Dance Therapy Collections 2

Hanny Exiner Commemorative Edition

Editors: Jane Guthrie, Elizabeth Loughlin & Diane Albiston, Melbourne: DTAA. 73 pages.

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Perspectives on dance therapy: the lived experience of children

Keywords: Children’s dance, transformation, aesthetic perception, meaning-making, reflection, performance

Page #: 1

This chapter ranges through some future perspectives on dance therapy. Firstly it illuminates children’s drawings as a fresh source of dance therapy theory. Then it takes a post-modern turn, suggesting that performance can be an integral part of a dance therapy program. Finally, questions are raised about the relevance of western models of dance therapy in a world characterized by increasing pluralism, and about the impact of global information technologies on dance therapy theory and practice. The paper ends on a confident note, citing the words of a child gathered after a dance therapy session: “I hope the kids in the world will learn what I learned today.”

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Dance and Intellectual Disability: current research and practice

Keywords: Intellectual disability, integration, normalization, kinaesthetic awareness, body image, process-oriented, creative dance, KMP, performance, contact improvisation, autism, down syndrome, Dance Therapy

Page #: 8

This article offers an overview of dance practice with people who have intellectual disabilities. A brief survey of literature from Australia and the USA is followed by a discussion of some practical applications of current theory, including current groups and their activities.

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Out of the Cupboard… to the Brightness

Keywords: Dance Therapy, Dementia, sense of self, neurology, phenomenology, experiential meaning, person-centered, Laban Movement Analysis, body/mind

Page #: 14

This paper outlines a 1993 research study which attempted to describe and understand moments of experiential meaning within the dance therapy process for a patient with dementia. The writer places the study in context by discussing the nature of dementia and the common view of it as loss of self. An overview of her phenomenological methodology in the early stages follows, with later interpretation through reference to literature in the fields of dance, neurology, and dementia care. The main discussion, however, revolves around the understandings gained concerning the meaning of the dance therapy experience for the patient. The paper concludes that dance therapy offered not only a quality experience in the moment but a change in the patient’s sense of self.

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Teenage Warriors: dance movement therapy with adolescents in a residential setting

Keywords: Dance Movement Therapy, Adolescents, residential, group therapy, peer support, separation, individuation, competence, identity, socialisation

Page #: 19

Dance movement therapy offers an alternative way to work with adolescents in groups. The history and theoretical basis of group work with adolescents can inform the practice of dance movement therapy in this specialist area. Clinical examples provide an illustration of a group format and exploration of group process.

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Movement and Dance Therapy in Head Injury: and evaluation

Keywords: Movment and Dance Therapy, Head Injury, rehabilitation, holistic, movement range, flexibility, adaptability, postural awareness

Page #: 24

This paper was developed from research into the effectiveness of a movement and dance therapy (MDT) program in head injury rehabilitation, where a mixed method enquiry was conducted into the relationship between MDT and movement quality and control. The results suggested that a cause and effect relationship was established, although the sample size prevents generalisation of the results to the head injury population. The paper highlights that, despite the physical focus of the study, support also emerged for application of MDT as an holistic approach to bring about change in all domains, not just physical.

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Using Laban Movement Analysis to Assess Progress in Dance Therapy

Keywords: dance therapy, autism, Laban Movement Analysis, spontaneous movement, kinaesphere, posture, gait, breath control

Page #: 31

This case study of a man with autism who participated in a dance therapy program over a twelve month period examines his spontaneous dance, comparing two sessions five months apart using scales that were based on Laban movement analysis (LMA). The scales were the movement observation scale by Samuels and Chaiklin (Costonis 1978) and the movement diagnostic scale by Martha Davis (Costonis 1978). A third scale was also devised by the author to indicate improvements in the clients ability to initiate specific movements.

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The Shared Dance: dance therapy with mothers and infants in the hospital outpatient clinic

Keywords: Dance therapy, mother-infant, Winnicott, holding, affect attunement, aesthetic moment

Page #: 37

The article describes significant aspects of dance therapy for mothers and infants who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship. It examines how the pychodynamic notions of “holding” (Winnicott) and “selective affect attunement” (Stern) direct the dance therapy intervention. It outlines how Bollas’ transforming “aesthetic moment” may account for the emotional and different physical patterns of relating that occur within the shared dance between mother and infant.

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Dance Therapy for the Socially Disadvantaged Parent and Child

Keywords: Dance Therapy, social disadvantage, parent-child, object relations theory, Winnicott, transitional objects, imaginative living, music, metaphor, imagery

Page #: 43

This paper discusses the development of the dance therapy program at Canterbury Family Centre, where there has been a shift from creative dance focus with children and caregivers to dance/movement therapy with children and parents. A creative model using music, objects and design is underpinned by an object relations theory framework, particularly D.W. Winnicott’s concepts of imaginative living, the area between internal and external reality and the use of transitional objects.

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Dance Movement Therapy with Adults who experienced sexual abuse in childhood: the early phase of recovery

Keywords: traumatic stress, Dance Movement Therapy, childhood sexual abuse, safety, effectiveness, mastery, control

Page #: 45

This paper describes dance movement therapy with adults who experience post traumatic stress. It focuses on the first phase of trauma recovery ‘the establishment of safety in the body’ and describes how this provides a therapeutic foundation, which can lead to re-experiencing and transforming traumatic memory. Illustrations are presented from the case studies of two women who experienced sexual abuse in childhood.

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Let your inner child dance

Keywords: Dance Movement Therapy, inner child, transformation, true self, soul self, habitual patterns, maladaptive patterns, integration

Page #: 50

Assuming that the essence of the child shares a great deal in common with the essence of the adult ‘real self’, Dance Movement Therapy is an appropriate and powerful tool to address old childhood issues, beliefs and patterns to manifest change in one’s present behaviours and outlooks.

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Sacred dance as a form of dance therapy

Keywords: Dance Therapy, sacred dance, Christianity, harmonics system

Page #: 54

The following paper is offered as a foundation and introduction to the specialised area of dance therapy within a Christian context. Within this context it presents a descriptive account of the philosophies and principles, and concepts of dance therapy. The movement system, Harmonics, as founded by Bill and Paula Douthett, of Sacred Dance Ministries International will be discussed. This movement system has been implemented within Christian circles all over the world during the last 30 years.

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The Dance from the Depths and the Dance from the Plains: comparisons and reflections on dance therapy and aboriginal dance

Keywords: Dance Therapy, landscape, transpersonal framework, horizontal plane, vertical plane, aboriginal psyche, reconciliation, belonging

Page #: 58

This paper explores the significance of landscape for the creation of authentic dances and how its shapes, forms and spiritual associations relate to the dancers identity and create meaning. The vertical and the horizontal dimensions are explored both within the dance process and within a transpersonal framework. Possibilities for ‘cross-fertilisation’ between dance therapy and Aboriginal dance is considered, taking into account research findings, psychocultural and ecological thought and insights by Aboriginal elders.

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Attuning with the Dreamtime: Cultural linking through dance movement therapy.

Keywords: Aboriginal dance, integration authentic movement, expressive movement, unfolding movement

Page #: 65

The paper is based on a workshop which aimed to explore links between cultures through the power of the dance. The relationship between Aboriginal culture, dance and mother earth is explained. A description of the experiential component of the workshop demonstrates the potential for dance movement therapy to transform a person into an integrated expressive being. Through connection of the inner and outer being it offers the opportunity for personal power and healing.

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An Afterword: being the devil’s advocate

Keywords: Dance Movement Therapy, stability, future

Page #: 69

Jackson questions the stability and future of dance movement therapy as a profession and calls for adherence to professional ethics.

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