How to Become a DMT

The dance/movement therapy credential is awarded at the graduate level. There are 2 options to become a dance/movement therapist through education and training:

  • Graduates from ADTA Approved Graduate Programs meet all educational requirements for the Registered Dance/Movement Therapy (R-DMT) credential. ADTA approves programs that meet the requirements states in the ADTA Standards for Graduate Dance/Movement Therapy Programs.
  • The ADTA and Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board recognize an Alternate Route to dance/movement therapy registry and certification. The Alternate Route requires a masters degree (or higher) from an accredited institution of higher learning in combination with general training, specific dance/movement therapy coursework, fieldwork and an internship.  For details, support and information about Alternate Route training and courses click here.

There are two levels of credentialing for dance/movement therapists:

  • The Registered-Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT) represents attainment of a basic level of competence, signifying both the first level of entry into the profession and the individual’s preparedness for employment as a dance/movement therapist within a clinical and/or educational setting.
  • The Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT) credential can be obtained after the R-DMT is awarded, with additional requirements and experience.  BC-DMT is the advanced level of dance/movement therapy practice, signifying both the second level of competence for the profession and the individual’s preparedness to provide training and supervision in dance/movement therapy, as well as engage in private practice.

The Board of Directors of the American Dance Therapy Association set the following recommendations as minimal requirements in working with children.  You must have a Master’s degree in dance/movement therapy or related field, knowledge, understanding, and demonstrated competencies acquired through education, supervised internship, or work experience in the following areas:

  1. Applications of dance/movement therapy with children;
  2. Cognitive, social and psychological development;
  3. Movement behavior and nonverbal communication;
  4. Family systems theory;
  5. Development through the lifespan
  6. Multiculturalism and diversity


Is dance/movement therapy the right profession for you?

Read our FAQs first to find out