Posts Tagged ‘peacework’

I could write an infinite number of blog posts with this very title and each one quite possibly could include video or movement description unlike any of the posts before it. That said, there is a video currently circulating the social media sphere that has beautiful footage of dance/movement therapy.

It is worth every moment of the seven minutes it takes to watch it and I have linked it below for your viewing convenience.

As a preface, I must remind you of some basic truths of dance/movement therapy:

Neither the dance/movement therapist nor the client knows ahead of time what will transpire in the impending session. Even within a structured format, the experience is unpredictable. Guided by the present moment, the process is unique to the persons involved, their needs and the treatment goals.

Dance/movement therapy is an improvised process – both 1:1 and in a group setting. It begins “where the client is at.” Ten dance/movement therapy sessions with the same person might start differently each time and may “look” different each time. Dance/movement therapists respond to the movement and words (yes, dance/movement therapy involves talking too!) that emerge in the PRESENT MOMENT. The present moment is beautiful, mysterious, surprising… It can be extremely powerful and it is worth every bit of attention it is given.

I must also underscore that dance/movement therapy is NOT a dance “class.” This is a distinction that is growing ever more important to convey as more and more people worldwide declare dance or Zumba®, for example, as their “therapy.” Dance is ABSOLUTELY therapeutic and inherently healing. But “dance/movement therapy” is a clinical practice, facilitated by trained mental health clinicians with masters or doctoral degrees. It is essential that this distinction be understood and observed. (Please see An Invitation to Those Making the World A Better Place Through Dance for further clarification on that distinction.)

by Corporación Dunna -alternativas

Below is wonderful footage of dance/movement therapy being introduced into cities in Colombia to counter the trauma of violence and conflict and to facilitate empathy and connection. The movement is interspersed with brief interviews with the facilitators and students learning the methods. (It is in Spanish but has English subtitles. Even so, movement is a universal language and the dancing speaks volumes regardless of your native language.)

So, as I declare “YES! This is what dance/movement therapy looks like!” I simultaneously ask that you remember that other dance/movement therapy sessions do NOT look like this. (In fact, if you’d like to compare and contrast two very different videos, please see my previous post to view dance/movement therapy with hospitalized children.)

As you watch this video, perhaps questions will arise for you:
What is happening?
How does that process evolve?
How is it not a “class”? It looks like a class…
(I intend to dedicate an entire post to answering this particular question so stay tuned…)

I would genuinely love to answer your questions. Please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section. If YOU have that question, somebody else likely does too. 🙂 Ask away.

by Corporación Dunna -alternativas

Dance/Movement Therapy as a tool for achieving peaceful coexistence and reconciliation in 5 vulnerable cities in Colombia


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Just thought I’d share this upcoming workshop. I wrote about David Alan Harris’ work with former child soldiers in Sierra Leone in an earlier post. (You can read that post and link to the radio podcast here.) This is an amazing opportunity to learn about his approach in person. If only I lived on the East Coast!

: A Dance/Movement Therapy Workshop For Dance Therapists and Movement Professionals

DAVID ALAN HARRIS, MA, LCAT, ADTR, a leading dance and movement therapist, will share his work with former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and other parts of Africa, and with young male survivors of severe trauma. Combining his careers in human rights advocacy and choreography to work on the ground in Sierra Leone’s Kailahun District, David has collaborated with local counselors to develop an innovative dance and movement program to provide treatment for 12 former child soldiers, all of whom were orphans who survived the brutality of Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war. David’s inspiring work has demonstrated that “dance and movement therapy (DMT) interventions, if designed to promote cultural relevance and community ownership, may enhance healing among adolescent survivors of war and organized violence.”

Saturday, October 17, 2009
10 AM – 5 PM

At Preinkert Dance Studio
University of Maryland
College Park

$30 for professionals
$20 for students and retired professionals

To register, email Teresa Redmon at TREDMON1964@COMCAST.NET
And send check, made out to MD/DC/VA chapter of ADTA, to
3018 Benefit Court, Abingdon, MD 21009

For more information please call Karen Bradley at 202-669-3927

In this workshop you will:
1. Be introduced to David’s particular approach to working with survivors of trauma and violence.
2. Share best practices with movement professionals in working with clients with stress and somatoform issues.
3. Consider ways in which dance therapy might intersect with and influence international relief work.

Come and learn from his stories.
Read David Alan Harris’s article on his work in Foreign Policy in Focus.

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