90 Minute Presentations
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A New Phrase for Violence: Understanding Domestic Violence and Culturally Relevant Interventions in Dance/Movement Therapy

Presenters: Sara Ogawa Heidbreder, Emma Mamis and Quinn Davis

Description of Presentation: In this workshop, participants will begin by developing an understanding of domestic violence and its relationship to culture, power and control, the cycle of violence, and the empowerment model. Presenters will draw from their work at Apna Ghar, Inc. (Our Home), an agency that focuses on ending domestic violence through holistic and comprehensive culturally competent services for immigrant survivors of domestic violence. They will identify aspects of culture that are important in working with all survivors, as well as cultural aspects that are especially important for survivors who have also immigrated. This includes additional forms of violence related to immigration and access to services that are responsive to language needs, accessibility, and legal status. Presenters will support participants in understanding the congruence between the cycle of violence and the units of phrasing. This will provide participants the opportunity to develop ideas about how to utilize dance/movement therapy with survivors. The workshop will progress by exploring different models for developing interventions that hold culture in mind. It will explore utilizing effort modulation to support the expansion of movement repertoire and vocabulary specific to a survivor’s needs, goals, and culture. Participants will have the opportunity to deepen their learning through embodiment, creative exploration, and discussion throughout the workshop. Return to top

China-US Whole Person Dance Psychotherapy Training

Name of presenter: Ilene Serlin, Grace Zhou, Chloe Liu

Description of presentation: Beginning as a program in existential/humanistic psychology in China 2010, this training on embodiment for counselors integrates dance therapy processes with existential/humanistic approaches to group therapy. Students learn to understand the existential themes such as death and life; freedom and fate; individual and collective and meaning/meaninglessness that are present in group process. These themes are explored through the lifecycle of the group, group dynamics, leadership issues, roles, and themes. These existential themes have particular relevance for Chinese culture and will be explored in the three presentations. One will focus on the theoretical underpinnings of an existential approach to group therapy and how movement deepens the experience and psychological understanding. A second will share a pilot project that uses movement on a national hotline in China to help housebound people deal with trauma of the Coronavirus, and a third will share her work with groups in the south of China. Return to top

Cross Cultural Dialogues: Experiences Teaching and Leading Expressive Arts Therapy in China

Presenters: Steve Harvey, E. Connor Kelly, Joan Wittig, and Stephen Snow

Description of presentation: Recently, the political challenges between the USA and China have impacted the relationships between Western countries and China. In this panel, four Creative Arts Therapists from the West will present some of their experiences leading and teaching the expressive therapies in China as well as developing collaborations with Creative Arts Therapists that address the increasing internal and international tensions that are emerging related to the current health concerns. While contemporary political news presents a narrative overview of results from the trade war, military build-up, and the health crisis due to the Corona virus, our experiences using the expressive arts with student and professional groups in China offers a different and more personal view with our Chinese colleagues and the emotional climate we share. Over the past decade, Joan Wittig has developed a Dance/Movement therapy program at several sites in China, Stephen Snow has presented ethnodramatherapy workshops for students in Beijing, and Steve Harvey and Connor Kelly have been conducting an ongoing Arts Based Inquiry in collaboration with Chinese Creative Art Therapists. Interesting observations about the commonalities and differences of experience have emerged particularly from the practice of using the expressive arts. Issues such as different approaches to ethics, no common primary language, a wide difference between the East and West about social/public expression of political thought, the enjoyment for creative expression, and the personal confrontation of how culture impacts our framing of social expression experienced by both Chinese and those of us from the West have all emerged as themes to be addressed. A recent collaboration with DMTs in China was developed using dance improvisations, arts, and poetry making around the emotional experiences, especially marginalization, following the emergence of a public health emergency in China. A goal of this presentation is to facilitate a more intimate understanding among our countries. Return to top

Culturally Informed Clinical Supervision in DMT: Transforming Accidental Intervention into Deliberate Oversight

Presenter: James Ryan Kennedy

Description of presentation: the practice of dance/movement therapy the only requirement needed to provide clinical supervision is having board certification (BC-DMT), which is actually an advanced practice credential not directly related to receiving or demonstrating any additional skills or knowledge in the related, but specialized practice of clinical supervision. Because of that, many newly credentialed BC-DMTs become clinical supervisors upon receiving their credential without having any additional training beyond the curriculum in their master’s program. This is true for many of the state-issued mental health licenses as well, a practice that seemingly conveys that having in-depth clinical skills is sufficient to providing adequate clinical supervision.

Part of the reason this belief exists (and persists) is because having keen case conceptualization skills is a significant part of all good clinical supervision, but this alone is not enough. In addition to having clarity in theoretical orientation and excellence in the clinical skills associated with it, clinical supervision done well must also address the development of the supervisee’s professional identity, the administrative effectiveness skills and entrepreneurial spirit of the supervisee, as well as the self of the therapist – including the various and intersecting layers of the supervisee’s identify. In other words, best practice in clinical supervision frames it as a deliberate experience designed to promote the development of the clinician and not simply to protect the public or provide ideas for interventions. Return to top

Dance of The Hospital: Navigating The Complexities of a Medical Setting

Presenter name: Katie Bohn and Elise Ringenberg

Description of presentation: Dance/movement therapists working within a medical model often encounter a number of complexities to navigate, including: being seen as adjunctive, the lack of awareness of dance/movement therapy (DMT), and the need to communicate within the symptomology focused medical model. This workshop will help participants address these various complexities within the diverse hospital setting.

The presenters, drawing from their experiences as dance/movement therapists in children’s hospitals, will identify examples of DMT goals that apply within a medical setting while sharing anecdotal cases that exemplify these goals. Through experiential and discussion, clinicians will gain a deeper understanding of the underlying reason for the identified goals and how they support the physical and emotional well-being of individuals as well as their coping skills through hospitalization.

Once DMT goals have been established, the next challenge is effectively presenting these goals to other professionals, including physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, child life specialists, art therapists, music therapists, and social workers. Presenters will provide examples that highlight approaches that support effective collaboration, communication, and advocacy for DMT with other professionals. Presenters will discuss ways to present treatment goals in alignment with the medical model, how to identify and make appropriate referrals, and ways to introduce services to other providers to ensure accessibility.

In addition to working alongside a diverse team of professionals, dance/movement therapists must also be equipped to work with a diverse patient population ranging from racial-socio-cultural-economic backgrounds to ability and bio-psycho-social needs. As such, participants will be invited to consider their own body knowledge/body prejudice through a movement experiential. Participants will be guided to reflect on the potential impacts of their observations and assessments of movement in the creation, assessment and communication of their interventions and goals within a medical setting. Return to top

Dedication Determination Dynamism — An 8000 mile journey, over 8 years, across cultures and continents

PresentersDanielle Fraenkel, Nikita Mittal, Karolina Bryl, Michele Lemolo, and Jeffrey Mehr

Description of the presentation: The oldest evidence of dance comes from 9000-year old cave paintings found in the Indus Valley of India. The paintings depict scenes of hunting, childbirth, religious rites, burials and communal dancing. Ancient Indians understood that shared rhythms and movements brought people together. Currently, the Indian recognition of dance can best be portrayed in three ways: the dying tradition of community folk dance, the popular dances of Bollywood, and the highly trained precision of Indian classical dance. Since folk dance is no longer past down from generation to generation and classical dance calls for rigorous training and financial commitments, the healing inherent in dance has not been accessible, until recently, to most people.This workshop will use lecture, discussion, videos, and experiential dance movement improvisations to chronicle the eight-year journey crossing, not just borders, but continents, that led to the fulfillment of one Indian woman’s dream. After studying at Kinections, she wanted to bring bonafide dance/movement therapy education to India. What bonafide meant then and means now has changed. Initially, it meant receiving a stamp pf approval from the ADTA.

Now it means integrating meaningful practice-based evidence from seasoned dance/movement therapists and India’s rich heritage of dance and music. To get a better sense of this, we will describe the curriculum, criteria for admission, the students, their dance backgrounds, and the social fabric from which the tapestry of their lives has been woven. Participants will have the opportunity to see how Indian dance can provide a platform for supporting the pioneers’ basic assumptions and for working with fundamental concepts of dance movement therapy such as kinesthetic empathy, pulse, or transitions from gesture to full bodied expression. Assuming that what is true in the west should also be true for people in the east, belies the cultural humility that ADTA advocates. Return to top 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in DMT Education : Moving and deepening the dialogue

Presenters: Jessica Young, Meg Chang, Angela Grayson, Ebony Nichols, Rodney Simpson, Erin Holmes, Dominique Terrell, Christina Hudgins, Chevon Stewart and Nancy Beardall

Description of the presentation: This workshop invites participants to examine their own dance roots as a means of looking at the ways in which our dance background informs how we live in our encultured bodies. This offers an opportunity to critically reflect upon how our roots-based dance techniques or forms are acknowledged, integrated, and challenged within our dance/movement therapy education, practice, and research. We will begin by warming up to three different pieces of music as a means of tuning into our bodies, noticing similarities and differences in how we respond to the different musical selections, and bringing to awareness any accompanying biases. Following this, several co-presenters will share their roots dance. Finally, we will discuss a case study, reflecting on how our dance roots and the ways in which they intersect with our cultural background; inform our biases; and influence our DMT training; shape our different approaches to the case study. Return to top 

Diversity within the "A’s": COVID-19, Stereotypes, and Asian and Asian American Dance/Movement Therapy Practices

Presenters: Meg Chang, Tomoyo Kawano, Candy Lo, Minh Bui, Michelle Wan Lok Chan, Florença Chong

Description of the presentationAsia is a vast continent with a diversity of cultures. Yet, common Asian stereotypes paint a monocultural image, not accounting for the diversity of Asian and Asian American experiences. Furthermore, “Where are you really from?” - being ‘other’-ed - is a common microaggression faced by Asian-looking persons, American or not. The recent COVID-19 crisis highlighted the xenophobia that persists in the US, and the impact such discriminatory attitudes have on Asians and Asian Americans on a daily basis. Through dance and embodied narratives, members of the Asian and Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Affinity group will share the challenges and triumphs of what it is like to be and do dance/movement therapy (DMT) as Asians and Asian Americans in a variety of settings. Together, we will explore culturally congruent DMT interventions that are meaningful to Asians and Asian Americans across the globe. Return to top

Healing and the Creative Spirit: A Dance/Movement Therapy Approach to Spirituality

PresenterAngela M Grayson

Description of the presentation: Of all the spiritual practices and religious beliefs, prayer and/or meditation seems to be the most common and widely practiced. In 2005 the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) conducted a survey of 31,000 adults which indicated that prayer was the therapy most commonly used among all the CAM therapies included in the survey. By encouraging individual creativity to explore mental, physical, spiritual, and social aspects of being and doing, incorporation of dance/movement therapy provides a sacred space for inner healing to occur. This type of inner sensing and outward expression through dance has great similarity to sacred dance, somatic experiencing and authentic movement which also utilizes the innate wisdom of the body for healing and self-awareness. This workshop will engage participants in movement and discussion to consider 1) what a spiritually informed dance/movement therapy session would look like; 2) how spirituality can be incorporated into current dance/movement therapy practice; 3) how dance/movement therapy cultivates healing in clinical practice; 4) efficacy of Spiritual Competencies and Spiritual Identity Development in dance/movement therapy practice; and 5) client defined spirituality, boundaries and interpretation. Return to top

Increasing capacity of dance movement therapy participants to reflect on their own progress

Presenter name: Kim Dunphy and Tessa Hens 

Description of presentation: TBD . Return to top


Tai Chi and DMT: Exploring the Dance of Testosterone and Oxytocin in Every Body

Presenter name: Dee Wagner and Stephen Wagner

Description of presentation: All bodies have testosterone and all bodies have oxytocin. Dance/movement therapist Dee Wagner and her son Stephen Wagner—a Tai Chi teacher—share the polyvagal-informed and DMT-informed practice Chi for Two® - The Energetic Dance of Healthy Relationship. In this workshop, Dee and Stephen review Porges’ polyvagal theory, how it dovetails with the trauma understanding of Levine and overlaps with attachment theory. They explore Carter’s research suggesting oxytocin facilitates what Porges calls our Social Engagement system functioning. Parents can appreciate the developmental rhythms identified by Kestenberg and colleagues especially dance/movement therapist Susan Loman. When we understand the role of the fighting rhythms in individuation we can appreciate Push. Oppositional movements begin to make sense. Return to top

The Legacies of Marian Chace, Blanche Evan and Liljan Espenak: Their Passion for Dance, their Inspirations and their Methods.

PresentersNana Koch, Elissa White, Bonnie Bernstein

Description of presentation: This Zoom workshop will explore the extraordinary contributions of dance/movement therapy innovators Marian Chace, Blanche Evan, and Liljan Espenak. Each of the presenters, Elissa White, Bonnie Bernstein and Nana Koch, had the opportunity to be mentored by one of these dance therapy icons whose early explorations contributed so much to the profession. These presenters were fortunate to experience the depth of their mentor’s methods, their passion for dance, and the evolution of their creative work to bring out the healing potential of dance for therapy. Decades after their mentors' deaths their legacies live on. Return to top

Tracing the Roots of Infant, Child and Adolescent DMT- Part 2: 18th Early Childhood Forum

Presenters: Suzi Tortora, Bonnie Bernstein, Nana Koch, Theresa Howard, and Marcia Leventhal

Description of presentation: This forum continues to trace the history of infant, child and adolescent DMT from its origins to its growing applications today. It highlights five early innovators who exemplify diversity and multiculturalism in their ethnicity, methods and populations serviced. They discuss their influences on DMT with children, families and adults nationally and internationally as they developed their methods as either founding DMT mentors or highlighting those early mentors they worked with. These early mentors include Blanche Evan, Liljan Espenak and Dr. Baba Chuck Davis. Opening her school in 1934, Evan’s innovative approach to creative dance for children emphasized dance improvisation balanced with age appropriate physical development. Espenak, from Norway, worked at Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospital. She developed one of the earliest DMT training programs as well as seven Movement Diagnostic Tests, based on her work with developmentally delayed children, grounding her work with the concept “Motion causes emotion to flow”. Davis, founding artistic director of DanceAfrica always spoke of the therapeutic and healing components of dance and the arts. Collectively, the presenters have expanded the reach of their work in over 32 countries, providing training and treatment in: Asia, Australia and Oceania, North, Central and South America, Europe and Eastern Europe. They discuss how they and their mentors teach and provide culturally sensitive work servicing diverse populations across cultures. Their focus includes: marginalized populations; treatment from diagnosis to plan implementation; creating a developmental model integrating elements from emotional, physical, and psychological imperatives which unfold into a wholistic focus of healing and change; inpatient, outpatient, multi- family groups, homeless, from age three to one hundred and one with a wide range of clinical and medical diagnoses; and experiencing the joy of dance. Through experientials and videos each presenter describes their contributions and those that influenced their personal and professional journey. Return to top

Umfundalai Essentials: Pan-African dance for mirroring and strengthening diverse communities

Presenter: Erin Bryce Holmes

Description of presentation: This workshop begins with an introduction to finding someone whom you connect with, non-verbally, that seems to be a "match". Participants will then define and investigate phenomena such as present day stereotypes, social constructs and mandates on what is considered by Brenda Dixon Gottschild to be the "black dancing body" in the Americas. An introduction to Umfundalai (pronounced Ma-foon-da-la) will take place. Umfundalai is a codified Pan- African dance technique created by Dr. Kariamu Welsh in 1970. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a structured 50 minute session which utilizes the technique in a session entitled, Body Impressions: The healing power of dance. They will then investigate which healing processes are present for themselves. This discussion to follow leads into defining the actual ways in which this technique known as Umfundalai can be used as a new assessment tool within the dance therapy session and as a cultural resource within dance therapy by using its wholistic approach. Participants will close out the workshop with new knowledge about how to apply this technique in directive driven and non directive approaches to the dance therapy session. The clinician's deepened understanding of this subgroup in America will spark both a new way of being with self and other. Return to top

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