Movement Heals: What College Students Should Know about Dance/movement Therapy

By Wingenroth, Lauren | Dance Magazine, January 2019 | Go to article overview

Movement Heals: What College Students Should Know about Dance/movement Therapy


Wingenroth, Lauren, Dance Magazine


You don't need to be a performer to make a positive impact through dance. 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. What makes for a good dance therapist? "They've seen the power of movement in their own life. And they have empathy for other people and for what's going on in the world," says Nancy Beardall, dance/movement therapy coordinator at Lesley University.

WHAT IS DUNCE THERAPY?

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." Practically, what this means depends on what kind of setting the therapist is working in, says Beardall. 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.

How Do You Become a Dance Therapist?

There are two ways to get accredited in the U.S.

[1] Earn a master's degree from one of the seven ADTA-approved programs lasting two to three years:

* Antioch University

* Columbia College Chicago

* Drexel University

* Lesley University

* Naropa University

* Pratt Institute

* Sarah Lawrence College Programs are about 60 credits and include two internships, plus lots of experiential learning.

[2] Students with a master's degree in a related subject can participate in Alternate Route, a self-guided program that allows students to combine coursework, fieldwork and an internship to earn accreditation.

What About Undergrads?

These schools offer preparatory dance/movement therapy programs and courses for undergraduates:

* Columbia College Chicago

* Drexel University

* Endicott College

* Goucher College

* Lesley University

* Manhattanville College

* Nazareth College

* Queens College

* Seton Hill University

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. …

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