Also known as movement therapy or dance movement therapy, dance therapy is defined as the psychotherapeutic use of dancing activity to support intellectual and emotional functions of the body.
The main principle of dance therapy is to increase the interaction between mind and body.
Most training in dance therapy form their basis from cognitive behavioral therapy, existential therapy, humanistic psychology, integrative therapy, psychodynamic theory, etc. Depending on the purpose for which a person requires dance therapy, the approach or combinations of approaches regarding dance therapy are formed by dance therapists for the convenience of practitioners.
How does Dance Therapy work?
The mind can influence the body vice-versa. Hence, dancing to a song take a person‘s mind away from thoughts can cause anxiety. Dancing can simplify the thoughts of a person and can be an effective stress buster.
Uses of Dance Therapy:
Different types of dance therapies are employed in different settings. Based on settings, and on the people who are going to receive dance therapies, the dance therapy sessions are devised to meet different therapeutic ends.
They are useful for people suffering from autism and Alzheimer’s disease. They are helpful for people suffering from different mental health disorders and physical disabilities.
In day care centers, dance sessions are organized for children so that they start getting physically fit at a young age and they do not indulge in mischievous or destructive activities.
In health promotion programs, dance sessions are organized for the exercises of joints so that practitioners can stay away from ailments like arthritis.
In hospitals, dance sessions are organized as exercise and to cheer the patients so that can feel a positive environment in hospitals. Positive frame of mind contributes to speedy recovery.
At mental health facilities, dance sessions are organized for the same purpose mentioned about hospitals. People with mental health issues need to stay positive all the time.
In rehab facilities, dance sessions are organized as distractions so that people can divert their mind away from things that they are addicted to.
At nursing homes, dance sessions are organized so that inmates do not feel lonely and enjoy group activities.
At prisons, dance sessions are organized for prisoners so that their mind is diverted from destructive thoughts and they would not indulge in prison fights or prison riots.
Private practice sessions of dance are organized by dance therapists on the basis of purpose for which their clients seek dance therapy.
In schools, dance sessions are organized as extracurricular activities so that children can enjoy and hone their dancing talents. Teachers can also select students with better dancing skills for the annual day function of the school.
Benefits of Dance Therapy:
Better social skills: Dance therapy helps its practitioners to improve their social skills. It helps them to gain a deeper sense of self-awareness in a practitioner via meditative process involving movement, motion, and realization of his/her body.
Holistic treatment: Different from other forms of rehabilitative treatments, dance therapy allows holistic creative expression, offering complete treatment for the mind, body, and spirit of a person.
Activation of several brain functions: According to a research, dance therapy can activate several brain functions at once. These brain functions include emotional thoughts, kinesthetic functions, musical cognition, and rational thoughts. The study said that cognitive activities such as reading books, solving crossword puzzles, and playing musical instruments could activate brain functions to the extent of preventing dementia. Physical activities such as playing golf, walking for exercise, and dance practice can also improve coordination and prevent dementia. According to another study, 76% of the people taking dance therapy (or any kind of physical activity or brain exercise) on regular basis never suffered from dementia because dance therapy can combine multiple areas of the brain to work together at once. Other therapies usually put coordination in by stimulating one area in brain at a time.
Helpful for child sexual abuse victims: According to some researches, dance therapy is beneficial to the victims of child sexual abuse (CSA). Dance therapy is a useful form of support for these children. Dance therapy can give these children (even if they have entered adulthood) a sense of empowerment and self-confidence, along with high self-esteem. This conclusion was drawn on the basis of CSA showing improvement in academics and scoring better grades in school.
Strengthening of bond between mother and child: According to a study, dance therapy strengthened the bond between CSA victims with their mothers, especially in terms of communication. Children after starting their dance therapy sessions felt more open while talking to their mothers. Stronger bonds were prominent between mothers and daughters.
Therapeutic benefits for psychiatric patients: Dance therapy can also provide therapeutic benefits to psychiatric patients. According to a research, dance therapy can stabilize the conditions of psychiatric patients. Some studies said that listening to music also healed the minds of those psychiatric patients who could not dance.
Finding Dance Therapists with HelloDr:
Dance is not just a delightful hobby. It is also a therapy that calms your mind and makes your joints, more flexible and active. So online dance therapy sessions, log in to HelloDr and connect with a dance therapist. Click here to see the list of dance therapists working with us. The list of dance therapists is visible only to registered users.