Consider Your Options: Dance Movement Therapy

To be honest, I wrote this for a school essay, and I just wanted an excuse to post something! However, especially you’re a dancer, this is a great career to consider!

My hand gently crept along empty space, and my head ran along with it as far as it could. A sense of relief, relaxation, and excitement raced through my nerves as each of my patients carefully followed along with me. My foot then gently lifted high enough to touch my shoulder, and I managed to twirl my feet into triple pirouette position.  At this point, everyone was struggling to keep up as their feet stumbled upon the ground. I politely instructed each of them to tighten their muscles, but simply rest their thoughts. The delighted, joyful expressions around the room laughed and sighed happily. I was overjoyed to have made such a dramatic change in each of their lives.

Most likely, you’ve never heard of a profession like dance movement therapy. According to adta.org, it is the therapeutic movement to further the emotional, or social  integration of an individual. In other words, you combine the creative process and study of human movement to help patients with their emotional issues. The number of loactions you can find such a unique place are limited due to its unfamiliarity. However, consider this career as a new and unique idea for dancers- rather than limiting yourself to just performing and instructing. Why not consider becoming a dance therapist?  Compared to most dancers and other dance-related jobs, DTs do quite well. They make about $85,000- $95,000 a year- depending on where their company is located. You may not be a millionaire, but you could make a decent living off of this profession. Generally, you have to be skilled with interaction with other people and motivational speech. Furthermore, they generally work with community groups to improve physical and emotional disabilities. The requirements to be a dance therapist include being skilled in at least one form of dance, advanced writing skills, creativity, innovation, imagination, and  the ability to move and motivate clients.. It may take a lot of dedication and passion, but dance therapy is an important and helpful job that can change one’s entire life! Therefore,  in order to be successful, you must do your best to portray all of the qualities listed above. Also, you have to pass the DMT training program and complete registration as a therapist in college. Being a DT can have a significantly positive effect on not only the community, but the instructor too! For instance, Andrea Rizzio, Susan Vincent’s daughter at danceadvantage.net was fortunate enough to overcome cancer. Her plan as an adult was to start her own DT association for children with diseases like cancer.  Unfortunately, she was hit by a drunk driver and killed at the young age of 24. So, Susan started the organization in recognition of her daughter. She is fundraising at dance advantage.net so that she can one day give disabled children the gift of dance. The power of dance therpay is, overall, an effective,helpful, and unique way to find help rather than getting regular sessions with a psychologist.

In a client’s point of view, dance therapy is generally an outstanding way to release stress and anger. Adta.org shares their opinion on the matter, “Rhythmic synchrony manifests in the ability to attend their patients.They are more likely to understand and address the distress that lies beneath the patient’s anxieties and resistance.” Clearly, the outlooks are generally more effective in dance therapy due to it’s uniqueness and variance in cliche therapeutic rituals. Disabilityrescources.com claims that its advantages include giving people the ability to express emotion, stress relief, increased physical fitness, improved confidence and self esteem, and encouragement of creativity and imagination. Not only can dance help the physically/mentally disabled, but professional dancer can take sessions to find passion, joy, and expressions of emotion within their moves. Dancers often struggle with eating to maintain a fit body for competition and performances. This causes a lack of connection to your body, and it makes it harder to dance from the heart; this is the most important part of dancing. Dance therapists work to make sure even experienced dancers feel a connection to their body. Overall, the effect it has on its patients is generally guaranteed to be a helpful and motivational way to improve your physical and mental health, so if you are struggling in any way to find joy or connection to your body, you might want to consider working with a dance therapist work to make sure dancers feel a connection to their body. Overall, the effect it has on its patients generally is guaranteed to be a helpful and motivational way to improve your physical and mental health, so if you are struggling in any way to find joy or connection to your body, you might want to consider working with a dance movement therapist!

From what we know, dance therapy is generally promised to be an effective way to help those in need of therapy. Several tests were performed to see how effective the procedure really was. The first test documented at biomedpharmacy.org claimed “170 adolescents who had moderate stress were selected in a study group of 82 people. The analysis revealed the comparison of posttest of study and control group mean and SD value of adolescents was found to be significantly higher.”  The posttest students had taken a series of DTA sessions and found their health conditions had improved remarkably. ibtimes.org claimed that patients in a 2011 study  had an effect in improving the body health within cancer patients and those with other harmful diseases. However, ADTA stated that patients with regular therapeutic sessions were outstandingly less effective on those not participating in DTA. Dance therapy has still not yet been proven to help cancer patients more than it would a regular person. It is simply just another way to improve mostly just mental health. Nevertheless, people with diseases like cancer may need the support and connection to their bodies throughout their difficult hardships.

Finally, as the day came to an end, my patients began to learn how to complete various positions and techniques such as pirouettes, calypsos, and pencil turns. They may not have been outstandingly talented, but what mattered is how successful they had been with finding relaxation and connection to their bodies. In conclusion, dance therapy may have a completely different way of helping patients  but the overall effect is not much different than regular therapy. It may be significantly more helpful with physical health connection to your body, but it is generally no different than regular therapy. Maybe, however, the motivational effect will be successful in helping patients who really need a therapist’s support in the future once it becomes more known , the instructors improve, and people truly do their best to connect to their heart as they perform each movement.

With deep love and passion in each word I write,

-Victoria Altaria

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