Research & Practice

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Dance/Movement Therapy Research & Practice Committee

The Research and Practice Committee mission is to promote research in the field of dance/movement therapy in several ways:

  • Making research related resources as available as possible.
  • Assisting ADTA members with their research through consultation around research questions, designs, methods, etc.

Questions about the Research & Practice Committee? Interested in serving on the committee? Contact Jennifer Tantia, at

The Research Webpages

As part of its mission the Subcommittee creates and maintains research webpages for the use of members. In the Members Only area, members will find a description of the Subcommittee’s annual and ongoing functions, an educational page about Effectiveness Studies and various Research Resources to support researchers in the field of dance/movement therapy. These resources include information about multiple research methods, writing and publication guides, and bibliographies on many special topics of interest to dance/movement therapists.

Tools for Conducting Research

Four Systematic Reviews of DMT Effectiveness

Research Assistance

Limited consultation with Research and Practice Subcommittee members is available at no charge to ADTA members to assist with questions around research topic development, design, procedures, presentation, publication, etc. Their areas of interest and expertise are listed in the sidebar to the right along with their contact information.

Research Award

Presented annually to the author(s) of a published research article selected for recognition by the ADTA Research Sub-Committee of the Education, Research and Practice Committee.

Criteria for selection:

  • The article must be published in a peer reviewed journal.
  • The article must have dance/movement therapy as a keyword descriptor.
  • The article will advance the body of knowledge in the field of DMT.
  • The article will demonstrate an understanding and application of research design and methodology.

Award recipients and their articles will be acknowledged on the ADTA website and presented with the award at the Business Meeting during the annual ADTA conference.

Previous recipients:

Koch, S. (2014). Rhythm is it: effects of dynamic body feedback on affect and attitudes. Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 5. Article 537. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00537

Questions or nominations may be sent to Robyn Cruz, Research Award Coordinator at

Research Poster Session

The ADTA Research Sub-committee hosts an annual Research & Thesis Project Poster Session. Qualifying posters are presented by the authors at the conference with time for viewing and discussion among conference attendees, and a selection of abstracts from the poster session will be published in the American Journal of Dance Therapy.

Submissions should be sent in electronic format via email as a word doc. Please include “Poster Session” followed by your last name in the subject line.

The deadline for poster session submissions is June 1 each year.

Poster Session Elements for Submission

  1. Research and/or Thesis Project Poster Title
  2. APA (6th Edition) style poster abstract (300 words maximum)
  3. Explicitly identified research questions and/or objectives
  4. A clearly articulated research methodology
  5. A clearly articulated research method including data collection and data analysis
  6. Presentation of findings in relation to the research question(s)
  7. Conclusions and applications to dance/movement therapy
  8. Presenter(s) name(s) and biography (50 words maximum)

If you feel that your thesis work does not fit under these guidelines, please contact research coordinators Jennifer Tantia (, or Cecilia Fontanesi ( PRIOR to the deadline date. You may be asked to edit, revise, or clarify your abstract or biography prior to acceptance. Research projects must include methodology, methods, and report of findings. You MUST be present at the conference for your poster to be displayed. We will no longer accept poster submissions without the researcher/writer present at the poster session as the discussions that occur during the poster session are rich and important to our poster session.

Display requirements: All posters are required to be in large scale printed format in 36 by 48 inch (horizontal) size. You will be provided with an easel, foam board and clips to attach your poster to foam board. There will not be tables so please do not plan to use additional materials other than your poster (including computers) and business cards that you can hand out to individuals interested in learning more about your work. Additional resources and support will be provided for accepted.

Trifold and hand-crafted posters are not accepted.

No equipment/materials deposit is required for the poster session.

Note: The Research Committee will submit a selection of abstracts for publication in the American Journal of Dance Therapy (AJDT).

Annual Conference Presentations on Research

Each year the committee hosts or presents a workshop, intensive or plenary session about some aspect of research that is of current interest to ADTA members.

Research & Practice Committee Members

Research Committee members are available for limited consultations at no charge to ADTA members to assist with questions around research topic development, design, procedures, presentation, publication, etc. Their areas of interest and expertise are listed below along with their contact information.

Jennifer Frank Tantia, PhD, BC-DMT, LCAT

Chair, Research and Practice

Qualitative research methods; designing embodied approaches to research, including collecting and analyzing body-based data. Topic interests in trauma, clinical intuition, somatic countertransference, nonverbal communication in clinical practice and embodied pedagogy.

Cynthia Berrol, PhD, BC-DMT

Development of research ideas into a form appropriate for investigative research. Interpretation of statistical results, analysis of content in qualitative designs regarding discussion & implications.


Robyn Flaum Cruz, PhD, BC-DMT

Research methods both qualitative and quantitative; research design and all aspects of measurement and statistical analysis, including reliability, validity, univariate, bivariate    and multivariate analysis, and classification techniques for quantitative data; also   techniques for teaching research; reading and understanding published research.

Laura Downey, MA, R-DMT

Research design, data analysis, and reporting. Special interest in Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and Bartenieff Fundamentals, theory, brain function, structure, biological functions, quantitative methods.

Kyung Soon Ko. Ph.D, BC-DMT, GL-CMA, LCPC, NCC

Developing research ideas; designing qualitative research including collecting and analyzing data; special interest in women’s issue, cultural sensitive DMT teaching and practice, movement-based supervision, Laban Movement Analysis.

Sondra Malling, MA, R-DMT, GL-CMA

Qualitative research methods, particularly action/participatory research and artistic inquiry. Research design and research writing. Special interest in culturally-sensitive research approaches, Deaf/disability studies, and Laban Movement Analysis.


Tal Shafir, PhD, R-DMT

Quantitative research.  Developing ideas into research. Research design.     Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying movement-emotion interaction.

Cecilia Fontanesi, CMA, MS, MPhil

Quantitative research design and methods, including applications in neuroscience and human physiology. Special focus in Laban Movement Analysis.

Marybeth Weinstock, PhD, BC-DMT

Qualitative Research Methods, especially feminist perspectives; collaborative, cross-disciplinary research and application; design and application of assessment tools;  special interests include issues of age, eating disorders, brain development and function, body image, women’s issues, dancers’ lives;  exploring criteria for evidence-based research.


Committee Description

    The purpose of the Practice Committee is to:

  • Support the development of new areas of practice for dance/movement therapists
  • Work with the Public Relations Committee to accurately represent dance/movement therapy areas of practice in all public relations materials

Practice Committee Members

Sharon Chaiklin

Karla Karpowicz

Shannon Suffoletto

Lauren Harrison

Amanda Mitchell

Lynn Koshland

Andree Schillesci

Joan Lewin

What is Dance:Movement Therapy?

DMT with Trauma

DMT with the Elderly

DMT with Parkinson’s Disease

DMT with Military and Veterans

DMT with Eating Disorders

DMT with Children

DMT with Autism

DMT with Alzheimer’s Disease