Dance movement therapists (DMTs) use dance and
movement to help people with a wide range of
emotional, social, psychological and physical difficulties.
Dance therapy work with individuals, groups and
families, helping them to improve their self-esteem and
body image, develop effective communication skills and
gain insights into their patterns of behaviour. They
assist clients to develop strategies to manage their
Dance therapists work with people of all ages and with a wide variety of conditions. These can include: eating disorders, autistic children, people who have suffered abuse or violence, dysfunctional families or individuals with severe emotional disorders. They use dance and movement to increase body awareness, stimulate spontaneous expressions of feelings and promote social interaction.
Dance movement therapy is based on the belief that movement reflects an individual's pattern of thinking and feeling. It can help anyone with emotional problems, conflict or distress. People may also use it simply for personal growth.
Dance movement therapists work in a variety of settings
including hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation units,
schools and private practice. Working hours are usually
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, some weekend
and evening work may be required. There are very few
full-time positions. Many therapists work on a sessional
The work often involves travel and can be physically and emotionally demanding.
To be a dance movement therapist you should:
Employment opportunities as a dance movement
therapist are widely available. The majority of these are
in London and other major urban areas. Successful
clinical placements whilst training sometimes lead to
students being offered paid work, usually on a part-time
basis. There are few full-time posts, so part-time or
sessional work is common.
It is possible to set up in private practice after around 2 years' initial experience and many DMTs work as self-employed or freelance. Training and consultancy options are also available.
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