Denis Kelynack – Bio
Author/s: Denis Kelynack
Denis Kelynack, 1927-2010
Denis Kelynack first became aware of dance movement therapy in 1971 at a workshop given by Tamara Greenberg at the Centre for Energetic Studies in San Francisco. Realising that it is possible to bring internal issues into movement and, also using movement to change them, had an enormous impact on Denis who was, at the time, a counselling psychologist. Returning to Australia, Denis enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Movement and Dance to study with Hanny Exiner. On graduating, Denis was invited to teach in that course. His subject, Psychology and Dance, focussed on ways of bringing the Jungian archetypes into human movement. Later, he and Warren Lett worked together to lead the therapy section of a dance therapy subject with Hanny Exiner and Karen Bond. Feeling it was still important to understand the physical or ‘body’ aspects of dance therapy, Denis went on to engage in another project with Hanny Exiner. He and Hanny worked as a duo over three years, where Hanny was the therapist and Denis the client. This resulted in the book Dance Therapy Redefined (Exiner and Kelynack, 1994). Later Denis joined the teaching team in the RMIT dance movement therapy course. His work explored ways in which symbols can lead to a richer dance experience.
Denis was President of the DTAA between 2001 and 2007. As President, Denis worked closely with the core committee and convened a number of sub-committees. During his Presidency, the DTAA achieved membership of PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia) and the roles of various sub-committees were more closely defined. In retirement Denis returned to the piano, writing songs and choral works, while he continued as a loyal and valued member of the dance therapy community. A conversation between Denis and Jenny Czulak Riley and an article about him, written by Sarah Jones in 1993, were published in Moving On Vol. 7 No’s 3 and 4, 2008 – 2009