marian Chace is one of the founders of modern dance therapy.

Further reading

  • Payne, H.L. (2000). Creative Movement and Dance in Groupwork. Oxon:Speechmark
  • Chodorow, J. (1991). Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology. London
  • Lewis, P. (1984; 1986). Theoretical Approaches in Dance Movement Therapy. Vols I & II, USA: Kendall/Hunt.
  • North, M. (1990). Personality Assessment Through Movement. Northcote House.
  • Payne, H. (ed). (1992). Dance Movement Therapy: Theory and Practice. Tavistock / Routledge.
  • Siegel, E. (1984). Dance Movement Therapy: Mirror of Ourselves: The Psychoanalytic Approach. New York: Human Science Press.
  • Stanton-Jones, K. (1992). An Introduction to Dance Movement Therapy in Psychiatry. London: Tavistock/Routledge.


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