Dance Movement Therapy

The body says what words cannot

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique”.

~ Martha Graham

What is Dance Movement Therapy?

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) uses movement and dance to explore physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges. It is a dynamic, creative, embodied approach to healing.

Going beyond talking to moving your body helps you to feel and understand yourself in deeper and more tangible ways. Through conscious movement, you can explore your authentic feelings and safely express them without hiding or holding back. You can experience setting healthy boundaries in your muscles and bones, and feel more empowered to set them in other areas of your life.

Dance Movement Therapy is a great option if you do things like…
~ Dance to feel whole, and to connect with yourself and others
~ Choose a yoga class for stress relief and focus
~ Go for a walk to clear your mind and get inspired
~ Hit the gym to release anger or frustration
~ Long to express yourself fully and authentically

Working with relationship issues through movement

We are all affected by relationship issues, which often involve needing clearer boundaries with family, friends and partners. DMT offers a way to physically experience where your boundaries lie and how to strengthen or soften them appropriately. In a DMT session, you will learn several somatic ways to identify the your boundaries and how to communicate them physically and verbally in healthy and respectful ways.

Working with the shadow in Dance Movement Therapy

Most of us have parts of ourselves that we are uncomfortable with or don’t accept. We often hide these from ourselves and from others to avoid pain or criticism. Yet when we deny these aspects of ourselves, we build up physical constrictions in our body and shut down our vibrant life energy. DMT can help you to be compassionate with these areas; to experience where you restrict your energy; and to rediscover your natural body impulses again. You can recover your passionate, embodied energy for your life and relationships.

Ariana Candell,
LMFT, R-DMT, Ecotherapist
License # 32733
“… movement has eliminated my disconnection to my body and consequently I am able to live more fully and more comfortably in my body. I am feeling more grounded and more aware of my strengths and resources available to me. …I have spent much of my life suppressing my authentic voice and it feels very good to be getting it back.”

~ C. Lockwood

What does a dance movement session look like?

Beginning: We start with a brief verbal or movement check-in. We may do a physical warm up by letting your body find ways it wants to stretch, or an exploration, such as moving with fluidity. It can also be a time for grounding or calming, through breath and movement. This stage supports you to become more present in the moment, and more aware of your body sensations and feelings.
Middle:  Here we focus on what you want to work on from the check-in. There is often a gesture that comes directly from what you’re talking about, or I may suggest you let your body show how it’s feeling through movement. I may guide you to repeat or do these movements in various ways. Sometimes, a simple movement can clarify and transform a whole pattern of acting towards people in your life that you might not have recognized. We can explore how this is present in your life, and your feelings and memories about it. If your movement is expansive or dramatic, we may use improvisational movement, creative dance and role-playing.
Ending: Towards the end of the session, we invite new movements to evolve from your theme for a more conscious, chosen way to act in your life. I may evoke a phrase to go with it, a drawing, or an image to help you integrate it in your week.  We’ll also spend time talking about how you can practice it  in your relationships, work, and play.

“A relationship with my body…”

” I now have a relationship with my body, and can easily find ways to cultivate inner peace, restoration and relaxation…I am now experiencing more pain free days than I have in the last five years…I have more faith in my body’s ability to heal itself…”

~ J. Borhan

“The more we know nature and its process, the more we come to know ourselves and how we communicate.  When we go out in nature and climb on its different surfaces, it reminds us of where we came from and reminds us we are a part of that movement.”

~ Delisa Myles, Dance Teacher, Prescott College