ARBN 633105736

E. Connor Kelly

E. Connor Kelly – Bio


E. Connor (MA, ADTR, LPC), interned with Dr Judith Kesternberg, worked in the Boston area with people with developmental disabilities and with the frail elderly. Then moving to Colorado, worked with children and families and taught at Naropa.  She created ‘Physical Storytelling‘ together with husband Steve Harvey, and was very active for the ADTA, prior to moving to New Plymouth, New Zealand, with her family. Authentic Movement and La Leche League are two of her passions.

An investigation into the Shadow Dance used in Physical Storytelling

Edition: 2019 Vol. 16 Nos. 1-2

A review of the background development and use of the Shadow Dance score from Physical Storytelling is presented in this article. Physical Storytelling is a practice that has evolved from contemporary dance improvisation as well as dance and drama therapy practices which incorporate the separation of a verbal narrative and an improvised performance of that narrative so that a teller and audience can observe and develop an expanded understanding of material using the process of witnessing dance generated metaphor. This process has been used in therapy, clinical supervision, arts-based inquiries, and to integrate learning experiences from training, workshops and professional conferences using an embodied format. Several improvisational scores or general guidelines have emerged that facilitate the joining of dance and narrative. The Shadow Dance is one of these scores. A review of how Physical Storytelling emerged from experimental dance and drama practices such as Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, and Dynamic Family Play as well as how the Shadow Dance can be used, will be presented.

Key Words: Dance movement therapy; drama therapy; creative arts therapy; Physical Storytelling; arts- based inquiry; modern ritual

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Investigating the Fairytale Score used in Physical Storytelling

Edition: 2018 Vol. 15 Nos. 1-2

This article describes the use of the Fairytale Score used within Physical Storytelling. Physical Storytelling is a practice drawn from dance movement therapy in which a small group of dancers present a dance improvisation in response to a verbal narrative. This narrative can be provided by a client in a therapy context, a supervisee’s account of a case within clinical supervision, or in arts-based research projects to answer a question a team wishes to pursue. The Fairytale is one of several ‘scores’, or ways the dance improvisation can be organized to better fit the initial verbal story. This score can be used to illustrate narrative material that is highly emotional, confused, or presented as a dream. During the Fairytale, a single dancer improvises an imaginative and/or poetic tale told verbally while watching a small group of dancers create an improvised piece of interactive movement. This article outlines how a Fairytale Score is arranged, when it can be helpful in highlighting themes that are difficult to verbalize and provides some examples of improvised performance of this dance movement form.

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A look at the Journey Score in Physical Storytelling

Edition: 2017 Vol. 14 Nos. 1-2

Physical Storytelling (Harvey & Kelly, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2016 & Kelly 2006) is a form of dance movement therapy in which a narrative is presented as an episode of improvised dance intended to extend the emotional and creative aspects of the metaphor that has been presented in verbal story. These danced versions are understood as presenting a physical metaphor or ‘story under or within’ the verbal narrative. This form of dance movement therapy has been used in clinical intervention, supervision, as an arts-based research method, and as performance. Basic structures called scores are used to help organize movement interactions to connect the movement with the structures that are present in the narrative content. This article will investigate how the score of the ‘journey’ is developed effectively to present verbal stories of change, psychological challenge and transformation. A main goal of this article is to review how physical storytelling integrates narrative material with movement improvisation to explore the emotional, and often unconscious, elements of a narrative. A main assumption of using this form is that the use of physical metaphors and symbols can help to explore and often enhance the complex meaning within verbal stories. Future projects that use the ‘Journey Score’ to review change are suggested.

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Arts Based Enquiry: Integrating Narrative within Movement

Edition: 2016 Vol. 13 Nos. 3-4

This paper addresses the use of Physical Storytelling (Harvey and Kelly, 1991, 1992, 1993, and Kelly, 2006) as a practice to investigate scenes from life, clinical practice, and research with a goal of introducing a way to make use of dance as an Arts Based Inquiry (McNiff, 1998). Physical Storytelling is a creative improvisational practice with roots in contact improvisation, authentic movement, dance improvisation, and Playback Theatre. The form incorporates improvised movement episodes in response to verbal narratives presented by clients, families, within supervision groups, and in response to research questions. In Physical Storytelling, the therapist functions as a conductor who helps to facilitate verbal reports of emotionally relevant material in a story for mat. The therapist sets up improvised movement episodes with the intention of creating dances that can provide a more meaningful perspective for the storyteller and the participants/audience through the use of performed improvisational dance interactions. This form is useful in providing expression to situations that are complex, conflicted, and hard to present in more traditional ways. The resulting performances offer an opportunity for the dance therapist to use improvised movement as a method that is closely related to their practice to investigate important questions related to their work. In this way, the dance therapist can use Physical Storytelling to create dance as a reflective process about dance therapy either as a separate process or in addition to other more verbal or quantitate approaches.

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Entering Authentic Movement Practice by Enlivening Bartenieff Fundamental Movement Patterns

Edition: 2016 Vol. 13 Nos. 3-4

The practices of The Bartenieff Fundamental Developmental Movement Patterns and Authentic Movement were integrated into a recent experiential workshop facilitated by the author. A witness offered tactile and movement cues to a mover to highlight their partner’s unique developmental movement patterns and preferences. After this exchange and with new awareness of their own movement patterns, the mover enters into Authentic Movement. The aim of integrating these two practices was to find out whether their combination could have an impact on personal and clinical practice. Could working with Authentic Movement in this way assist movers in

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Expanding and Deepening: Two days for enhancing your DMT practice

Edition: 2016 Vol. 13 Nos. 3-4

A workshop presented by Professor Sherry Goodill

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Using props in Dance Movement Therapy (DMT): The Hula Hoop

Edition: 2015 Vol. 13 Nos. 1-2

In recent conversations at the DTAA conference (Melbourne, July 2015), as I was speaking about the use of hula hoops in my group work, I shared I had been writing a document about the use of props in dance movement therapy (DMT). I was encouraged to continue with it as there is a lack of written material in this area. I hope that this writing will generate further contributions from other DM Therapists about their use of other props.

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Dynamic Phrasing in Dance/Movement Therapy, and Building Observation Skills for Client – presented by Peggy Hackney

Edition: Vol. 6 Nos. 3-4

dynamic phrasing, movement, observation, LMA/BF, conference, analysis

Presenter: Peggy Hackney (p. 38-40).

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Reflections: Birds of a Feather Two Day Summit

Edition: 2012 Vol. 10 Nos. 3-4

professional development, creative arts therapy, dance movement therapy, drama therapy, experiential workshops, collaboration

This is an excerpt from the content:

‘Birds of a Feather’ was the thematic image containing the collaboration between various creative arts therapies organizations and training institutes at the ‘Summit’ held in Melbourne. The organizing committee included members from ANZATA (Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association), ACATA (Australian Creative Arts Therapy Association), DTAA (Dance Therapy Association Australia) and MIECAT (Melbourne Institute Experiential Creative Arts Therapies). Held in Fitzroy Melbourne, at MIECAT on July 13 -14, 2012, the programme structure followed a MIECAT method of inquiry with the first workshops on the theme of Discovery, the second Dream and the final workshops, Design. The author describes her experiences at each of the sessions she attended and closes with insightful questions that arose for her post the summit. (pp 41-44)

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Creative Therapies Association of Aotearoa (New Zealand): Conference Report & Highlights

Edition: 2005 Vol. 4 No. 3

creative arts therapy, mental health, well-being, expressive therapy, Voice Work, children

Connor’s article titled: “Conference report AUT Akoranga Campus, Auckland.
Theme: Travelling Light: Enabling ourselves and our clients to let go of unnecessary baggage” describes her participation in the opening ritual of the conference, the keynote address and following workshop presented by Tarquam McKenna: “Expressive Therapy – Bridges into Praxis’. Description of her attendance and embodied learning experienced from the second keynote address and attendance at a workshop on ‘Voicework and the Vocal Process’ follows, with a brief note on the closing ritual and dinner in conclusion.

Lesley’s article titled: “Personal Highlights & Aspects that held Personal Meaning from the ‘Travelling Light’ Conference of Creative Arts Therapies Association of Aotearoa, Auckland, NZ, 2005.” is an overview of all that she loved at the conference. Her attendance at two workshops on DMT and on Voice Work and the Vocal process, is outlined with descriptions from her engagement in the sessions. (pp 13-15)

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Report on the Creative Therapies Association of Aotearoa (CTAA) Conference in New Zealand – ‘Healing Ways’

Edition: 2007 Vol. 6 No. 2

Neuroplasticity, Authentic Movement, Drama therapy, Expressive Arts, Children, Disabilities, ritual, breathing

A wide array of presentations and workshops are reflected on including Connor’s Authentic Movement workshop. Sessions also covered the modalities of art, drama, expressive arts, music and spiritual/cultural rituals and models. Adaptations of the various modalities with differing client groups are described from Connor’s perspective and her experiential participation in “the Fluid Body” workshop gives insight to her embodied inquiry and delightful discoveries. (pp 17-19

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Music and Imagery Conference in New Zealand ‘Challenge and Delight’

Edition: 2006 Vol. 5 No. 2

Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM), PTSD, Transference, Countertransference, Journalling, Self care, Disability, supervision

Conner gives an in-depth overview of the workshops and presentations on offer including her’s and Joanna Booth’s experiential participation in many sessions including; “Counselling and the Law”, using BMGIM with complex experiences of PTSD, “…the effects of Sound on the physical and Emotional Self”,  “Self-care and safe practice – Group work and Counsellors” and “Journalling – A group process”. Presentations were also given on “Making self of Myself through Narrative and Music” with presentations on using GIM in professional practice, supervision and with cognitively impaired adolescents.  The closing ritual of the conference is described vividly from Connor’s embodied perspective. (p.14)

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Physical Story Telling

Edition: 2006 Vol. 5 No. 1

professional development, supervision, authentic movement, improvisation, therapy, felt sense

Connor describes: “Physical Storytelling is a creative improvisational practice with roots in contact improvisation, authentic movement, dance improvisation, Dynamic Play Therapy and Playback Theatre (Harvey 1990; Harvey & Kelly 1991, 1992, 1993). This form draws on the elements of story telling, physical interaction, improvisation, and witnessing with the aim of transforming inner subjective experience through metaphor in a shared setting. The resulting performance can be thought of as exquisite communication. This form evolved and developed through practice in contact improvisational classes. Stories were added to the dances and later New Years Eve performances became regular rituals. This practice has been applied in a variety of settings including therapy, clinical supervision, performance, closing rituals at conferences and training of creative arts therapists.”  This article describes the evolution of this practice including the development of skills and the application in clinical and professional development settings, with descriptive vignette’s. (pp 2-8)

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‘Weaving the Threads’ Conference Reflections: Special Events

Edition: 2007 Vol. 6 Nos. 3-4

In this series of articles, we are pleased to present reflections on integral and exciting occasions within the conference, that included Conference Special Events: “The Movement Choir”; “Performance on the Lawn: Three Songs, Three Dances’ BAH Improvised movement collective”; “Performance from Integrate Stretch” and “Bidding Farewell Through Movement Weaving the Threads – Dancing the Metaphor.” (pp 30-35)

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Authentic Movement: Embodiment Practice for the Dance/Movement Therapist

Edition: 2009 Vol. 8 Nos. 1-2

collective, containment, witness, recall, embodiment, neonatal breathing pattern

The following article was written by Connor on her workshop given at the third Dance-Movement Therapy Conference – ‘Weaving The Threads’ – in Melbourne in 2007.

This article stemmed from a workshop which explored experientially the evolving practice of Authentic Movement and through this moved the participants towards conscious embodiment, which ultimately allows them to be more present in their daily lives. The participants learnt to pay attention to their body on its own terms without superimposing a structure or an aesthetic viewpoint. Philosophical influences and references are woven in to describe this practice, through which Connor proposes “as we embody further aspects of our own Self, we can allow our patients/clients greater access to their fullest expression.” (pp 13-16)

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Authentic Movement Retreat in Taranaki

Edition: 2012 Vol. 10 Nos. 1-2

Mary Whitehouse, witness, kinaesthetic attunement, empathy, Long Circle, countertransferance

A descriptive piece about the authors’ engagement in an authentic movement retreat in Taranaki, New Zealand. Phases of moving, witnessing, responding verbally and journalling with keywords are shared – to expand upon and express aspects of this Jungian inspired psychotherapeutic process. (pp 59-62)

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