Vision 2021 – Strategic Planning ADTA Style

Vision 2021 – Strategic Planning ADTA Style

“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating.
The paths are not to be found, but made.”

― John H. Schaar



ADTA members at Vision 2021 Planning Session in San Diego, California

2016 is a big year for the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) as we mark our 50th anniversary as a membership association. Today the ADTA has over 1,600 members from all around the world and, as an association, serves to set and uphold the highest standards for the field of dance/movement therapy (DMT). But none of this would have been possible without the vision (and hard work!) of a small group of individuals who came together in the early 1960’s with a plan to take the fledgling field of DMT and develop it into what it has become today: a highly respected profession that is practiced and recognized around the globe. Much has changed over the past 50 years but the necessity for an overarching vision to guide the work of the ADTA has not.

Throughout the life of the ADTA, the Board of Directors (BOD) has engaged in regular visioning and strategic planning sessions that aim to continue propelling DMT into the future. During the 2015 annual ADTA conference, the BOD began the latest 5 year planning cycle with “Vision 2021,” a year-long visioning and strategic planning process to focus the Board’s work through 2021 and beyond.


ADTA members taking part in a guided movement segment of the Vision 2021 Planning Session


ADTA members taking part in a guided movement segment of the Vision 2021 Planning Session

For Vision 2021, the Board has created a process that is both iterative and collaborative with our membership. We kicked it off with a visioning workshop at the conference. Attendees were led through movement and group work to answer this guiding inquiry: “What is the most pressing question the ADTA must answer now?” The workshop allowed members to explore this question and their own personal vision for the ADTA in the way dance/movement therapists do best, through movement and through the wisdom of the body/mind. From this embodied experience, participants wrote down questions they thought most needed to be answered, which were then collected by the BOD to be used as part of the data collection.


ADTA members discussing pressing questions for dance/movement therapists.

In the next few months, the BOD will continue soliciting answers to the guiding question from our members. At their April 2016 meeting, they will gather the collective wisdom of the membership, as expressed through the responses to this question, to help guide a weekend of visioning and strategic planning. The result, garnered through a process grouping questions thematically, a draft vision statement and strategic plan, will be shared with the membership for feedback and a final plan will be unveiled at the 2016 conference!


ADTA members discussing pressing questions for dance/movement therapists.

The hope of the BOD is that by including our members input throughout the process, we will create a vision that will not only guide the efforts of the Board, but that will also inspire you, our membership, to join us in carrying on the critical work begun by those early visionaries. As the quotation above reminds us–paths are made and futures are created, and, together, we can create a vibrant future for all the field of DMT.

*Much gratitude to Judith Fischer, BC-DMT of Move & Change and Peter Norlin of Change Guides for generously donating their time (once again) to lead this process for the ADTA. We are fortunate indeed to have such visionary guides.


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