Dance/movement therapy, (DMT) is the therapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual and emotional development and motor functions of the body. It is a form of expressive therapy and is mainly seen as a form of art therapy based on humanistic and psychoanalytical principles. It looks at the correlation between movement and emotion and focuses on movement behaviour as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship – and can be used in single or group therapy. Dance has been used therapeutically and as a healing ritual for thousands of years.
Rudolph von Laban, Marian Chace, Trudi Schoop and Mary Whitehouse and their work and methods are some of the most important influences on Dance Movement Therapy.
The theory of DMT is based upon the idea that “the body and mind are inseparable” and that body and mind interact, so that a change in movement affects total functioning and reflects personality. The development and expansion of movement patterns helps to expand our behavioural patterns and possibilities. Through the unity of the body, mind, and spirit DMT provides a greater sense of wholeness to all individuals. The focus of Dance Therapy is different from other forms of rehabilitative treatments because it allows creative expression and is more holistic. It treats mind, body, and spirit – the whole person!