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What is dance–movement therapy?

Dance-movement therapy combines the creative process and the study of human movement.

This holistic approach draws upon the elements inherent in dance to restore balance and integration in the areas of physical function, feelings and cognition.

How do dance-movement therapists work?

Dance-movement therapists approach can include:

  • working with the physical, emotional and cognitive dimensions of human behaviour to assess and treat individuals or groups of all ages
  • using their skills in movement observation and analysis to develop and evaluate therapeutic programs in clinical, educational and community contexts
  • working with body movement as the basis of human interaction and communication

Dance-movement therapists are trained in counselling skills and group facilitation.

Where is dance-movement therapy used?

Dance-movement therapy has been used in a range of settings including:

  • special schools
  • rehabilitation centres
  • hospitals
  • aged-care facilities
  • prisons
  • psychiatric clinics
  • community health centres
  • private practice


Why do we need dance-movement therapists?

Dance-movement therapists design and implement programs to help clients in areas such as:

  • relationships
  • self-esteem
  • mother-infant bonding
  • community health
  • body image
  • educational contexts
  • traumatic injuries
  • medical problems
  • rehabilitation
  • mental health conditions

Definition sourced from: Dance-Movement Therapy Association of Australia Inc. (DTAA)


Dance Therapy Association of Australia

American Dance Therapy Association

Accessible Arts

Australian Creative Arts Therapies Association

Ausdance NSW (includes a directory listing of classes for children and adults)