Let’s talk a little bit about dance, dance/movement therapy and children’s mental health needs. Dance/Movement therapy is the use of dance and movement to bring about healing and recovery for individuals irrespective of their ages and cultural groups. It is practiced by trained professionals like mental health care professional who specialize in this creative arts therapy.
One of the benefits of dancing is an increased sense of vitality. There is awakening and renewal of one’s own energy. According to studies, that dance sessions by trained professionals can decrease depression, boost mood, and strengthen ones positive feelings. Dance Movement therapy (DMT) harnesses the many elements of dance that have therapeutic potential. DMT does not emphasize on dance technique and it is not about the quality of performance. It is very much about improvisation, the mobilization and exchange of energy, the creative and expressive process. DMT clients learn to move in ways that are authentic to how they are feeling and experiencing their life. Dance forms are modified for release of tension and for helping people become comfortable moving. While the
dance and movement experience is the main focus of these sessions, the therapists will also bring discussion in sessions and sometimes it can be noisy with music, instruments, foot stomping, clapping, laughter and all kinds of vocalizing.
Dance is movement which is essentially a process of ongoing change. Moving with one’s body makes a person to feel his strength and vulnerability. According to developmental neuroscientist Paul Schilder, dance is a loosening up of the body schema. He described how when we dance, the movement activates a dynamic and constant feedback loop back and forth between our brains and our bodies. Unlike dance classes, group dance therapy sessions will often start and end in a circle formation. In a circle, everyone can see everyone else where one can connect visually with the other people across the circle and
kinaesthetically with the people on either side. Everyone is of equal status: the circle encourages participation by everyone, and invites each person to bcontribute movement ideas.