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Dance Therapy?


Guest sylphide*4ever

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Guest sylphide*4ever

One of my ballet teachers told be that there was an occupation that requires extensive knowledge of dance, but does not involve performing/teaching/choreographing. It's called dance therapy. I just wanted to know, what is it exactly? What kind of education background is needed for this kind of job? Are their any related sites where I can look up more information? Thanks for your help.

 

Veronica

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There are several types of dance therapy. The first is most common: The providing of physical therapy especially tailored to dancers. The second is similar, using dance to incorporate physical therapy protocols upon non-dancers. The third, and by far the most difficult to find training for is dance used as a psychotherapeutic tool for dancers and nondancers alike.

 

All three require extensive dance training including ballet, modern, and jazz, and almost anything else you can pick up with thorough understanding(!) on the way. In addition to these courses, it is necessary to have an excellent life sciences background, and for the last-named a considerable amount of psychology. A second major or at least a very strong minor in pre-med might just do the trick. Additional training beyond an undergraduate degree is desirable. There may be programs which provide Certificates of Professional Specialization in these disciplines, so time to hit the college catalogues and see what's out there!

 

For one professional association on Dance Therapy, see:

 

http://www.adta.org/

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Dance Therapy in college is a graduate degree program. It involves the third aspect of the therapy which Major Johnson described, which is the one dealing with phychotherapeutic therapy which is not geared specifically for dancers at all. The therapy is used with mental illness, learning disability, stroke victims, etc. Many people go into this program from an undergraduate degree in dance, however lot of other courses such as anatomy, kinesiology, and especially psychology are highly desirable. It is quite different from a Physical Therapy program, which is primarily physical rehabilitation. Dance Therapy deals with mental rehabilitation.

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And springs from the Merino Psychodrama Institute which used to be located in Beacon, NY. However, the laity often refer mistakenly to the first two categories I mentioned above as Dance Therapy. Strictly speaking, they are not dance therapy, but therapy involving dance.:)

 

At any rate, it's about as difficult as becoming a performing artist, so you pays your money, and you takes your choice.

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