American Dance Therapy Association 53rd Annual Conference

October 11-14, 2018
Salt Lake City, Utah

Bringing the Body and Creativity into Healing: The Art and Science of Dance/Movement Therapy

2018 Conference Resources

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October 12th

9:30 am – 12:30 pm
3-Hour Seminars, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Dance, creativity, and imagination, as they emerge in the therapeutic relationship, make Dance/Movement Therapy unique.  Our experience as dancers is essential to our work, and our knowledge of the use of rhythm, repetition, and movement phrasing informs our clinical skills. DMTs invite clients to engage in movement, understanding that the movement and gestures that emerge may be a place to begin or a place of deep recognition.  The movement always offers the opportunity to discover healing imagery and acceptance.  DMT accesses aesthetic experience, providing shared experiences of beauty and grace.  These moments of beauty and grace can facilitate healing.

(Mid Level; 51-75% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Participants will revisit the foundational DMT literature regarding the value of the elements of dance, to include:  improvisation, rhythm, repetition, movement phrasing, and aesthetics.
  2. Participants will re-connect to the opportunities for personal expression and healing that are inherent in movement, gesture, and dance.
  3. Participants will affirm the value of dance as it is integrated into their own practice as dance/movement therapists.

Linda Aaron-Cort , MA, BC-DMT, has enjoyed a long and diverse career as a dance/movement therapist in California, working with children, adolescents, and adults in a range of in-patient and community settings. As an educator, she is former faculty at the Authentic Movement Institute, and the Center for Movement Education and Research, as well as teaching internationally in South Korea and China. She has served the ADTA as the Western Region Member-at Large, and as the Chair of the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board. She continues to practice Authentic Movement and study improvisational dance.

Julie Miller, LCSW LCAT BC-DMT is Chair and faculty of the Creative Arts Therapy Department, Pratt Institute; Current Chair, Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board Former Faculty, IICAT; Private Practice in Brooklyn, New York.

Recently Dance Therapists from China and the USA conducted a project using Physical Storytelling as a method to investigate the emotional climate within China and the USA during our contemporary time. It was important that these dancers with diverse backgrounds participate together given the recent political tensions between our countries. The verbal commentaries and social media have portrayed the east and west as adversaries one day and allies the next. The goal of our dance improvisations was to investigate the emotional themes we might have in common. We will show videos of this work and discuss further applications.

(Advanced Level; 26-50% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Participants will learn how an arts-based research can investigate complex nonverbal issues
  2. How Dance/movement can be used to investigate cross cultural issues when there is no common primary language
  3. Participants will view some core emotional themes that are present in the contemporary life in the east and west

Steve Harvey, PhD, RPT/S, BC-DMT is a registered play therapy supervisor and a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Guam. He was previously a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in New Zealand. Together with the Inspirees Institute in China, Steve has been using Arts Based Research to investigate cultural understating between the East ad West.

E. Connor Kelly, MA, BC-DMT, LPC, DTAA Professional Member Is currently working as a dmt in a school setting, supervising and mentoring dmts and students in New Zealand where she introduced introductory workshops in DMT and Authentic Movement more than a decade ago. She continues offering retreats in NZ and currently teaches an on line Authentic Movement course with colleague Anne Hurst and participants are from 5 different countries. She also co-created and co teaches Physical Storytelling with her husband, Dr. Steve Harvey. She has experiences with many different populations including people with disabilities, brain injured adults , and children. She has attended workshops with many DMTs pioneers and interned with Dr. Judith Kestenberg. She has taught and facilitated many workshops in many countries including most recently in Taiwan and Australia. She currently acts as regional convenor on the DTAA committee and teaches yoga locally.

Joan Wittig, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT is an established dance therapist in US. She is currently the Director of Graduate Dance/Movement Therapy Program in the Graduate Creative Arts Therapy Department, at Pratt Institute. Joan has 24 years of clinical experience and 16 years of teaching experience. She served on the Approval Committee of the ADTA from 2005 till 2010. Joan made a significant contribution in the effort to get creative arts therapy as a professional licensed in New York State. Her work has been recognized with an Outstanding Service Award from the ADTA in 2002 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Art Therapy Association in 2003. Since 2010, Joan has been involved with the dance therapy training program development in China with Inspirees, and has travelled often to China to teach in our professional courses as well as many workshops.


This presentation is a didactic and experiential exploration of Laban’s Space Harmony theory and its impact on the brain.  As a core component of dance, Space is a key concept in understanding the intersection of science and art in Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT).  Research from music, architectural, and movement theories will be compared to explore how Space Harmony may influence our neurobiology and psychological state.  Participants will be invited to engage in data collection to research the psycho-emotional impact of the dimensional scale.  Together, we will work towards understanding how and why Space Harmony is a useful tool in DMT practice.

(Mid Level; 26-50% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Participants will understand the universal thread within sacred geometry, that weaves architecture, music, and Space Harmony theories together across cultures.
  2. Participants will learn how the application of each of these three theories impacts neurological functioning based on the use of comparative analysis.
  3. Participants will learn how to apply Laban’s Space Harmony theory into DMT practice, while simultaneously engaging in the data collection portion of research embarked on during the workshop.

Stacey McGinn Hurst, MA, LCPC, BC-DMT is a graduate of the Creative Arts Therapies program at Columbia College Chicago, where she has enjoyed a part-time faculty position in the department for the past 18 years. Stacey also directs Mind Body Connections, a private practice, where she works with adolescents, adults and couples. Additionally, she co-leads women’s groups, is an international guest lecturer and presenter and provides supervision to counselors of all types across the globe. As an advocate in the field of dance/movement therapy, Stacey has volunteered as a board member for the American Dance Therapy Association and currently serves on the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board.

Heather MacLaren is a LPC, R-DMT is a graduate Laban certified movement analyst from the Creative Arts Therapies program at Columbia College Chicago. She is a dance/movement therapist and trauma specialist at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, where she works with adolescent and adult women recovering from co-occurring psychiatric disorders and trauma. Heather has a longstanding passion for neuroscience research and seeks to uncover the neurological underpinnings behind the powerful connections made in dance/movement therapy work.

Students in ADTA approved dance/movement therapy programs frequently explore professional identity development as an important educational issue in academic classes, supervision and thesis work. A counselor identity development model will be proposed as a relevant model for understanding DMT professional identity development. Participants will discuss the possibilities and limitations of the model after learning about the professional identity development themes identified in the thesis projects of DMT students. Explorations about whether these themes may be similar or different in alternate route education will be discussed along with cultural factors that inform the development of professional identity in DMT.

(Advanced Level; up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Participants will learn a model for counselor identity development and discuss strengths and limits to applications in dance/movement therapy
  2. Participants will learn about common themes relating to professional identity development from thesis work among dance/movement therapy students in ADTA approved programs
  3. Participants will discuss potential similarities and differences in the development of professional identity in alternate route education
  4. Participants will explore and discuss cultural factors that may influence the development of professional identity in dance/movement therapists

Laura Downey, EdD, BC-DMT, LPC, GL-CMA is part-time faculty, Research Coordinator and Assessment Coordinator in the Creative Arts Therapies programs at Columbia College Chicago and part-time faculty in the low residency Creative Arts Therapy Program with Pratt Institute. Laura is former Chair of the Research Sub-committee and a member of the Research and Practice as well as Education Committees. She is a co-editor for the American Journal of Dance Therapy. Laura completed her dissertation on empathic reflection in clinical practice for a Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University. Laura is a 2013 recipient of the ADTA Outstanding Achievement Award.

Van der Kolk—leading authority on PTSD—sings the praises of trauma-sensitive yoga but misses important aspects of yoga for trauma healing that dance/movement therapists can offer. For years, dance/movement therapists have explored the important role that relational dances play in developing healthy embodiment. Chi for Two—a DMT partner practice—draws from the same fundamentals that birthed yoga—the relational aspects of nervous system functioning. After examining how Porges’s polyvagal theory dovetails with Levine’s trauma theories and overlaps with attachment theory, participants will experience the partner practice followed by a discussion of DMT and yoga.

(Advanced Level; 26-50% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


1.Describe the basics of polyvagal theory, how it dovetails with Levine’s trauma theory and overlaps with attachment theories.

2.Understand the basic ideas of purusha, prikriti and the gunas.

3. Explore palm-to-palm movements with clients with greater awareness of developmental dances.

Dee Wagner, MS, LPC, BC-DMT, has worked at The Link Counseling Center in Atlanta for 24 years. She has presented at many ADTA conferences, and several Expressive Therapies Summits. She has articles in two journals: Polyvagal Theory and Peekaboo: How the therapeutic pas de deux heals attachment trauma in Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy and The Big Dance: My love affair with the science of nervous system functioning in Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy (journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists). Counseling Today published her articles Polyvagal Theory in Practice, and Using New Nervous System Science to Help Clients with their Digital Dating. Asana International Yoga Journal published Yoga and Yogurt: What Mindful People Need to Know about the Vagus Nerve, as well as Movement and Stillness: A Dance Therapist’s Kryia. She is co-creator of the book/workbook Naked Online: A DoZen Ways to Grow from Internet Dating.


75-Minute Seminars – Early, 9:30 am -10:45 am

Dance/movement therapy is increasingly a global modality, with professionals active in the majority of countries worldwide. However, there has not yet been an organization established to connect DM therapists and their associations across the world.  This presentation introduces the International Network for Dance Movement Therapy, the first global organization, established in 2016 by senior leaders representing every world region. The group’s first joint endeavor, a research project to document the DMT profession internationally is shared, along with the group’s aspirations for the network. Participants are invited to respond to ideas presented and offer input for the network’s future.

(Advanced Level; up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)

Objectives: Through participation in this workshop, delegates will:

  1. Increase their knowledge of the DMT profession internationally
  2. Become informed about the initiative to establish an international network for the profession
  3. Utilize their knowledge, skills and experiences to input into the network’s development

Dr. Kim Dunphy is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Creative Arts Therapies Research Unit at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she is exploring her interests in assessment and evaluation of DMT. She publishes widely on these topics, including an article in Arts in Psychotherapy on developing an iPad app for assessment in dance movement therapy’. Kim has also been involved in developing technological products for evaluation and assessment, including Marking the Moves, the world’s first iPad app for dance movement therapy assessment, for which she received an award for innovation from the American Dance Therapy Association in 2015. Kim is President of the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia, Research Convenor of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia and Convenor of the new International Network for Dance Movement Therapy. She previously practiced as dance teacher and therapist specializing in working with children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Amber Gray, MA, BC-DMT, LPC, LPCC is a pioneer in the use of Dance/Movement Therapy with survivors of trauma, particularly in cross cultural and traditional contexts and areas of large scale, social trauma. Amber’s expertise is represented in many publications, keynote addresses, professional collaborations and presentations. Amber was the 2010 ADTA Outstanding Achievement Award recipient and serves on the Board of Directors. She originated resiliency-based Restorative Movement Psychotherapy, a somatic, movement and arts-based therapeutic approach for survivors of trauma in cross cultural, low resource contexts, which has been taught in 7 countries. She is Director of The Kint Institute and Restorative Resources LLC. She is a founding member of the International Network for Dance/Movement Therapy.

The University of Utah Tanner Dance LEADD Program (Learning and Engaging through Arts Discipline and Development) is an arts education program for adults with disabilities ages 18 and older. This session will allow ADTA conference participants to work with and observe our presenters and performers as they demonstrate how movement and culture allows us to better understand our place in this world by giving us a sense of belonging as well as understanding and empathy for others. Participants will also participate in learning 2 dances from around the world that helped the LEADD students find pride in family and themselves.

(Mid Level; 76% or more Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Workshop participants will observe the use of kinesthetic empathy and listening skills to discuss how the concept of combining movement and culture translates into positive self-regulation when working with adults with disabilities.
  2. Workshop participants will learn teaching methods, movement exploration, and appropriate modifications for adults with disabilities while still maintaining the integrity of who they are and what they are capable of. This includes observing the collaborative process between a dance/movement therapist and creative dance artists and educators in using a creative dance curriculum overlaid with dance/movement therapy theories.
  3. Workshop participants will learn two cultural dances they can use to promote expressive movement, open new avenues for communication and encourage independent self-expression.

Bianca Filion, MA, R-DMT, ACMHC, APCC candidate, graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011, and her Master’s degree in Expressive Therapies: Dance Therapy with a Mental Health Counseling Specialization from Lesley University in 2014. She returned to Salt Lake City, UT to continue her previous work with Tanner Dance in the Dancers with Disabilities programs. She also worked at Advanced Awareness Counseling, LLC as an individual therapist for children and adults, specializing in care for transgender individuals. She is moving to California to further pursue counseling work with children.

Ashley Boyack began teaching for the Tanner Dance Program in 1991. In 2010 Ashley received a MAT with a curriculum emphasis at the University of Northern Colorado. She then moved to Kansas and joined the Lawrence Arts Center, where she was Artistic Director of the Youth Dance Theater, a dance in the schools program and conducted numerous professional development programs. Ashley also performed as a guest with the 940 Dance Company, created the preschool dance and modern dance curriculum, co-created the boys sports dance class curriculum, and served as the Lawrence Arts Center Dance Education Specialist. Since returning to Utah, Ashley served as a Beverly Taylor Sorenson (BTS) Dance Specialist. In 2015 she received the Sorenson Legacy Award for Excellence in Elementary Dance Instruction. In 2017 Ashley returned to Tanner Dance as a full time Dance Specialist and serves as a Professional Development Partner for the BTS Arts Learning Program.

Mary-Martha Ostler began dancing at the Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Program at the age of three and continued to dance with the Children’s Dance Theatre from 1997 to 2008. She received her BFA in modern dance from the University of Utah and has performed and choreographed for numerous student, faculty and professional works on stages all over the nation. She has been a part of Tanner Dance’s Dancer’s with Disabilities programs for over 10 years and she has loved developing and directing the LEADD Program as well as the Elevate Theater Company. She considers herself a dancer, performer, musician, choreographer, teacher, and an advocate for all the arts.

An examination of Blackfeet Native American rituals and healing dances through the DMT lens. The presentation hopes to provide embodied community and healing dances to inform and educate participants to attain identity understanding and effectively cultivate culturally inclusive dynamics. Presenters will cover the origins and history of dance/ movement therapy, Blackfeet Native American rituals and healing dances. Presenters will compare Blackfeet healing dances with dance/ movement therapy principles and theories. The comparisons will further be explored through an experiential of multiple Blackfeet rituals by Dugan Coburn, a community pipe holder, through a dance/ movement therapy perspective lens.

(Mid Level; 26-50% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Understand Blackfeet traditional healing dances
  2. Learn the connection between dance/movement therapy and cultural dances
  3. Acknowledge ways to cultivate culturally inclusive dynamics

Selena Coburn is a student at Lesley University studying for her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling specializing in Dance/Movement Therapy (expected graduation May 2018), Selena has a BFA in Dance at SUNY Purchase College, NY

Jessica Michele Flores is a student at Lesley University studying for a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specializing in Dance/Movement Therapy
Jessica has a BS in Kinesiology; Minor in Psychology

Dugan Coburn, BS in Medical Technology, State of Montana Educators License Endorsements 06Z BLA Blackfeet K-12


75-Minute Seminars – Later, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm

All dance/movement therapists are given a grounding in Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) as our common professional and practical language.  Five experienced practitioners will reflect on their unique applications of LMA, arrived at over time, to offer new insights into integrating the viewpoints of art, science and culture, in service of the creative process in DMT. The five panelists will share specific examples describing their application of LMA within the contexts of:  infant/child attachment relationships, trauma work – including therapists’ vicarious traumatization, creative supervision, supporting multiculturalism and diversity, and guiding therapists’ movement practice before and after being with clients.

(Mid Level; Up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Participants will understand how to stimulate the creative process through the frameworks of Laban Movement Analysis while honoring the cultural manifestation of someone’s unique movement expression.
  2. Participants will be incentivized to further develop their use of the LMA lens in clinical practice – in observation, assessment, intervention and in supervision across developmental and clinical populations.
  3. Participants will develop their understanding of how LMA supports the integrative dance between art, culture and science in the processes of preparing to be with clients, being with them, and reflecting afterwards.

Katya Bloom, PhD, BC-DMT, CMA is author of The Embodied Self: Movement and Psychoanalysis (2006: Karnac). She taught in the Dance Movement Psychotherapy training at Roehampton University in London for 16 years, where she was also in private DMP practice. Her PhD, from the Tavistock Clinic and the University of East London was titled “Movement as a Psychophysical Process”. With a background in performance, Katya has co-written two further books exploring the creative integration of body and psyche through movement – The Laban Workbook for Actors (2017: Bloomsbury) and Moves: A sourcebook of ideas for body awareness and creative movement (1998:Routledge), and co-edited a third – Embodied Lives: Reflections on the Influence of Suprapto Suryodarmo and Amerta Movement (2014:Triarchy). Based in Santa Barbara, CA. since 2010, she calls her work Depth Movement, Lastly, Katya is one of five international co-conveners of the new Labanarium online

Nancy Beardall, PhD, BC-DMT, LMHC, CMA is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Dance/Movement Therapy Coordinator at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. Dr. Beardall was one of the original designers of the DMT hybrid low residency program at Lesley. As a dance/movement therapist, consultant, Certified Movement Analyst, and educator, Dr. Beardall’s work has focused on the cognitive, social/emotional and relational development using dance, dance/movement therapy and the expressive arts in the public schools. Dr. Beardall has developed numerous curricula for middle and high school students focusing on the prevention of bullying, sexual harassment and relationship abuse, promoting connection and making a difference in the school community. Her community building programs through the arts have involved students, parents and community members.

Jane Wilson Cathcart, BC-DMT, MSW, LCSW-R, CMA, Certified EMDR Practitioner, her early clinical training was in dance therapy at Turtle Bay Music School and with dance therapy pioneer Marian Chace at Bellevue Medical Center. She has had 47 years of clinical experience working in various settings such as Manhattan Children’s Psychiatric Center and Little Meadows Early Childhood Center with children, adolescents, physically challenged and developmentally delayed populations. She taught in the Wesleyan University Graduate Liberal Studies Program for 17 years. Her work is shown in the ADTA film “Dance Therapy: The Power of Movement”, where she is identified as “Jane Downes”. Jane has been a Trustee of the Marian Chace Foundation since 1996. She maintains a private practice in New York City and Cold Spring-on-the Hudson, NY.

Suzi Tortora, EdD, BC-DMT, CMA, LCAT, LMHC has a full-time private practice in Cold Spring, NY and NYC, specializing in parent- infant/child and family therapy; trauma; medical illness; and adult chronic pain. She is the International Medical Creative Arts Spokesperson for the Andréa Rizzo Foundation, having created and continuing to be the senior dance/movement therapist for pediatric patients at Integrative Medicine Services, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYC, since 2003. She received the 2010 Marian Chace Distinguished Dance Therapist award from the ADTA. She teaches in Europe, South America, New Zealand, the Middle East and Asia; holds faculty positions in the USA, The Netherlands, Chech Republic, Argentina and China; offers international webinar Ways of Seeing training programs for dance/movement therapists and allied professionals; has published numerous papers about her work; and her book, The Dancing Dialogue: Using the communicative power of movement with young children is used extensively in dance/movement therapy training programs internationally.

Jessica Young, MA, BC-DMT, LCPC, GL-CMA is an Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago in the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Program. She has presented workshops in dance/movement therapy, clinical supervision, motivational interviewing, harm reduction, and violence prevention nationally and internationally. She provides direct client services to children and adults through the Institute of Therapy through the Arts, the Soldiers Project, and New Prairie Counseling. Jessica is very active in the ADTA and currently serves as Chair of the Education Committee. Her recent publications focus on the therapeutic movement relationship, dance/movement therapy as a strengths-based practice, and the use of LMA in bridging DMT and drama therapy. She maintains her self-care through playing with her children, choreographing and performing, and enjoying collaborative, compassionate, creative, and caring relationships.

Dance has been around for centuries. It is used by different cultures to connect with ancestors and other spirits, initiation into adulthood, and as healing rituals. So how is dance toed to racial oppression? Western European dance has dominated the art form in America. However, research suggests that dance from marginalized cultures played a pivotal role in developing American dance traditions. Today dance continues to be a strong force used in the fight against racism and oppression, as well as a holistic approach to bring those marginalized cultures together in healing.

(Mid Level; 26-50% Movement; NBCC CE hours, ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Understand cultural contributions to American traditions.
  2. Understand how oppression can affects the body
  3. Understand how dance has been used as a healing mechanism in marginalized cultures

Domonique Terrell was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and is 26 years old. She started training in dance when she was 17, but has done theater since elementary school. She went to Northwestern State University of Louisiana where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Theater. She has trained with the Urban Bush Women Dance Company during their Summer Leadership Institute in New Orleans from 2010 to 2014. During this time, she attended workshops focusing on undoing racism, given by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. In 2013 Domonique worked as a volunteer dance instructor for the pilot of a nonprofit called The Cocoon: Youth Empowerment Program. Its mission is to provide a safe space for their youth to grow into dynamic leaders in their communities. She currently attends Antioch University New England as a first year graduate student in the Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling Program.


Sexual arousal is a vital, creative energy in human life, yet we are embedded within a culture that perpetuates a pattern of silence, secrecy, and shame. We therefore often fear our bodies and limit our kinesphere of expression in intimate relationships. When individuals and couples are provided the space to feel their arousal and decode the cultural assumptions and stereotypes, a whole new world of embodiment and healthy expression emerges. This presentation offers a Dance Movement Therapy, Sexological, and social-justice informed model, encompassing both theory and experiential practice, to unravel and rewire the embodiment of arousal energy.

(Advanced; Up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Articulate the 4 layers of the concentric model of arousal and the sexological and D/MT underpinnings of the theory
  2. Refine their understanding of social structures which impact the experience and expression of arousal energy
  3. Facilitate an individual, couple, or group in the process of assessing their relationship with arousal energy and refine the healthy expression of it in intimate relationships.

Melissa Walker, MA, LPC, R-DMT, founder and director for the Embodied Relationships Counseling Center, is a Body-Centered Psychotherapist who specializes in sex and relationship therapy for couples and individuals. A graduate of Naropa University in 2009, Melissa weaves together her Masters level training with additional certification in Somatic Archaeology, and training in Couples Therapy, Sex Therapy, Psychodrama, and Authentic Movement. Melissa is currently adjunct faculty at Naropa University.