This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Dance Therapy Essay

1775 words - 7 pages

Dance Therapy

Dance therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses movement to further the social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development of the individual. Dance therapists work with people who have many kinds of emotional problems, intellectual deficits, and life-threatening illnesses. They are employed in psychiatric hospitals, day care centers, mental health centers, prisons, special schools, and private practice. They work with people of all ages in both group and individual therapy. Some also engage in research.
Dance therapists try to help people develop communication skills, a positive self-image, and emotional stability.


Dance therapy began as a profession in the 1940s with the work of Marian Chace. A modern dancer, she began teaching dance after ending her career with the Denishawn Dance Company in 1930. In her classes, she noticed that some of her students were more interested in the emotions they expressed while dancing (loneliness, shyness, fear, etc.) than the mechanics of the moves. She began encouraging them by emphasizing more freedom of movement rather than technique.

In time, doctors in the community started sending her patients. They included antisocial children, people with movement problems, and those with psychiatric illnesses. Eventually, Chace became part of the staff of the Red Cross at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. She was the first dance therapist employed in a formal position by the federal government. Chace worked with the emotionally troubled patients at St. Elizabeth's and tried to get them to reach out to others through dance. Some of them were schizophrenics and others were former servicemen suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Success for these patients meant being able to participate with their class in moving to rhythmic music. "This rhythmic action in unison with others results in a feeling of well-being, relaxation, and good fellowship," Chace said once.

Chace eventually studied at the Washington School of Psychiatry and began making treatment decisions about her patients along with other members of the St. Elizabeth's medical team. Her work attracted many followers and the first dance therapy interns began learning and teaching dance therapy at St. Elizabeth's in the 1950s.

Other dancers also began using dance therapy in the 1940s to help people feel more comfortable with themselves and their bodies. These dancers included Trudi Schoop and Mary Whitehouse. Whitehouse later became a Jungian analyst and an influential member of the dance therapy community. She developed a process called "movement in-depth," an extension of her understanding of dance, movement, and depth psychology. She helped found the contemporary movement practice called "authentic movement." In this type of movement, founded on the principles of Jungian analysis, patients dance out their feelings about an internal image, often one that can help them understand their past or their current life...

Find Another Essay On Dance Therapy

Art Therapy Essay

1301 words - 5 pages a baby that will also have HIV/AIDS. Health professionals use a variety of art therapies, such as, music, dance, art, and creative writings for many different mental health disorders (Brunero, Lamont & Sutton, 2009). The main purpose of art therapy in mental health is to focus on non verbal communication and making sure the patient feels comfortable in the environment so they can feel free to express their strong emotions. The effect of

Dance Education Essay

3923 words - 16 pages activity? Current dance research is usually focused on psychology, history, kinesiology, philosophy, aesthetic, therapy, sociology, and other academic areas, dance education has been the subject least examined (Beal 38).Physiology Dr. Lulu E. Swergald, who was a student of movement, developed a technique for improving posture and range of movement based on mental imagery. Empirical studies showed a marked increase in coordination and efficient muscular

Art Therapy

658 words - 3 pages to help in a creative process that a person goes through in which they can find "inner guidance" and find "self-healing" at a conscious level. Art Therapy can be expressed through storytelling, poetry, music, dance, visual arts, painting, sculpture, and any other type of creativity activity. Many Art Therapists believe that there is growing a stronger connection between art and healing and believe that Art Therapy is significant to a person's

Music 9 online analysis on field workers with mental health - Fresno State - Article Analysis

1047 words - 5 pages groups can help alleviate some of the mental symptoms. There was also a difficulty teaching farmworkers music since there was a language barrier that stopped both the instructor and patient from learning something. Personally speaking, I suffered from depression and anxiety. Therapy was not as helpful as the dance classes were. I was able to work on my emotions through dance. Even though I went to a public school and dance was free, it is costly

Art and Music Therapy

1140 words - 5 pages popular form of expressive therapy, used with music or without. There is even the American Dance Therapy association, which seeks to guide practitioners who employ such methods in their work. As with most of the other nonverbally mediated treatments, this strategy has the advantage of bypassing intellectualization and verbal defenses with the intent of helping people to become more self-expressive, more in touch with their bodies and minds, and more

Music, Everyone's Language

1366 words - 6 pages people’s lives forever. Dr. Sacks from the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that patients with neurological disorders who cannot talk or move are often able to sing, and sometimes even dance, to music. Its advocates say music therapy also can help ease the trauma of grieving, lessen depression and provide an outlet for people who are otherwise withdrawn (Music Therapy Association). Though there are potential disadvantages to music therapy, it

The Power of Music Therapy

1778 words - 7 pages disorders and diseases. Among the aging of the baby boomers generation, music therapy is becoming a more popular form of comfort and healing for people. This therapy has been around for years, but is developing into a more advanced form of therapy. Music is an important part of many societies and with it being involved in therapy, it is becoming even more important. Song and dance have been a large part of lives and it influences who a person

Painting What We See Within: A Look at the Insides of Art Therapy

1137 words - 5 pages Painting What We See Within: A Look at the Insides of Art Therapy One of the most memorable experiences I had last summer was visiting the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. (3)At this museum, professional artists had created none of the works hanging on the walls. Visionary art is an individualized expression by people with little or no formal training; the rules of art as a school did not apply here. While I was there

Power Of Music

2204 words - 9 pages care for problems such as dementia, family’s are looking for treatment for their loved ones. Music therapy can become a good option for mood stabilization. One journal explored was from Nursing Standard, titled The Benefits of Creative Therapy for People with Dementia. The point of this journal is to evaluate the use of creative therapy, including dance, music and movement to provide treatment to people suffering from dementia over an eight week

The Healing Power of Music

1537 words - 6 pages In definition, music therapy is, “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals” (American Music Therapy). Music has been an element of the human psyche since early ancestors fell asleep to the rhythmic sounds of waves lapping against the shore and awoke to singing birds at daybreak. Theories on music therapy trace back to ancient Egypt where it was called the “physic of soul” in other words, a

Pedagogy evolution of Barathanatyam

893 words - 4 pages From old methods of teaching to modern methods, the relationship between the student and teacher has changed drastically. What was once the guru-sishya parampara, has now become a teacher-student relationship. This paper will present a brief examination of the evolution of the pedagogy of Barathanatyam and the change from guru-sishya to teacher-student. Rukmini Devi fostered this evolution of Pedagogy when she opened the dance school

Similar Essays

Autism And Dance Therapy Essay

1576 words - 6 pages Autism is one of the most serious disorders that concern us to study because there are still many unanswered questions. Understanding the possible causes of autism is essential, for quick approach to treatment in situations. As of yet there is no specific cause or cure for autism however, only a variety of treatments are available. One of these traditional teaching methods used in the quest to cure autism is dance therapy. Dance therapy is a

The Role And Benefits Of Dance As A Therapy For The Treatment Of Mental Illness

3519 words - 14 pages [Type text] [Type text] [Type text]1006859The Role and Benefits of Dance as a Therapy for the Treatment of Mental IllnessThis essay will explore the purpose and benefits of dance movement psychotherapy (DMP) in relation to the treatment of mental illnesses. In order to do this, it will look at the history of DMP in particular Marian Chace, who first used dance as a form of therapy for mental health patients. It will also briefly look at the

Four Forms Of Healing Through Dance

1025 words - 5 pages Judith Lynne Hanna is a professor at the University of Maryland who focuses on anthropology, sociology and dance. She combines these topics to analyze how dance can help heal a person and help improve health. In a broader context, dance therapy is a recent form of movement that does not require any form of previous dance experience and focuses on “movement behavior as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship.” (ADTA) Judith Hanna focuses in on

Different Types Of Eating Disorders Essay

1444 words - 6 pages , when used alone, may end up perpetuating the intellectualization of the disorder and may inadvertently avoid the exploration of emotions” (Matto, 1994). Dance/ Movement therapy is a form of expressive psychotherapy that focuses on the inner state of an individual by using body language to communicate and has been called the healing through movement. Since both the mind and the body are interrelated in this form of therapy, patients will not only