American Dance Therapy Association 53rd Annual Conference

October 11-14, 2018
Salt Lake City, Utah

Bringing the Body and Healing into Creativity:

The Art and Science of Dance/Movement Therapy

2018 Conference Resources

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MASTER CONFERENCE SCHEDULE 2018

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Thursday

Thursday Intensives

Day of Service

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Friday

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MCF Lecture

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Saturday

Keynote Plenary Panel

Saturday Seminars

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Sunday

Sunday Seminars

Thursday Intensives

October 11th

All Day Intensives, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Dance/movement therapy theory and practice will be utilized to demonstrate the importance of implementing embodied methods to treat patients with eating disorders. Helping these patients transform their habitual thoughts and behaviors into more productive ways to cope with overwhelming problems is integral to reclaiming connection to a fuller experience of living in their bodies. Attendees will learn to trust their innate ability to “attend” empathically, respond authentically and translate non-verbal experiences into cognitive insight.  Collaborative interactions will include discussion aimed at  identifying specific practice based evidence issues that can be further explored through research studies and writings.

(All levels; 51-75% movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)

Bios:

Susan Kleinman, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, CEDS, is creative arts therapies supervisor and dance/movement therapist for The Renfrew Center of Florida. Ms Kleinman is a trustee of the Marian Chace Foundation, Past President of the American Dance Therapy Association, and a past Chair of The National Coalition for Creative Arts Therapies. She has published extensively, presented widely, is the Sierra Tucson’s 2012″Gratitude for Giving” honoree , the recipient of the American Dance Therapy Association’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award and The International Association of Eating Disorders Professional’s 2014 Spirit of iaedp Award. Her work is featured in the documentary entitled Expressing Disorder: Journey to Recovery

Concetta Troskie, MA, R-DMT, RDT, LPC, is a Counselor for the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic at UT Southwestern Medical Center where she specializes in eating disorders. She also works in Private Practice in Dallas, Texas.  She is the President of the Texas Chapter of the ADTA, and a past Chair of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (Dallas/Ft Worth Chapter ) expressive arts workshop. She is founder and facilitator of the first outpatient eating disorders group at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Concetta is a frequent presenter at national conferences.

 

It has been said that it is through dance that the history of a people is enacted (Hickson & Krieger, 1996). Dance/Movement Therapy (“DMT”) honors the powerful relationship that the human body-mind-heart -spirit is to the continuum of life experience.  Dance is central to many indigenous healing traditions, and the burgeoning discoveries of neuropsychiatric research show that physiological processes are core to the restorative process with survivors of trauma. Trauma is a life-changing experience that can be understood through many lenses. In this intensive we peer through two: The lens of current scientific research, and the lens of ancient healing traditions that embrace the mystical. DMT is uniquely positioned at the crossroads of science and spirit. Polyvagal-informed DMT integrates the cutting-edge research discoveries of Dr. Porges Polyvagal Theory with the ancient wisdom of embodied spiritual practices that acknowledge dance, rhythm, music, sound and altered states as healing and restorative.

3 learning objectives:

  1. Participants will learn several three basic principles of Polyvagal-informed DMT and three basic principles from the Fran Ginee tradition of Vodou.
  2. Participants will practice and learn movement processes that promote state-shifting for therapeutic process.
  3. Participants will learn up to 5 DMT practices that support the restorative process with survivors of trauma

Amber Gray, MA, BC-DMT, MPH, LPCC is a pioneer in the use of dance/movement therapy with survivors of trauma, particularly torture, war and human rights abuses. She is an ADTA Outstanding Achievement Award recipient; a recent nominee for The Barbara Chester Human Rights award, and featured expert on torture treatment through Tulane University’s Institute of Traumatology. Amber’s expertise is represented in published articles, chapters, keynote addresses, professional collaborations and presentations around the world. Amber provides clinical  training on the integration of refugee mental health and torture treatment with creative arts, mindfulness, and body-based therapies worldwide. She originated a resiliency-based clinical framework (Restorative Movement Psychotherapy) for somatic, mindfulness, movement and arts-based therapies with survivors of trauma in cross cultural, low resource contexts. Her two most recent publications, one co-authored with Dr. Stephen Porges, are based on their co-collaborated Polyvagal informed dance/movement therapy. She is a Sevito in the Fran Ginee tradition of Vodou.

Advancement in the discipline of dance/movement therapy requires a continued clarification of language, concepts and theoretical frameworks. This workshop will differentiate the following concepts: therapeutic movement relationship, empathic reflection, somatic countertransference, kinesthetic empathy, and shared presence. 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 therapeutic relationship through the foundational criteria and fundamental mechanisms of dance/movement therapy. Reconstruction of the concepts will lead to a more integrated understanding of the culturally contextualized relational aspects of dance/movement therapy offering clarity through four case examples in the art and science of practice, education, supervision, and research.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will examine the foundational criteria and fundamental mechanisms of dance/movement therapy in theory and in their own practice, supervision, pedagogy, and/or research.
  2. Participants will explore the deconstruction and reconstruction of the relational aspects of dance/movement therapy within a cultural context in theory and in application through case examples.
  3. Participants will examine the definitions and inter-relationship of the therapeutic movement relationship and empathic reflection in theory and in their own practice, supervision, pedagogy and/or research.

Laura Allen, MA, BC-DMT, LCPC, GL-CMA is an Assistant Professor, Clinical Coordinator, and Community Engagement Coordinator for the Creative Arts Therapies programs at Columbia College Chicago. She also provides private BC-DMT/LCPC supervision for new professionals. Laura’s professional clinical work has included extensive experience with older adults and dementia care, as well as inpatient and intensive outpatient psychiatric treatment for adults with chronic and severe mental illness. Laura has previously served on the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board and is a Past President and Past Treasurer of the Illinois Chapter of the ADTA. Laura is a 2011 recipient of the ADTA’s Leader of Tomorrow Award.

 

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 Doctor 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 director of the Creative Arts Therapy programs 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 founded 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 (ADTA) 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 annual 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 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 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.

Recent infant mental health theory and neuroscience research have placed the body and movement front and center in the development of self. From a secure caregiver – infant attachment relationship; how traumatic events are held in the body; to the roots of chronic pain, the role of our felt-experience is clear. The body – mind dichotomy is gone. Since our inception, dance/movement therapists have understood this through our attuned and embodied sensibility. We now have the chance to play an important role in advancing this conversation. Building from her pioneering work bridging infant mental health and dance/movement therapy Dr. Tortora presents how our embodied narrative tells stories that speak of our experiences throughout our lifetime. Based on an overview of research and Dr. Tortora’s over 35-years of case studies, explore how subtle nonverbal actions originating in the emotionally aware baby are movement metaphors for healing through the body and dance across all ages.

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, Czech 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.

Clinicians will explore current clinical parameters of the continuum for PTSD nosology, especially as they apply to somatic memory and sensorimotor arousal regulation. Advanced literature on diagnostic formulations of PTSD will be reviewed. Neurobiological underpinnings of traumatic stress expression will be investigated carefully. Once a multidimensional diagnostic formulation has been established for complex and developmental trauma, clinicians will explore how to prepare clients for specific trauma processing protocols by first learning to identify, enhance and then embody resilient somatic memories using a technique called Building Space/Place. These internal domains, which are validated externally by movement-dance-voice definitions and ‘installed’ by co-regulation between clinician and client, generally fall into Safety, Survivor, Power, Competency, Creativity, Love, Loyalty, or Compassion Space/Place. Once clinicians have watched the lecture and demonstrations of Space/Place installations they will practice in dyads to build one of their own Space/Place domains. After dyadic practice clinicians will learn how to assist the client to identify their most prominent component of their traumatic memory. We will then demonstrate how to begin a sequential, bilateral processing of the targeted traumatic memory utilizing the resiliency installation as a basis for entry into the traumatic narrative. Both the installation protocol and the processing protocol will focus primarily on somatic movement components. After we practice the integration of the install and process protocols we will end with a careful examination and discussion of how to expand both the clinician and trauma client’s window of tolerance for a somatic-based trauma treatment. Neurosequential Resiliency Processing (NRP) is a DMT based trauma intervention. Client populations exposed to long-term developmental trauma, including physical, psychological, emotional, sexual abuse, and extreme neglect usually require advanced trauma processing protocols to resolve somatic memories that continually hijack their attachment experiences out of the here and now.

Dicki Johnson Macy, M.Ed., BC-DMT, LMHC, is the Director of The Boston Children’s Foundation and the Founder and Director of the Rainbowdance Program.  Dicki co-developed the CBI® with Dr. Robert D. Macy. Dicki is a tireless pioneer in the field of dance-movement and music therapy and has developed a unique set of group therapy protocols based upon the Art & Technique of Isadora Duncan to provide non-verbal stress reduction interventions for survivors exposed to natural disaster, armed conflict and community violence. Dicki is an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University in the Expressive Therapies and Counseling Psychology Departments. Dicki has implemented psychosocial intervention projects in the United States, Turkey, Palestine, Jordan, Nepal, Indonesia Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, and Burundi.

Robert D. Macy, PhD, is trained as a theatre artist, Taoist martial artist, dance/movement therapist, clinical psychologist, traumatologist, and neuroscience researcher with 34 years practice in the field of body-based psychological trauma interventions, disaster medicine and the design, development, dissemination and implementation of trauma informed care assessment and intervention service delivery systems in the United States and overseas focusing on schools and community engagement. Dr. Macy is the Founder and President of the International Trauma Center-Boston, and Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Boston Children’s Foundation, also in Boston. Dr. Macy is a founding member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), where he is a primary content provider for the development of Psychological First Aid, and primary content provider for Skills for Psychological Recovery. He has co-chaired the NCTSN Terrorism and Disaster Network Committee and continues as a senior consultant to the NCTSN Terrorism and Disaster Center and has led numerous response and behavioral health recovery teams during national and international disasters. Dr. Macy is senior response member for the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC). He is activated by DTAC for major terrorist attacks and natural disasters in the US providing continuum of care trauma focused interventions for youth, family and community. Dr. Macy was one of only 12 experts in the nation to be selected to membership for the Barack Obama commissioned Attorney General’s Federal Advisory Commission on Children Exposed to Violence as part of Attorney General Eric Holder’s broader Defending Childhood Initiative. Dr. Macy designs, implements and evaluates trauma focused psychosocial resiliency initiatives, violence prevention programs, and Trauma Informed Care initiatives in the United States, Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa.

Morning Intensives, 8:30 am – 11:30 am

Much attention and research have been directed at mindfulness practice as a psychological tool, but not as much
focus has been given to its somatic correlate, embodiment. Embodiment includes the capacity to experience and
reflect upon emergent somatic processes with curiosity and clarity. Mindfulness and embodiment are a powerful
combination that support greater creativity, expressivity, and connectivity. They do this by challenging habitual
patterns that limit choice and diminish the capacity to fully and vibrantly participate in life. The inability to directly
experience what is happening, moment by moment, is the root of much suffering and likewise, the capacity to create
a physical and therapeutic container that is large enough to hold what is difficult to experience or even unbearable to
face is a vehicle for liberation. This pre-conference intensive focusing on mindfulness and embodiment highlights
the preparatory, practice, and process dimensions of integrating these qualities into Dance/Movement Therapy.

Ryan Kennedy, PsyD, BC-DMT, is the Executive and Training Director of Noeticus Counseling Center and
Training Institute in Denver, Colorado, USA. He has practiced as a psychotherapist in a broad range of psychiatric
and addiction recovery settings since 1993 and served as a clinical supervisor and counselor educator since 1996.
Currently he is on the Board of Directors for the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy
Association (ISMETA). Previously he served for 18 years as core faculty at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado
in the Somatic Counseling Psychology Graduate Program and as an Advisory Panel member for three years with the
international journal, Body, Movement, and Dance in Psychotherapy, published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis.
Dr. Kennedy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist
(BC-DMT), Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA), Certified Massage Therapist (CMT),
Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSME/T), and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-500).

Looking into the eyes of a person with dementia, dance/movement therapists see the self that remains, a story quite different from the one the media provides. Not only is the self still there, but most often there is a willingness, even eagerness, to connect. Despite short term memory loss, some people remember us even after a week or a month. While there may be suffering, dmts also see and build upon opportunities for connection and joy. Given the 47 million people diagnosed with dementia worldwide and their caregivers whose lives are also affected, it behooves those of us with the skill set and experience to take our place on the world stage of dementia care, even as neuroscience researches the benefits of dance. This workshop will provide a model DMT group with this population, theoretical and practical considerations, an assessment tool for much-needed research, and ways to advocate.

Donna Newman-Bluestein, BC-DMT, CMA, MHC, senior lecturer for Lesley University, and performer with intergenerational dance company, Back Pocket Dancers. She has helped people from 3 to 109 cope with mental illness, physical disabilities, chronic pain, coronary artery disease, and dementia. A national and international speaker and educator, Donna focuses on transforming the culture of care for people with dementia through dance and embodied caregiving. Toward that end, she trains dancers, dance teachers, and dmts to bring dance to people with dementia, and trains caregivers in nonverbal communication using an embodied approach. With Dr. Meg Chang, she coauthored a manual to accompany the latter training, The Dance of Interaction: An Embodied Approach to Nonverbal Communication Training for Caregivers of People with Dementia. To motivate people with dementia to connect with others through movement, she created the Octaband®.

This experiential workshop will introduce participants to the essential components of Physical Storytelling (Harvey & Kelly, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2016, 2017a, 2017b, and Kelly, 2006). Physical Storytelling is a creative improvisational practice with roots in contact improvisation, authentic movement, dance improvisation, and Playback Theatre. The form incorporates improvised movement episodes in response to verbal narratives presented by clients, families, within supervision groups, and in response to research questions. As this practice has developed, these key elements include: the use of scores and improvisation, the role of a conductor, and the facilitation of the audience as witness.  In this workshop, each of these elements will be developed to help participants be able to gain confidence in applying this in therapy, supervision, and as an arts based research tool.

Learning objectives

  1. Participants will gain an understanding of the essential parts of the practice or Physical Storytelling.
  2. Participants will be able to use the concept of improvisation and scores to apply dance/movement to verbal narratives.
  3. Participants will gain practice in conducting physical storytelling in several contexts.

Steve Harvey  PhD, RPT/S, BC-DMT is currently doing psychological consultations in schools and is an adjunct faculty member in the Clinical Psychology department at the University of Guam. Previously Steve worked as the Consultant Psychologist with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Prior to becoming involved in mental health, Steve was active in improvisational dramatic/dance performance. He and his wife Connor have developed and continue to practice Physical Storytelling in several countries. Besides being a clinical and educational psychologist, Steve is a registered with the American Dance and Play Therapy Associations and has been an active contributor in the integration of all the expressive modalities in Play Therapy. He has lead workshops in movement based family play therapy internationally for last twenty-five years. He is currently presenting and publishing arts based research using Physical Storytelling in cross cultural contexts.

E. Connor Kelly, MA, BC-DMT, LPC, DTAA (Prof DMT), is currently working as a DMT in a school setting and with Circle of Care for cancer survivors. She supervises and mentors DMTs and students in New Zealand where she introduced introductory workshops in DMT and Authentic Movement in the early 2000s. She continues offering retreats in NZ and currently teaches an on line Authentic Movement course with colleague Anne Hurst.  She 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, frail elderly and children. She has attended workshops with many DMTs pioneers and interned with Dr. Judith Kestenberg. She teaches and facilitates workshops in many countries including Taiwan and Australia and is on the faculty of Inspirees Institute in China.  She currently acts as regional convenor for the DTAA committee and teaches yoga currently residing on the island of GUAM, USA.

Afternoon Intensives, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Have you ever found yourself being called “the music lady,”  “recreation person,” or the “exercise teacher,” when someone tried to describe you to another colleague at work? Have you found yourself in a perfect situation to educate someone who is curious and all that comes to mind is the official definition of DMT? Distinct components of our profession sometimes become minimized by the general public when they hear the words, “dance therapy.” As professionals who are distinct from therapeutic dance, body psychotherapies, and other creative arts therapies, dance/movement therapists need to be articulate in describing our unique contributions as mental health professionals. Please join us for this workshop where you will learn how to confidently describe yourself and your work as a professional dance/movement therapist.

(Medium to advanced levels; 33% movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)

Three Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to verbally introduce oneself in a professional manner.
  2. Generate an elevator pitch that is clear, concise and generates further interest from the listener.
  3. Create descriptions of dance/movement therapy that can be described to two different fields (science and the arts) and for different levels of understanding (children, adults, academia, news)

Leslie Armeniox, Ph.D., BC-DMT, LPC, is a dance/movement therapist and counselor in private practice in North Carolina and South Carolina, and a counselor educator for Capella University. Dr. Armeniox taught DMT alternate route, and counseling and psychology at Guilford College, UNC Greensboro, NC A & T University, and Wake Forest University. Currently, she serves the ADTA as Secretary, and Professional Relations Liaison to Counseling. Dr. Armeniox authored the first scope of practice definition for DMT. She served on the ADTA’s NBCC Task Forces I and II, and as ADTA’s Government Affairs Chair; and represented ADTA on the Fair Access Coalition for Testing. She was one of the founders of the Carolinas DMT Chapter and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health Counseling. A skilled presenter, she has provided 8 international, 65 national, and over 300 regional and local professional presentations.

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 has taught research at Pratt Institute, Lesley University and Adelphi University. Currently, she is a board member and chairperson of the Research and Practice committee of the ADTA 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 qualitative research. She is a co-editor with Helen Payne, Sabine Koch and Thomas Fuchs, for the forthcoming publication, “Embodied Perspectives in Psychotherapy,” to be available in 2018.

With a lack of cultural diversity in the field of dance/movement therapy, there may be an unconscious blind spot of bias as it relates to cultural rhythmic patterns, movement styles, and music choices in therapeutic practice. Well-intentioned dance movement therapist may be versed in the language and skill of cultural competency, but personal movement repertoire may subconsciously communicate that a client’s movement preference, music choice or rhythmic patterns may not be beneficial to their own internal and emotional regulation. Furthermore, tools and language used for observation and assessment in dance movement therapy practice, such as Laban Movement Analysis, cannot accurately depict polyrhythmic styles often observed in movement patterns of diverse populations, specifically movements of the people of the African Diaspora. This workshop will explore these dynamics, create dialog and offer steps toward resolution on ways to become aware and minimize these concerns.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To provide a perspective in how dance movement therapy can become more inclusive as a practice.

2. To offer a viewpoint from the experience of marginalized populations in a way the creates dialog and meaningful change.

3.To assist in creating research and systems beneficial to diverse populations.

Ambria Cunningham, R-DMT, LAPC is from Huntsville, AL where her passion for the power of movement began. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Psychology from Western Kentucky University in 2012. With hopes of bridging the connection of the mind and the body, she went on to pursue a Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling from Antioch University New England where she graduated in 2015. Ambria works full time at Georgia Regional Hospital- Atlanta where she is a Mental Health Counselor on a medium secure forensic psychiatric unit. Ambria also works with Moving in the Spirit where she serves as a Teaching Artist and Dance/Movement Therapist for GLOW in Motion and Apprentice Corporation where she utilizes movement as the driving force in tackling prominent issues within their age group, and empowering students through the connection of the mind, body, and spirit.

Dr. Charné Furcron LPC, NCC, BC-DMT, MAC, ACS is Director of Education at Moving in the Spirit (MITS). She has been actively involved with MITS for over twenty-five years and manages program evaluation and participant outcome data collection and analysis. She holds a BFA in dance from Texas Christian University, MA in dance therapy from Goucher College, MA in counseling from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology, and EdD in counseling psychology from Argosy University/ Sarasota. For over thirty years, Dr. Furcron’s work has integrated Dance Therapy and Positive Youth Development, and she has presented locally, regionally and nationally. She presented Dance: Positively Changing Lives of Urban youth in the ADTA Talks; co-authored an article on MITS’ program evaluation process in the AJDT; and was highlighted in the Profiles of Dance Therapists, in A Short Primer on Innovative Evaluation Reporting book, and in the international documentary Moving Child. Additionally, she serves as the Multicultural Diversity Chair for the ADTA Board of Directors and the vice-president of the Southern Chapter.

Chelsea Vill, R-DMT is a Brooklyn native whose passion for dance has expanded well beyond leisure. Chelsea began dancing at the age of four and has never stopped. Chelsea is an alumna of Spelman College where she majored in drama with a concentration in dance. During her time at Spelman College, she was very active in Ashietu, the African dance ministry at Spelman College.
Chelsea received her Master’s degree in dance/movement therapy from Pratt Institute in 2016 where she focused her study on the Therapeutic Effects of West African Drumming in a Dance/Movement Therapy session with children of the African Diaspora. In addition to teaching the fundamentals of dance and choreography, Chelsea now uses her passion and love for dance to help people with emotional traumas and psychological disorders strengthen their coping skills.

Stephan Reynolds,  is already a seasoned veteran of the stage. His dance training includes Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Dance Theater of Harlem, Paul Taylor and the Martha Graham School. To list but some of his credits: In 1998, he was selected to perform the lead solo in Paul Taylor’s Company B. In 1999, he performed the leading role in Penumbra’s Black Nativity and performed with the show for three consecutive years. He has been chosen to work with Christina Aguilera, Deborah Cox, Debbie Allen, Deborah Gibson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson (30th Anniversary Celebration on NBC), Al Jarreau, Monica, Mya, Usher, Jill Scott, Martha Wash, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, RuPaul, and most recently Céline Dion in A New Day and Cirque du Soleil. His journey to Dance Movement Therapy, began at a young age, as he survived a very tumultuous childhood while using dance as his escape.  He held steadily to the ideas and advantages of higher education, thusly bringing him to the pursuit of 3 Master degrees, the most recent in Mental Health Counseling, to support the pursuit of a Ph.D. in  Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Dance Movement Therapy at Lesley University with research in the affluence of the African American males and how it relates to culture/race identity and the changing world.

Ebony Nichols completed her Bachelor of Arts at The College of New Rochelle in psychology. She is currently acquiring her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Dance Movement Therapy at Lesley University. Ebony has been the proprietor of Locks of Nu Natural Hair Spa for 15 years. Utilizing their mission of “Healing the Community Follicle by Follicle” her primary focus is to create a therapeutic environment within the African American community. This was her genesis for connecting artistic/aesthetic expression and psychology. Trained in ballet and modern dance, Ebony found her love for the freedom of movement in the NYC house dance community. She co-founded Afro Mosaic Soul Dance Collective, using social dance and music as a tool for emotional healing. Most recently she presented her work, Moving Blindspots: Cultural Bias in the Movement Repertoire of Dance/Movement Therapist at the New England Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association’s Annual Conference (2018). Her research is based on healing arts therapy as it relates to dances of the African diaspora and cultural/race identity with plans of completing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology.

Laurie Jones is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Certified Employee Assistance Professional candidate and Certified Health Education Specialist. She has obtained degrees in health education, public health, naturopathy, clinical mental health counseling and is currently enrolled in Lesley University’s Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Expressive Therapies program. Laurie and some of her students from Moving in the Spirit are featured in The Moving Child, a documentary about movement’s important role in a child’s physical, mental, emotional and social health. She is under the clinical supervision of Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist, Dr. Charné Furcron.

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