45 Minute Presentations

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Body Of Change: An Eco-Somatic Experiential

Presenter: Amber Gray

Description of presentation: This 45 minute recording includes 15 minutes of context and a 30 minute guided, eco-somatic experiential for regenerative activism. This recording does not require viewing; listening to the audio is sufficient (and may even be less distracting). This practice can be done outside, in nature, in a place comfortable enough to lie down. Or you can create a “nest” with mats, cushions, blankets, bolsters, and if you like to connect to the earth, a small tub of water or sand or earth to place your feet in. Enjoy! Return to top

Body as Rhythm - Utilizing Belly Dance Practices in supporting Emotional Regulation and Trauma Healing

PresenterShalia Khan

Description of presentation: Rhythm is a biologically innate part of human physiology, as we are neurologically constructed to process and respond to rhythms. Trauma can create dissonance to our internal rhythm, causing the loss of physical agency or imbalance. It can cause loss of ‘core rhythmicity’, which impacts heartbeat, motor functions and balance (Gray, 2017). DMT has been known for its pioneering dance interventions using rhythm, which has greatly contributed to the field of psychotherapy (Brooke & Myers 2014; Harris 2007; Kornblum & McCutchan, 2002).

What makes belly dance different than other dance practices, is that it is embedded with rhythm internally (within its movement structure) and externally (through the engagement with percussive instruments and musicality). Shimmying practices in belly dance are not only visually mesmerizing but have also been linked to stress reduction and emotional regulation. My research has looked at comparing belly dance practices to TRE® (Trauma Release Exercise). The premise behind this treatment is to voluntarily engage muscle groups that produce shaking and vibrating as a way of soothing the nervous system.

Belly dance also uses different rhythms and melodic scales and modes known as a maqams (Posey, 2015) found in the Arab world. These scales have specific tones, meanings, movements, and emotions associated with them. Working with this kind of musicality and internal rhythm production allows for new opportunities for movement materials to emerge, one where dance and rhythm create an emotional container for exploration.

Overall this workshop is designed to explore key themes found in belly dance practices that focus on internal rhythm creation, responding to external percussion such as drumming and use of rhythmic props as a way to bridge popular trauma theories around rhythm as emotional regulation. These practices can provide DMT a new and culturally rich perspective in using music and rhythm. Return to top

Dance/Movement Therapy Interventions for Increasing Cross-Cultural Adaptation for Chinese Students in Higher Education 

Presenters: Carol Kaminsky, Jorge Morejon and Ana Mirand

Description of Presentation: The major task facing individuals in cultural transition is the development of stress-coping strategies and culturally relevant social skills. Sociocultural adaptation of Chinese students can be described as a dynamic process that benefits from creative dance instruction, integrated dance performance and improvisational dance education. Thus, cross-cultural adaptation through dance may become an important future initiative on how to successfully facilitate the integration of Chinese students into America’s Higher Education system. We will be using the work of Ward, Bochner and Furnham’s pattern of sociocultural adaptation as a tool to reference psychological and sociocultural adaptation and drawing parallels with dance/movement therapy theories. The importance of this work is that it correlates socio-cultural adaptation with psychological adjustment similar to dance/movement therapy goals such as communication, expression, developing identity, trust, and bonding with others.

The instructors of these courses, informed by their DMT training, will discuss and demonstrate dance/movement therapy interventions and learning strategies which create a safe environment for Chinese students to begin assimilating American Culture. In particular, written reflections of Chinese students attending dance/movement therapy courses show how their class involvement helped them to cope with their anxiety and stress and introduced them to healing dance techniques. These case studies will highlight how Chinese students developed positive coping methods through exploration of their own movement vocabulary, creativity, interactions with non-Chinese students and facilitated conversations about dance and its role in society and personal growth. Return to top