Ever since the beginning of history or may be even before that, dance has been an art form used for communicating the inner feelings of the dancer about self and its environment. The use of body movement, particularly dance, as a cathartic and healing tool is perhaps as old as dance itself. In many primitive societies, dance was as essential as eating and sleeping.
Hence body movement is the most primitive means of communication before language took over it. Even a child expresses itself through movements and body language before he/she learns the native language. All that we experience is stored in the muscle memory.
Dance Movement Therapy is founded on the principle that movement reflects an individual’s patterns of thinking and feeling and hence the same can be used to unlock suppressed, repressed emotions, trauma, violence, abuse and one can rediscover the inner unadulterated, uncomplicated self.
DMT is Creative Dance and not performing art
Creativity is something that involves imagination, innovation, spontaneity, originality, uniqueness, exploring various possibilities, authenticity and it is very individualistic. Creative dance is going back to the spirit of that originality- of expressing yourself the way you want to be. Creative dance speaks of what you have brought into dance rather what dance style wants you to be .While performing arts is following set patterns, rules and regulations of a style of dance.
DMT offers individuals an opportunity to be expressive, release tension and trauma of past, find their inner voices and grow in independence. It can be practiced both at an individual level and in group settings within the health, education, social service, and private sectors.
DMT can help an individual shift to a more positive self image. Less satisfying behaviours can be transformed into healthier forms of expression and social struggles can be worked out through alternative movement outlets. Psycho-physical techniques can provide new hope and possibilities for people who are suffering from psychological and social hardships.
DMT can be used with the following populations, among others:
*Verbal communication is difficult or less available.
*Long lingering personal issues of relationships or family.
*Desiring better communication skills, self-exploration or self-understanding.
*Problems pertaining to body- distortions or concerns about body image, tense or blocked areas of the body, impaired movements, or anxieties about proximity, physical contact, or trust.
*History of trauma or abuse may impair or hinder the survivor’s capacity to acknowledge and understand personal areas of strength and weakness
*Distress associated with loss, transition or change.
Specific use of DMT
*People suffering from Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Hysteria, OCD.
*Prison, Juvenile remand homes, shelter homes, Orphanage
*Hyperactive children, ADHD, learning disabilities, special children
*Senior citizens – to deal with age and loneliness
*During Pregnancy- connecting to your child in womb
*Patients suffering from cancer, HIV and other diseases and also for their family members
*In Communities-to bring about social change
Benefits of DMT
*Contacting inner self through creative movement play
*Experiencing links between thoughts, feelings and actions
*Increasing self-awareness and personal autonomy
*Awareness of relationship between internal and external reality
*Increasing and rehearsing adaptive coping behaviours
*Enhancing social interaction skills
*Developing trusting relationships