Tessa Hearnes

Tessa Hearnes – Bio


In 2004 Tessa completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts, majoring in Contemporary Dance. Her lifelong love of the art form led her to think more deeply about its potential, eventually leading her to a keen interest in Dance Movement Therapy. In 2006 she completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Dance Movement Therapy at RMIT. Throughout her studies Tessa gained experience in the disability field. She is now based in the UK, developing her skills and experience in the disability field and commencing DMT work with this particular client group.

Dance movement therapy in Australia: a survey of practitioners and practice

Edition: Dance Therapy Collections 3

dance movement therapy, Australia, dance therapists, Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australia

Page #: 51

Authored by: Kim Dunphy, with T. Hearnes & J. Toumbourou
This article reports the results of a survey of 41 dance movement therapy practitioners in Australia. Issues for dance-movement therapy practice in Australia were investigated within the themes of practitioners; programs and clients; and philosophical and industrial concerns. Overall, it was apparent that the dance-movement therapy profession in Australia is both diverse and homogenous: therapists’ professional orientations and backgrounds, and the types of settings in which they work, are very diverse, but therapists are much more similar in their ages, gender, cultural backgrounds and geographic location. The issues raised by the variation and lack of diversity are discussed, along with possible strategies to address them.


Dance and Disability: A Student’s Experience

Edition: 2007 Vol. 6 No. 2

professional development, education, creative play, arts & crafts, LMA, therapeutic relationship

Tessa reflects on aspects of her professional learning journey on placement in a day centre as a post graduate diploma student in DMT. Grappling with the ‘politics’ in disability services and the questions of education versus therapy, Tessa shares her own making sense of what is important in the group sessions she leads, exemplified by a creative themed container whereby participants created their own costumes and enacted a ‘Masquerade Ball. Images of the clients and therapeutic outcomes are presented and values of a developing a DMT practice are discussed. (pp 13-16)

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