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

Thursday Early Evening Seminars

November 2nd

5:00 pm – 6:15 pm

Social Justice-Oriented Dance/Movement Therapy (SJODMT) integrates a systemic perspective into dance/movement therapy, articulating a clinical paradigm consistent with the Social Justice Counseling movement. This workshop presents an overview of SJODMT theoretical foundations and clinical applications, guiding participants through critical and mindful engagement with power, privilege, and difference in both verbal and nonverbal realms through an intersectional lens. The experiential portion of the workshop provides an embodied exploration of a dance therapist’s sociocultural contexts and the impact of the therapist’s privileged and marginalized identities in real-time client interactions, case conceptualization and treatment planning, and therapist self-care.

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


Sheila Klein, MA, R-DMT, LPCC, RYT, is a dance/movement therapist serving the Greater Denver Area.  A graduate of Naropa University’s Somatic Counseling Psychology, Dance/Movement Therapy program, Sheila created Social Justice-Oriented Dance/Movement Therapy (SJODMT), a clinical model integrating an intersectional lens into the theoretical paradigm of DMT. Sheila’s clinical work bridges SJODMT with advocacy, serving survivors of domestic violence in both emergency shelter and outpatient counseling settings.  Additionally, she serves as a youth violence prevention specialist and facilitates SJODMT groups for conflict resolution and bullying prevention.  Sheila has taught her SJODMT model as a guest lecturer with Naropa University’s MA in Somatic Counseling Program, and at mental health agencies throughout Colorado.

The communication gap in relationships between emotion, body awareness and cognition is often wide. Closing the Gap explores principles of dance/movement therapy, rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), and Hendrick’s Conscious Loving, as a framework for embracing models of creative communication between couples, partners and families. Case studies from a diverse adult population provide tools for identifying emotions and beliefs, embodying truth, and developing new agreements. Body centered learning, highlighted in REBT and Conscious Loving, supports the use of DMT skills to enhance and improve relationships. Participants will explore experientials, didactic stories, movement and props that inspire closing the gap.

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


Lisa Roll LPC, BC-DMT, MALS, a board-certified dance/movement therapist and licensed professional counselor for 19 years with Samaritan Counseling and Growth Center in Bartlesville, OK. She works with adults, adolescents and couples on issues of mind/body health. Lisa worked at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital’s Eating Disorders Program and in various in-patient, day treatment and outpatient settings. Lisa’s alternate route training has included The Jung Center of Houston, Naropa University, CO, and The Hendricks Institute, CA, and she has a graduate degree from Wesleyan University, CT. Lisa has collaborated on many choreographic projects and has led workshops internationally. She is particularly interested in creating experiences that  enhance personal  insight and communication.

Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) is a promising treatment for chronic pain, particularly Fibromyalgia (FM). Fibromyalgia is expressed through widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by sleep disturbances, fatigue, and psychological components such as depression and anxiety; it has no known cure, and pharmacological treatments are over-prescribed and poorly understood. Additionally, people with fibromyalgia often have experienced traumatic events, blurring the line between physical and psychological causation. Alternative treatment models such as DMT for chronic pain would benefit from further evidence-based research to inform best practices. We report on a mixed-methods research program for women with Fibromyalgia at a community health centre.

(Mid Level; Up to 25% Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hour; NY LCAT CPE hours


Rebecca Barnstaple practices dance/movement therapy at Chigamik Community Health Centre in Midland, Ontario, where she is part of a community-based research initiative investigating the benefits of dance for a range of conditions. A graduate of the National Centre for Dance Therapy at Les Grands Ballets in Montreal (2014), she is currently a PhD student in Dance Studies and the Neuroscience Graduate Program at York University. Her research explores how movement, cognition, and health/function are related, and involves cross-disciplinary collaboration to better understand the mechanisms, and potential impacts, of participation in dance for the alleviation of symptoms associated with chronic disorders.

Joseph DeSouza, PhD is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University’s Centre for Vision Research. He received his graduate training at the University of Western Ontario, which was followed by postdoctoral training at the Robart’s Research Institute and the Centre for Vision Research. His lab ( focuses on how multisensory signals are attended and/or suppressed depending on the appropriate behavioral context and how the next decision is chosen through improvised or trained motor movements (eye, hand, body or dance).

This three-part presentation integrates the heart and mind, using dance/movement therapy, to facilitate resilience of the aging population. 1. Brain examination of neurocognitive disorders. We compare the images of brain scans of people with and without neurocognitive degeneration 2. Dance/movement therapy group process with patients who are aging manifested in physical, mental, and/or neurocognitive disorders. 3.Integration of the neuroscience research, DMT group process and the positive patient results. Our observations show that participation in DMT groups facilitates resilience of aging patients and enhances their ability to express themselves, verbally and non-verbally, as lucidly possible.

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


Susan Hannah Shafer: MS, BC-DMT, LCAT, Certified School Psychologist, Certified MediatorI work as a dance/movement therapist for the Creative Aging Program at Wartbug Senior Center in Mt. Vernon, NY and the Bronx Oncology Daily Living program at Montifiore Hospital, Bronx, NY where I supervise Sarah Lawrence College and Lesley College graduate students. Previously I worked as a School Psychologist counseling students with a myriad of mental and physical mental health issues in public schools using the creative art therapies.

Elizabet Diane Abraham, R-DMT, currently works as a freelance dance/ movement therapist in 10 different assisted living facilities and nursing homes in the Boston area. I have previously worked abroad in Jerusalem, Israel at ELWYN, an organization for youth and young adults with disabilities providing one on one and group sessions. I also provide “Embodiment Workshops” for Spanish-speaking women in Miami and Boston.

“Cultural Competence in Working with Gender and Sexually Diverse Clients” is a workshop that teaches inclusive language about sex, relationships, and the body. Participants explore cultural biases that invalidate the experiences of LGBTQ individuals. Then, through an experiential, participants embody the workshop’s concepts by practicing specific skills in cultural competence.

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


Rena McDaniel, MEd, LCPC as a pleasure-positive Clinical Sexologist, specializes in helping you find confidence and joy in your own unique skin, sexuality, and relationships by exploring practical ways to experience shamelessly bold pleasure & connection in your life.  Rena is a Certified Sexologist through the American College of Sexologists and graduated from the University of Michigan’s Sexual Health Certificate Program with specializations in Sex Therapy and Sexuality Education. She holds a Master of Education in Community Counseling from DePaul University in Chicago and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. She is currently Chief Operating Officer and a Staff Therapist at IntraSpectrum Counseling, a LGBTQ counseling agency in Chicago. Find her at

Alison Vodnoy Wolf, MFA, is a professional theatre artist and a student in Columbia College’s Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling MA program.  From 2012-2016, Alison taught Acting courses at the University of Cincinnati. She gained an Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College, researching the psychological issues unique to actors. In Wroclaw, Poland, she led research to develop exercises that support actors’ mental health. Alison also has ten years of training and Level 3 certification to teach Alba Method, which is a method of entering six basic emotions through specific muscular, facial, and breath patterns. The first part of Alison’s clinical training was at Harborview Recovery Center, where she worked with patients recovering from addictions. She is currently an intern therapist at Live Oak, an LGBTQ-affirmative practice in Chicago, Illinois.

Interoception, the way we perceive our bodies from within, is usually compromised in trauma survivors. Unpredictable trauma symptoms cause individuals to feel detached from and unsafe in their bodies. By improving interoception, trauma survivors can create internal resources and thus become more resilient in their path to healing. This workshop will provide a neuro- scientific understanding of psychological trauma and interoception. A first-stage dance/movement therapy recovery model will present three parts that include interoception. Dance/movement therapy techniques that specifically aim to improve interoception will be presented and experienced.

(Mid Level; Up to 25% movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


Rebekka Dieterich-Hartwell, MA, BC-DMT is a dance/movement therapist and PhD candidate in Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University. She has 15 years of clinical experience with adults with acute and chronic mental illnesses, substance abuse issues, eating disorders, and psychological trauma. Thanks to a background in biology, she is interested in connecting science and art, specifically neuroscience and dance/movement. Her other main clinical and research interest is dance/movement therapy with refugees or traumatized immigrants. She serves on the Board of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the ADTA in public relations and as Adjunct Faculty at Drexel University.

De-escalation with Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) is a 5-hour training module that uses dance/movement therapy concepts and techniques to support nurses and other mental health practitioners in violence prevention and de-escalation. Building from a gap in the literature, De-escalation with DMT adopts a mind/body approach to incorporate observation skills, empathy building, and self-efficacy into a didactic and experiential training module allowing for embodied learning for non-DMTS. This presentation reviews components of the training module as well as program evaluations completed over 6 years, which suggest positive changes in all three components of the training module.

(Mid Level; No Movement; NBCC CE hours; ADTA CE hours; NY LCAT CPE hours)


Jacelyn Biondo, MA, BC-DMT, LPC loves exploring the psyche/soma connection, the relationship between dance/movement therapy and schizophrenia, the concept of seeing and being seen, and the role of presence within each of these areas.  She is a Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, performer and choreographer. Ms. Biondo works as a Senior Allied Clinical Therapist at Princeton House Behavioral Health where she facilitates Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) sessions with involuntarily committed adults and provides clinical supervision for Practicum and Internship Students. She sits on the Board of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association as Program Coordinator. Ms. Biondo is currently a PhD Candidate in Creative Arts in Therapy at Drexel University.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become increasingly diagnosed amongst African American males, and there are many ways in treating this disorder but medication is most common adopted. There may be instances where the medications are not effective or they have significant effect on the males taking them daily. By increasing cultural awareness of clinicians and providing families with alternative treatments could provide families with options in how they would like to treat members diagnosed.

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


Ambria Cunningham, MA, R-DMT, hailing from the Rocket City, Huntsville, Alabama, Ambria Cunningham is very passionate about the power of movement. 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 in 2015. Ambria is employed with Moving in the Spirit where she serves as a teaching artist and dance/movement therapist in Atlanta, Georgia. She utilizes movement as the driving force in tackling prominent issues in their age group, and empowering students through the connection of the mind, body, and spirit.

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