National Dance/Movement Therapy Advocacy Day Date in the current year: June 13, 2024

National Dance/Movement Therapy Advocacy Day National Dance/Movement Therapy Advocacy Day is celebrated annually on June 13. It was created to raise public awareness of a type of psychotherapy that uses movement and dance to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of individuals.

Dance/movement therapy (DMT), also known as dance movement psychotherapy (DMP) in the UK, is the use of movement and dance in psychotherapy. It uses the correlation between movement and emotion to help people become more aware of their body and boundaries, improve their body image and self-esteem, assist people in developing communication skills and coping mechanisms, etc. Research has show that the psychotherapeutic use of dance movements activates several brain functions simultaneously and can have a positive effect on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

People has used dance as a healing ritual for thousands of years, but dance/movement therapy is relatively new. One of the first psychotherapist to explore the interrelation of the body and mind and integrate movement and dance into therapy was Swiss physician and psychotherapist Tina Keller-Jenny in the early 1940s. However, it is Marian Chance and Mary Whitehouse who are typically credited with helping shape modern DMT as a distinct profession.

The world’s first oldest professional association of dance/movement therapists is the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA). It was founded in 1966 to establish and maintain the standards of professional education in the field of DMT. Other major professional associations in the field include the European Association of Dance Movement Therapy and the Association for Dance Movement Therapy, United Kingdom.

DMT can be practiced in a variety of settings depending on the country. In countries where DMT is an established field and practicing it requires a certain level of education and certification, DMT can be practiced in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, mental health facilities, drug treatment centers, counseling and crisis centers, wellness centers, daycare facilities, schools, nursing homes, or as a private practice. In countries where the profession hasn’t been firmly established yet, dance/movement therapists typically practice privately.

National Dance/Movement Therapy Advocacy Day was created in 2019 by Erica Hornthal, an American dance/movement therapist. She is best known as the founder of Chicago Dance Therapy and author of the book Body Aware: Rediscover Your Mind-Body Connection, Stop Feeling Stuck, and Improve Your Mental Health with Simple Movement Practices. She created the observance to raise awareness of DMT and let people know how they can benefit from it.

How can you get involved with National Dance/Movement Therapy Advocacy Day? If you have never heard of DMT, you can learn more about this type of therapy and think about giving it a try. If you have had positive experiences with DMT, consider sharing them on social media to educate people about DMT and its benefits for physical and mental well-being.

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