American Dance Therapy Association 52nd Annual Conference

November 2-5, 2017
San Antonio, Texas

Movement as Pathway to Neuro Resilience and Social Connection:
Dance/Movement Therapy at the Forefront

2017 Conference Resources

Conference Home

Schedule At A Glance

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Hotel Reservations

Thursday Events

Thursday Intensives

Advocacy Day – Free Event

Thursday Seminars

Friday Events

Friday Seminar

Marian Chace Foundation Lecture – Robyn Flaum Cruz, PhD, BC-DMT

“The Moving Child” Film – Free Public Event

Saturday Events

Keynote Speaker

Saturday Seminars

International Panel

Sunday Events

Sunday Seminars

Saturday Seminars

November 4th

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

This experiential workshop explores several techniques that are highly effective in helping children who are traumatized, dysregulated, or suppressed. Explored also will be the theoretical underpinnings of this approach and some case material. In the safe and sheltered space of the therapeutic relationship, discharging negative aggressivity can elicit enormous change. Affording children the chance to express their negative emotions and impulses fully and safely and imaginatively often leads very quickly to the development of a greater capacity for love, both of self and others. Although these methods are informed by the theories and work of Winnicott, Lorenz, Norma Canner, and Reich, they are largely the result of my forty years of working with and learning from children. This process uses clay, drawing and movement. Therapists will be able to incorporate  these techniques into their work right away. (All levels, NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


Dennis McCarthy is a licensed mental health counselor in New York, and has been working with children and adults for forty years. He trained in Dance Therapy, Bioenergetic Analysis and Jungian Analysis, all of which inform his approach to play therapy, which is body centered and imagination driven and is highly effective with a wide range of childhood problems.  This approach has been described in numerous books and articles, including “If You Turned into a Monster…Transformation through Play”. Dennis maintains a large private practice in New York where he works with children and adults and supervises and trains psychotherapists.

Movement helps us to connect, attune, reflect, regulate, express, learn, integrate and thrive in life. The Dance/Movement Therapists in the Professionals Cut of The Moving Child (or The Moving Child II) show us how to utilize movement in innovative ways that can impact our work in a variety of child support fields. This workshop integrates theory and experiential practices relevant to both the beginning DMT and established professional, as well as those working in allied fields. (All levels; 26-50% movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


Hana Kamea Kemble, RCC, BC-DMT, CLMA is the Producer and Director of The Moving Child Film and a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist. Hana integrates movement, yoga, attachment psychology and music into her work as a counsellor and community educator. She teaches Dance/Movement Therapy to students and professionals through West Coast Dance/Movement Therapy (, and currently works as a counsellor and yoga teacher for indigenous communities in the Chilcotin region of BC, Canada.

Susan Kierr, MS, AT, NCC, BC-DMT, has practiced dance/movement therapy in the Deep South and in New England, taught and supervised internationally, served on the ADTA Board as MAL and as Chair of Standards and Ethics, and presently sits on the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board as Chair of the BC-DMT Panel. She is a published author, including articles in the American Journal of Dance Therapy, and appears in the media of her local community advocating for national and local programs and legislation that improve the lives of women, children and families. Susan’s commitment is to the use of our DMT professional skills to nurture children in a way that reduces the presence of violence in families and in social structures.

This workshop will address dance/movement therapy within the school system focusing on staff dynamics and the challenges of working in the school setting with staff. These concepts will be examined through the various theoretical approaches in group therapy, family systems, attachment theory, child development, neuroscience, and educational perspectives. The workshop will also discuss specific strategies and DMT interventions to increase social connectedness through dyadic exchanges within the classroom and facilitate constructive collaboration between the creative therapeutic process and educational goals. Participants will have the opportunity to explore these themes and methodologies through discussion and experiential movement activities.

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


Rosana Hernandez, MS, R-DMT, L-CAT received her M.S. degree in Dance Therapy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She has been at the Hagedorn Little Village School in NYC since May 2013, working as a dance/movement therapist with infants, pre-school and elementary school children with a wide range of developmental delays and disabilities such as ASD, ADHD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, attachment disorders and emotional/behavioral disorders. Ms. Hernandez works with the children in group and individual DMT sessions as well as small social skills groups. She is also part of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) in her school to help de-escalate children engaging in self-injurious and aggressive behaviors. She has presented workshops locally, nationally and internationally.

Renee Ortega, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT, and a certified occupational therapy practitioner. Over the years, she has worked with the adult and pediatric population in both DMT and OT. Ms. Ortega has become certified, specialized and trained in the areas of Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing (SIPT), applied behavioral analysis (ABA), interactive metronome (IM), Wilbarger protocol and Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime in addition to other therapeutic techniques and approaches. She has educated, trained, and supervised students and treated clients pairing techniques and tools from both professions. She is currently pursuing a Phd in International Psychology with a trauma concentration and strives to apply these principles and philosophy in her private and community based practice and research.

Jennifer Whitley, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT received her M.S. degree in Dance Therapy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, is a Ways of Seeing practitioner, and currently completing Laban Movement Analyst Certification. She has been at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in NYC since May 2012, working with the pediatric oncology population as a dance/movement therapist and with hospital staff as a fitness/dance instructor with Integrative Medicine Services.  Ms. Whitley’s DMT experience includes working with children diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, eating issues and attachment disorders, in the therapeutic school setting, and privately at Dr. Tortora’s Dancing Dialogue in Cold Spring, NY. Ms. Whitley has taught as interim instructor at The New School and presented workshops locally, nationally, and internationally.

The mind-body connection is a buzzword in both DMT and mindfulness training. Somatic practices focus on the body-mind. How do these differ and what aspects of the body-mind connection best serve DMTs? This forum, led by two pioneers in the field of DMT and somatic education, respectfully, will address these questions through lecture, discussion and experiential explorations. Theory and research in neurodevelopment, neuro-resilience and rehabilitation, within the context of infant mental health ground this workshop. Strategies to support resilience in infant/children with ADHD, ASD, SPD, medical illnesses as well as the parents –  prenatal to eight years olds -are provided.

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


Martha Eddy, CMA, RSMT specializes in neuro-motor development as an avenue to Somatic Movement Therapy, Somatic Movement, and Dance Education. She is author of Mindful Movement the Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action. She has taught movement analysis and motor development to Dance Therapists at NYU and Antioch Graduate schools and teaches “BodyMind Dancing” and Dynamic Embodiment SMT within UNCG and Montclair State University’s degree programs. She founded Center for Kinesthetic Education in NYC, providing professional development and movement classes for pre-K-12 using self-regulating movement and “healthy dancing”.  Martha is a co-founder and steering committee member of Global Water Dances, and developed Moving For Life Dance Exercise in 1999 a non-profit providing free dance classes to people with cancer and other debilitating conditions.

Suzi Tortora, EdD, BC-DMT, CMA, LCAT, LMHC serves as consultant to the “Mothers, Infants and Young Children of September 11, 2001: A Primary Prevention Project” in the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University under Dr. Beatrice Beebe; has a private practice in NYC and Cold Spring, New York.; developed and is the manager of the Integrative Medicine Services Dréas Dream dance/movement therapy program for pediatric patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; has published numerous papers about her pioneering DMT work with infants and families and her book, The Dancing Dialogue is used extensively in DMT training programs. She received the 2010 Marian Chace Distinguished Dance Therapist award; teaches and provides training programs internationally. She has been featured on “Good Morning America”, “Eyewitness News” ABC –TV Malcolm Gladwell’s recent book, What the Dog Saw.

Embodied learning increases productivity, emotional growth, and a sense of well-being. Participants will experience a movement-based social skills and violence prevention curriculum authored by one of the presenters. Self-regulation, empathy, anger management, modulating arousal & multi-cultural uses of proximity in clinical and prevention settings will be explored. New concepts from 2016-17 (that work on self-regulation, anger management, resilience, and cultural diversity and integrate youth culture) as well as unpublished handouts will be available. Three experienced presenters will allow for break-out sessions to address individual questions and problem solving.

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


Whitney Bush, MA, R-DMT, holds a degree in dance/movement therapy and counseling from Antioch University New England.  She received her BA in Psychology from Ashford University.   She recently completed her DMT internship at The Hancock for Dance/Movement Therapy in Madison, WI where she utilized “Disarming the Playground,” developed by Rena Kornblum, and provided individual and group therapy.  Whitney has an invested interest in working with children and has a special interest in working with children on the autism spectrum.

Genevieve Dunn, MA, R-DMT, holds a degree in dance/movement therapy and counseling from Antioch University New England. She received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies – Storytelling through Oral Traditions, Creative Movement, and Musical Expression from Western Washington University. Genevieve recently completed her DMT internship at The Hancock for Dance/Movement Therapy in Madison, WI where she utilized “Disarming the Playground,” designed by Rena Kornblum, and provided individual and group therapy. Genevieve is a certified instructor in DanceAbility, an inclusive dance method accessible to all people that focuses on improvisation and creative movement. Born and raised in multiculturally diverse Hawaii, she has a keen interest in furthering culturally sensitive therapy and service delivery. She is currently working towards completion of her certification as a drama therapist.

Rena Kornblum, MCAT, BC-DMT, DTRL staff therapist at Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy, facilitates violence prevention classes & individual, group & family DMT at schools & at Hancock Center. She authored the Disarming the Playground book set & training DVDs, which illustrate a comprehensive, movement based, research supported, violence prevention curriculum.  Rena has developed many culturally relevant approaches in her prevention and therapy work & integrates Yoga and Mindfulness into her practice. She has also written several chapters and articles on her DMT work with children.  She teaches & presents on her work internationally & is on the faculty at the UW–Madison where she coordinates an undergraduate certificate program called Introductory Studies in Dance/Movement Therapy.

Embodiment has been conceptualized from an “object-observer” perspective in traditional social science research. However, this perspective is incomplete when it comes to collecting and analyzing embodied experience in dance/movement therapy research. The lived body, or lieb as Husserl called it, is more than the observation of the body’s behavior, and cannot be reduced to metaphor. On the contrary embodied data necessitates new methods to collect and analyze experience. Embodied research methods come from emerging paradigms in phenomenological research that offer more appropriate means for collecting the unique data that is observed yet not always recorded in dance/movement therapy research.

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


Robyn Flaum Cruz, Ph.D., BC-DMT, LPC is Full Professor, Lesley University Expressive Therapies Ph.D. Program; Past President, ADTA; Past Chair of the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations; Former Co-Editor, American Journal of Dance Therapy, and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of The Arts in Psychotherapy. She is Co-Editor of Dance/Movement Therapists in Action: A Working Guide to Research Options (2nd ed., 2012, Charles C. Thomas); and Co-Author of Feders’ Art and Science of Evaluation in the Arts Therapies, (2nd ed., 2013, Charles C. Thomas), and has over 50 publications in refereed journals across the disciplines of dance/movement therapy, psychology and neurology, and communications disorders and psychology.

Tomoyo Kawano, PhD, BC-DMT, NCC, LCAT is Assistant Professor of Dance/Movement Therapy at Antioch University New England. In teaching, supervising, and research, she integrates her clinical experience as a dance/movement therapist with diverse healing philosophies through the use of the arts, group work, and performative communal rituals for reconciliation, community building, and collective social action. As an immigrant who grew up in four different countries, Dr. Kawano enjoys working interdisciplinarily, blending multiple sources of knowledge and forms of communication. Her research focuses on the development of professional identity of DMT practitioners. She was awarded the research fellowship at Lesley University for her study of a systematized embodied-artistic approach for qualitatively analyzing textual data.

Jennifer Frank Tantia, Ph.D., BC-DMT, LCAT is a somatic psychologist and dance/movement therapist in private practice in Manhattan. In addition to practice, she has been a research advisor for dance/movement therapy and somatic psychology graduate students for the past nine years and currently teaches Research and Evaluation at Lesley University. Currently, she is the chairperson for the ADTA Research and Practice committee and is associate editor of Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy journal. Dr. Tantia’s publication topics include: dance/movement therapy for treating trauma, embodied research methodologies, clinical intuition, and understanding qualitative research. She is a co-editor with Helen Payne, Sabine Koch and Thomas Fuchs, for the forthcoming publication, “Embodied Perspectives in Psychotherapy,” with expected availability in 2018.

Executive Order 13769 sent waves of fear and shock through refugee communities in the U.S.; those awaiting resettlement abroad; and disrupted refugee resettlement almost immediately. Three dance/movement therapists with extensive experience providing clinical services to refugees will share qualitative data gathered from clinical observation of the impact of the ban on refugee well-being. Presenters will provide a brief political and theoretical overview of displacement as a major life stressor, exacerbated by the socio-political environment. We will share movement experientials based on dance/movement therapy practices utilized to restore a sense of relative safety, social connection, and sense of place and belonging.

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


Amber Gray, MA, BC-DMT, MPH, LPCC is a pioneer in the use of DMT with survivors of trauma, particularly torture, war and human rights abuses. Amber’s expertise is represented in many published articles and chapters, keynote addresses, professional collaborations and presentations worldwide. Amber has provided clinical training on the integration of refugee mental health and torture treatment with creative arts, mindfulness, and body-based therapies to more than 30 programs worldwide since the late 1990’s.  She has been nominated for the Barbara Chester Award for her work with survivors of torture in challenging contexts, and is the 2010 ADTA Outstanding Achievement Award recipient. She originated a resiliency-based framework and clinical approach (Restorative Movement Psychotherapy) for mind-heart-spirit, somatic, movement and arts-based therapies with survivors of trauma in cross cultural, low resource contexts.

David Alan Harris, MA, BC-DMT, LCAT, LPC, NCC specializes in fostering resilience and recovery among refugees and other survivors of war and organized violence.  A DMT group that he ran in West Africa for former boy combatants, about which he has published extensively, won an international human rights prize in 2009.  David has conducted trainings for counselors and/or dance/movement therapists on five continents, primarily focused on incorporating DMT into community-based healing programs for survivors of extremely traumatic experiences.  He served as American Journal of Dance Therapy co-editor, 2013-2017, and since November 2016 has resided in Chicago, Illinois.  Before entering the mental health arena professionally, David worked for some 15 years for various New York-based organizations dedicated to human rights and social justice.

Ashley Fargnoli, MA, R-DMT, LCPC currently works as a dance/movement therapist with refugees and immigrants in Chicago. Before becoming a dance/movement therapist, she implemented numerous dance reconciliation projects around the Balkans as well as integration projects for Roma youth in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In 2008, Ashley spent eight months in Kolkata, India working with Kolkata Sanved and learning about the use of DMT for psychosocial rehabilitation with survivors of human trafficking. Ashley is an alumna of the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program at Columbia College, Chicago and also holds a MA in Cultural Project Management from the Institute of Political Studies (France).

Advancement in education, research and articulated clinical practice in dance/movement therapy requires a continued clarification of language and foundational concepts. This workshop will focus on the differentiation of the therapeutic movement relationship and empathic reflection. Stemming from the findings of phenomenological studies with dance/movement therapists about their lived experiences of the therapeutic movement relationship and empathic reflection, presenters will deconstruct the relational fundamental mechanism of dance/movement therapy through the framework of interpersonal neurobiology. Reconstruction of the concepts will lead to a more integrated understanding of the culturally contextualized relational aspects of dance/movement therapy offering clarity in clinical practice and beyond.

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


Laura Downey, EdD, BC-DMT, LPC, GL-CMA is part-time faculty, Research Coordinator and Assessment Coordinator in the Creative Arts Therapies Department 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 co-editor for the American Journal of Dance Therapy beginning in 2017. 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.

Susan D. Imus, MA, LCPC, BC-DMT, GL-CMA, is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Columbia College Chicago. She has worked at numerous hospitals across the United States and has been a consultant to universities, hospitals, and corporations worldwide.  She co-founded the Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis (GL-CMA) program in 2001 and the Shannon Hardy Making Connections Suicide Prevention Program at Columbia College Chicago in 2002. Susan served for nine years on the Committee of Approval for the American Dance Therapy Association and was chair of that committee from 2006-2009. She was the chair of the Education, Research, and Practice Committee of the ADTA (2012-2016). Susan earned the first Excellence in Education award by the ADTA in 2006.

Jessica Young, MA, BC-DMT, LCPC, GL-CMA is an Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies. 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 and dance/movement therapy as a strengths based practice.  She maintains her self-care through playing with her children, choreographing and performing, and enjoying collaborative, compassionate, creative, and caring relationships.

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