Dance as therapy!

There were two videos this past week that went viral. One was a six years-old girl who was invited to perform at the Zumba conference This young lady had amazing moves, but more remarkable is she has a bone marrow disease. She uses dance as a way to deal with living with this disease. The other was a video of a woman who used dance to deal with labor pains prior to giving birth to her second child. So today, I decided to do a blog on Dance Therapy.

The American Dance Therapy Association defines Dance Therapy as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.” Dance Therapy is used with people of all ages and in all populations to help individuals with developmental, medical, social, physical and psychological impairments. I can remember volunteering for the Special Olympics Prom for DeKalb County in Georgia. One year the prom fell on the same night as the prom of the school I worked at. We had regular education students who chose to volunteer at the Special Education prom over attending the school prom. Dance served as an equalizer between the special education students and the regular education students. For those hours they were one and shared a love of music and dance.

Recent articles have shown that Dance Therapy has successfully been used with clients who have dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, eating disorders, autism, and with people in prisons. There are only a select number of universities in the United States that offer degrees in Dance Therapy, but there are alternative ways in which therapist’s can become certified to use Dance Therapy. You click the link above and go to the American Dance Therapy Association’s website to locate a dance therapist in your area.

I hope more people find dance as a coping skill to use to get through whatever they may be going through.



So I realized this week I have not posted since June. The reason, because I have been in transition. In June I started a new job while continuing to handle two cases at my old job. Not only did I switch jobs, but I have switched settings. I am moving from working with juveniles in the residential setting to working outpatient conducting therapy in homes with all ages and diagnoses. In my planning of this, I expected it to take two weeks, four tops. After all I have worked outpatient before and I have worked in homes before. Boy was I wrong! I am still in the process of transitioning and adapting all areas of my life to my new job and setting.

When I was in my doctoral program, one of my professors had us read The Way of Transition by William Bridges. There was a quote from that book that I have carried with me; “Transition…is the process of letting go of the way things used to be and then taking hold of the way they subsequently become.” Some where over the last two and a half months I forgot about this quote.

This week I almost had a melt down. Yes even psychologists have melt downs. I did not get my notes and a report in on time and I was beating myself up. I have spent the last three weeks trying to rebalance life where work is not taking over everything. And what happens, something with work falls. Then I went to a great luncheon on Tuesday with a group of women who are in various transitions of their own. One of those ladies reminded me that transition takes time and can’t be rushed. And today, I remembered Mr. Bridges quote and found another one that has brought me peace:
While I have made it through the change, I am still in transition.

This week has taught me that I have to completely let go of the way things were in order to grab hold of the way they will be. There are certain things that are stable, but most things have to be let go. So tonight I toast and embrace the transition that I am in. I look forward to what is to come. And I choose to rest in the midst of uncertainty letting my faith be my strength. Oh, and I will allow myself to have a learning curve.