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

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October 14th

3-Hour Seminars, 8:30 am – 11:30 am

In many areas of human service, from health to education and community support, there is an increasing priority on outcomes for clients, with a commensurate reduction of focus on service delivery as an endpoint. This workshop presents an outcomes framework for dance/movement therapy that is informed by theory and evidence and developed through a lengthy process of consultation and trialing.  The Framework is posited to be comprehensive and culturally relevant, and therefore suitable for dance/movement therapy programs and clients broadly. The workshop discusses the theoretical underpinning of the Framework, the method undertaken to develop it, and its potential usefulness for the profession.

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

Objectives: Participants will:

  1. Develop their understanding of the function and value of an outcomes focus for DMT
  2. Deepen their skills in critical analysis of outcome measures
  3. Expand their capacity for articulation of outcomes appropriate for their own client groups

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 dance/movement therapy. 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 is focussing on development of 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.

The KMP system of movement analysis has a wide range of application throughout the lifespan, including pregnancy and adoption.  This workshop will engage participants in exploring how attunement, culture, rhythm, and context are utilized with expectant families, families who adopt children, and in dance/movement therapy with an adult who is adopted.  Participants will have the opportunity to experience fetal movement notation techniques, breath and support through song, dancing with internal fetal movement rhythms and see a video of work with a pregnant woman.  We will also present a KMP-informed case example of dance/movement therapy with an adult who is adopted.

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


  1. To review basic concepts in the KMP movement analysis system applicable to pregnancy, adoption, and creative/culturally-sensitive dance/movement approaches.
  2. To enhance observation and intervention skills applicable to dance/movement therapy.
  3. To explore a case example of KMP-informed dance/movement therapy with an adult who was adopted from Costa Rica by a white family in the U.S.

Susan Loman, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, KMP Analyst, professor emerita, adjunct faculty was director of the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Program, Department of Applied Psychology, Antioch University New England (1987-2017). She served as co-editor of the American Journal of Dance Therapy, on the editorial board of The Arts in Psychotherapy, and is former chair of the ADTA Education Committee. Co-author of the book, The meaning of movement: Embodied developmental, clinical, and cultural perspectives of the Kestenberg Movement Profile 2nd Edition, she is also the author of numerous articles, chapters, and books on the Kestenberg Movement Profile and dance/movement therapy. She teaches and presents throughout the United States and has taught the KMP in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Scotland, South Korea, Argentina, and Switzerland. In 2014, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Dance Therapy Association and in 2017 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award in Germany.

Melanie Johnson, PhD Candidate, MA, R-DMT, NCC, KMP Analyst is an adjunct faculty member in the Dance/movement Therapy and Counseling program at Antioch University New England; and she is a clinical dance/movement therapist in Boston, MA. She also serves as vice president for the New England Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association. She has conducted KMP trainings and teaching assistantships in the US, UK, and Germany, and has presented and co-presented workshops on KMP applications in clinical settings, parenting, and the community. She has contributed to the KMP video project, the KMP website and social media, as well as having publications in the American Journal of Dance Therapy. Her PhD research focuses on the examining KMP theory of the tension flow rhythms in typically developing adults.


Race is not a binary notion. There are many shades between black and white, and many who are not a part of a majority race in the US. The workshop offers an opportunity to explore non-binary racial identities, multiracial identities, and issues related to racial identity theory that participants bring. In the communities of dance/movement therapists, what are the microaggressions and stereotype threats that students, educators, and clinicians encounter? How have these changed over time, or not? We will highlight some of the dilemmas that DMT students and practitioners encounter; and reflect on racial identity as a complex developmental process.

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


  1. Participants will identify and explore their own racial background/heritage.
  2. Participants will gain an understanding of racial/biracial identity theories and development.
  3. Participants will gain an awareness of the ambiguity and invisibility of some of the racial categories.

Tomoyo Kawano, PhD, BC-DMT, LCAT, NCC is Assistant Professor in the Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Program, and Faculty Advisor for the Justice Leadership Council at Antioch University New England; and teaches research courses at Lesley University’s Division of Expressive Therapies. Awarded the research fellowship at Lesley University for developing a systematized embodied-artistic approach for qualitative data analysis, her primary research interest is in dance epistemology. Its explication with research methodology, ritual and ceremony, and the diversity and inclusion curricula are reflected in her publications.

Meg Chang, EdD, BC-DMT, LCAT is an adjunct professor and clinical supervisor in the Lesley University Dance/Movement Therapy program; concurrently teaching MBSR at The Center For Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. She has written about inclusion and diversity in dance/movement therapy since her 1982 Masters Thesis, and was a founding member of the ADTA Multicultural and Diversity Committee. In the Somatic Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, in New York City at The New School and Pratt University she has taught classes in recognizing and honoring all of one’s identities. A lifelong dancer, she thanks Jack Weiner, and the late Elaine Summers and Blanche Evan for helping her keep dance alive.

Jayoti Soor, MA (Mass Communication) is pursuing her Masters in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling at Antioch University New England. Awarded the 2017 Multicultural & Diversity Committee Conference Focus Award by ADTA for her vision and actions in increasing awareness and expanding communication about multiculturalism and diversity. Currently interning at MAPS Counseling Services. She has used dance/movement therapy in India for rehabilitation of trafficked women and at-risk youth under the tutelage of Kolkata Sanved and TISS. In her 8 year stint as a former journalist, her primary focus has been advocacy for grassroots organizations, covering national and international news while tracking trends via print, television and online media.

Stamp as if you have something to say! Find your voice to state ideas with conviction! Reach your arms upward toward confidence and determination! Empowerment-Focused Dance/Movement Therapy is an approach I developed accessing the therapeutic possibilities of creative dance in the context of dance/movement therapy. This emotionally safe approach focuses on building inner resources and introduces expressive dance experiences for trauma survivors and clients who benefit from a path toward healing that springs from unmasking unrecognized strengths. This experiential/didactic workshop highlights theoretical foundations and novel creative dance interventions for an approach that builds expressive freedom, self-esteem and personal resources.

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

Bonnie Bernstein, MFT, BC-DMT, REAT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Dance/Movement Therapist and Expressive Arts Therapist mentored by pioneer Dance/Movement/Word Therapist Blanche Evan from 1970-82. For over 40 years she has worked primarily in depth, insight oriented Dance/Movement/Word Therapy for the higher functioning client. She specializes in therapy for survivors of trauma in the U.S. and in the global community and has published in these areas. From 2008-2017 she facilitated month-long workshops for survivors of social trauma and sex trafficking in Kolkata, India. Her lifelong research is on the therapeutic use of dance in indigenous world cultures. She teaches at JFK University and leads workshops in the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Bernstein has a private practice and is a clinical supervisor in Palo Alto, California.

Engaging with clients of diverse cultures and backgrounds requires periodically examining our own movement patterns and preferences. Through this practice as dance/movement therapists, we gain insight into our body knowledge and body prejudice. This experiential workshop intends to provide advanced learning in Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) as a platform to investigate effort patterns, preferences, and gain insights relating to personality and movement psychology Following movement exploration and presentation of unpublished materials by Rudolf Laban, a closing dialogue will provide the opportunity to explore cultural implications and limitations of the LMA system and movement psychology theory within dance/movement therapy practice.

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


  1. By participating in this workshop, individuals will increase self-awareness as it relates to the expressive Effort patterns, inner reflections, body knowledge/body prejudice, and clinical observation and assessment.
  2. Participants will understand the potential benefits and implications of their preferred movement patterns and the impact on positive rapport building, providing culturally competent services and interventions, and present moment experiences for clients.
  3. Attendees will increase depth of understanding related to Laban Movement Analysis, Effort, and Movement Psychology to increase applicable, creative tools for use in Dance/Movement Therapy practice.

Sara R. van Koningsveld, MA, BC-DMT, APCC, GL-CMA, RYT 200 is currently employed as a Mental Health Clinician in Los Angeles, California. In addition, Sara is a registered yoga teacher and specializes in wellness, self-care, and mindfulness coaching and workshops for professionals. Serving on the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) Board of Directors as the Public Relations Chairperson (2016-2018), she was recognized by the ADTA as a Leader of Tomorrow (2014). Sara obtained her MA in Dance/Movement Therapy & Clinical Counseling (2011) and Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis (2010) from Columbia College Chicago and Certificate in Yoga & the Healing Sciences from Loyola Marymount University (2017).


75-Minute Seminars – Early, 8:30 am – 9:45 am

Within the context of themes related to end-of-life, movement analysis from David Bowie’s music video, Blackstar (2015), is used to provide knowledge and understanding for a dance/movement therapist that works with patients who are terminal. Utilizing this analysis and applying Rudolf Laban’s theory about trace-forms, movement stages are considered during one’s final dying trace-form while on the journey of transcending into the unknown. This will be discussed from the perspective of dance/movement therapy practice, the therapeutic relationship, use of creative expression in supporting this process, and how these approaches assist patients moving from living trace-forms to a dying trace-form.

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


  1. Define concepts of presenter’s understanding and development of terms “living trace-form” and “dying trace-form” and its use in holding space for the therapeutic relationship while working with those who are at end-of-life.
  2. Explore key components to the presenter’s questions: “What are people going through as they begin to embark upon the unknown”; “How can the dance/movement therapy process and relationship support those going through this transition, including therapist’s process during and after death”.
  3. Discuss the importance of the creative process in working with those who are terminally ill and processing concepts of death, particularly with children.

Jennifer Whitley, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT, CMA received her M.S. degree in Dance Therapy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, is a Ways of Seeing practitioner, Level II Reiki trained, and a Laban Movement Analyst. 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 dance/movement therapy experience also includes working with children diagnosed with ASD, PDD, ADHD, down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, eating issues and attachment disorders, both in the school setting beginning 2012, and privately at Dr. Tortora’s Dancing Dialogue in Cold Spring, NY since 2014. Ms. Whitley has taught as interim instructor at The New School and presented workshops locally, nationally, and internationally.

The purpose of this presentation is to reignite and re-examine the artistic root of early modern dance with a 21st century lens of psychological theory, specifically a trauma-informed lens.  This highly experiential presentation will enrich dance therapists understanding of this early modern era that informed our dance therapy pioneers.  This is a unique opportunity to dance Duncan choreography, comparing and bridging the choreography both subjectively and objectively to our present day understanding of trauma and trauma theory. We will conclude with a discussion of our experience and exploring the implications of art informing science in process and content.

(Entry Level/Student; 51-75% or more Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


  1. Reinvigorate your modern dance artistic roots that led to dance/movement therapy. Learn rarely taught 1923 choreography as passed down through the lineage of Isadora Duncan. Step into the era that inspired our pioneer dance/movement therapists to invest in the art and science of dance therapy.
  2. Apply a trauma informed lens to this work identifying the process of expressing trauma and signature artistic aspects of this choreography including repetition, vibratory phrasing, compulsion, and the ‘stuckness’ within a phrase that parallel what we see as symptoms of trauma.
  3. Consider the implications of choreography done in 1923 when “shell shock (now called PTSD)” was newly identified and that this choreography exemplifies many of the symptoms of trauma.  Does this shift our perspective of choreography not just as art but perhaps, as a tool for scientific research?

Marie Carstens, BFA, MS, BC-DMT, CMA, LCAT, LMT, lives in New York. Marie began as a dance/movement therapist in Brooklyn (1995), primarily with adults who have psychiatric illness and/or substance addiction, eventually becoming a discipline head and later taking a similar role in the Bronx (2008- 2014). Marie continued dancing throughout this time steeping herself in the work of early modern dance pioneer, Isadora Duncan. She attained a teaching certificate in Isadora Duncan Studies from the IDII (1997) under Jeanne Bresciani, subsequently studied and performed with Lori Belilove, as well as Lynn Armentrout with whom she formed the Duncan Dance Collective (2000-2010), and most recently performs with Dances By Isadora (Catherine Gallant) and is a member of the International Isadora Duncan International Symposium steering committee. Marie also attained Certification in Laban Movement Analysis from Laban/Bartenieff and Somatic Studies International (2008). She has a private practice and teaches at Queens College-CUNY.

More and more women are being diagnosed with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and while screening has improved there is a shortage of mental health professionals trained to work with this population.  This workshop introduces applicable dance/movement therapy experiences to help women navigate this transition into motherhood as well as support maternal and infant mental health and early nonverbal interpersonal interactions.


  1. Learn the benefits of DMT during the postpartum period. a. exploring body shame and reconnecting to the body b. processing body/birth trauma c. embodied integration of mothering self and personal self d. expressing the myriad of emotions that present with the transition into motherhood e. developing a sense of kinesthetic awareness and how this helps with early bonding
  2. Explore theory concerning the development of maternal identity and its role in interpersonal neurobiology.
  3. Gain a better understanding of the psychobiology and signs of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Candy Beers-Kim, MS, R-DMT specializes in early nonverbal interactions within the parent/child dyad. She specifically looks at the development of maternal identity, postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, and how these impact attachment and pediatric sleep patterns. She is certified as a Ways of Seeing practitioner and is currently collaborating with The Children’s Emotions Lab at Virginia Tech, updating their coding manual for nonverbal interactions between mother and child. This project in en-route to her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies.

Dorota Jastrzebska, CLC is a DONA trained postpartum doula with many years of experience in supporting families after childbirth. She is certified in Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care by Postpartum Support International, and is also a Certified Lactation Counselor. In addition, she has trained in Perinatal Loss and abortion support. As a complement to her work supporting families, she works as a birth, newborn, and family photographer, capturing the special moments between parents and their children.

75-Minute Seminars – Later, 10:15 am – 11:30 am

This workshop examines social-emotional wellbeing in children and young adults with disabilities, examining a creative dance curriculum for individuals with disabilities, from early childhood to early adulthood. We utilize and integrate tools from dance/movement therapy, creative dance, and social-emotional learning to provide participants with an overview of how creative dance enhances the social-emotional competencies of the dancers and their caregivers. This session highlights the overlap of expertise across dance/movement therapists, speech and language pathologists, and creative dance artists, underscoring the rich potential for collaboration. Participants will engage in movement exercises, case presentations, video examples and interactive discussion.

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


  1. Participants will gain a perspective of a collaborative process between a dance/movement therapist, creative dance artists, and a speech and language pathologist in using a creative dance curriculum overlaid with dance/movement therapy theories.
  2. Participants will learn to utilize dance/movement therapy tools of modeling, attunement, and kinesthetic awareness in responding to the changing needs of individuals and caregivers for supporting social-emotional growth and wellbeing.
  3. Participants will learn a model of creative dance as the foundation for dance/movement therapy work in the stages of development of attachment, self-awareness, and social-emotional competencies through the lifespan of individuals with disabilities.

Bianca Filion, MA, R-DMT, ACMHC, APCC candidate, graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, 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 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.

Meghan Durham Wall, MS, CCC-SLP, MFA is a dance artist, educator, and advocate; as well as a speech and language pathologist. She is passionate about human expression, and the ties between communication, connection, and movement. Meghan has held dance faculty positions at numerous colleges and festivals, including The Ohio State University, Princeton University, Temple University, the University of Utah, and the Bates Dance Festival. Meghan is committed to making the arts available to all. Currently, she is working full time as a speech therapist in Early Intervention, where she enjoys the privilege of serving children and their families.

Joni Urry Wilson began dancing with Virginia Tanner as a very young child and has continued to dance throughout her life receiving an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah and a Master of Fine Arts from Mills College in Oakland, California. Joni has taught at various Universities and performed throughout the United States as well as internationally. She is the Studio Director for the Tanner Dance program which brings her teaching opportunities that include all ages and abilities. She has served on the board of the Utah Dance Educators Organization and currently donates time to the Utah Dance and the Child committee. Joni enjoys teaching and learning life lessons in grace from her daughter Alyssa and her Dancer’s with Disabilities classes.

Eliza Zenger began dancing at Tanner Dance at the age of three and continued dancing with Children’s Dance Theatre and the Tipping Point Company until she was 18. She is currently pursuing a BFA in modern dance at the University of Utah where she was awarded an E.R. Hayes Endowed Scholarship, and the Stephanie Petersen Memorial Scholarship. Eliza has performed with Repertory Dance Theatre as a guest dancer in “Missa Brevis” by José Limón. She has a passion for working with children and individuals with disabilities, and is honored to be teaching at Tanner Dance.


Relational trauma refers to exposure to chronic misattunment in early attachment relationships, ultimately leading to persistent states of dysregulation. As dance/movement therapists, we are uniquely equipped to support our clients, especially those struggling, to self-regulate through the interactive therapeutic relationship. This presentation will explore how to help clients with complex trauma regulate while staying true to our dance/movement therapy roots. The workshop will integrate the latest theories on the neurobiology of self-regulation and relational trauma with the art and practice of using movement-based approaches to support our clients, ultimately fostering their abilities to self-sooth and self-regulate.

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


  1. Increase their knowledge and understanding of current theories on the neurobiology of relational trauma and how it relates to self-regulation.
  2. Learn body and movement-based interventions for supporting clients to self-sooth and self-regulate.
  3. Consider how self-regulation strategies differ based on a client’s personal history, diverse life circumstances, and culturally dependent attunement preferences.

Mariah Meyer LeFeber, MA, BC-DMT, LPC is an educator and has worked extensively in the field of dance/movement therapy, serving people of all ages in both group and individual settings. She has written several chapters on her work with children, specifically on using dance/movement therapy with autism spectrum disorder. Mariah taught as an Associate Lecturer in the University of Wisconsin – Madison dance department from 2010-2015. While there, she co-founded Performing Ourselves, a community dance program fostering connection and resilience in over 300 underserved youth annually. Following a 2015 relocation to the Pacific Northwest, Mariah joined the faculty at Multnomah University – Portland as a Professor of Counseling. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision. The process of walking alongside new generations of dance/movement therapists and counselors is providing Mariah with unfolding joy.

Robyn Lending Halsten, MA, BC-DMT, LPC, DTRL is clinical director for Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy in Madison, Wisconsin where she provides supervision, case consultation and oversight for programming at the center. Robyn has worked with people in all settings, from all walks of life, and specializes in the treatment of trauma. Her work takes her into rural settings where she provides psychoeduaction and therapy to people that carry dual diagnosis. She has completed level two of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy training and integrates that model into her work. Robyn co-authored a chapter in a book on working with children and trauma. She has traveled nationally and internationally presenting on her work and is grateful to her clients for being her best teachers.

What happens to our grief when social support and validation is withheld? Disenfranchised grief is defined as grief that is not socially acknowledged, supported, or viewed as acceptable (Doka, 1989). This workshop will present research findings that describe the essence of the clinical experiences and presentation of disenfranchised grief in therapy from the lens of dance/movement therapists. Participants will have the opportunity to examine and embody the role of culture and societal expectations in the censorship of grief and mourning that is inherent within disenfranchised grief.

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


  1. Participants will develop an understanding of disenfranchised grief as a social phenomenon.
  2. Participants will learn the findings of a phenomenological study that examined dance/movement therapists’ clinical experience working with clients experiencing disenfranchised grief.
  3. Participants will gain an increased ability to recognize disenfranchised grief and potential manifestations that may be observed in clinical practice.

Katie M. Dominguez, MA, R-DMT, GL-CMA completed her master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling at Columbia College Chicago. Her professional work currently involves adult inpatient and intensive outpatient psychiatric levels of care. She received her BA in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach. Her passion for research emerged while serving as a research assistant for the Rape Kit Notification Project with undergraduate professor, Dr. Courtney Ahrens, and the Joyful Heart Foundation. Katie remains steadfast in her desire to serve disenfranchised populations in addition to bridging existing research on nonverbal communication that substantiates dance/movement therapy.