What is dance therapy?
Dance Therapy (dance movement therapy), in simple terms, is therapy through the art of dance and movement.
Dance therapy is the therapeutic use of movement and dance. Therapeutic dancing has been shown to improve not only motor or physical functions of the body image but emotional expressions and intellectual functions as well.
Dance therapy looks at the well-being of the body and mind. It supports the movement to promote emotional, social cognitive, and physical integration.
Dance Therapy Promotes Physical Fitness
Dance in itself is a great way for an individual to stay fit. It promotes muscle strength and flexibility, endurance, and improved balance. Dancing has been found to be therapeutic for those with decreased muscular tension and motor-system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, dance therapy can serve as physical therapy for those recovering from injuries.
Likewise, systematic review studies have shown that moderate to high-quality dance therapy helps lessen the risk of older adults falling and other mental health issues, as it improves their sense of balance. They were also shown to have better overall health. In fact, dance therapy offers a wide selection of movements and steps, allowing basically anyone to find the type of dancing that they need.
Dance Therapy Reduces Depression
Exercise and dance typically release endorphins and dopamine into the person’s system. As most are familiar, these substances are typically associated with feelings of happiness. While dance and movement aren’t a single solution to depression, dancing is one method that can greatly supplement seeing your therapist.
In addition to a creative psychotherapeutic approach and use of movement metaphor, dance movement therapist works to provide a social benefit as well. By going out of the house and being exposed to other people during dance sessions, a board-certified dance movement therapist helps lessen symptoms of depression. Dancing keeps the person occupied and distracted from thoughts of sadness and hopelessness, which can further lead to eating disorders recovery, positive body language, and other emotional benefits.
Dance Therapy Promotes Cognitive Health
Studies have shown that dance exercises improve cognitive and neurological functions. Music therapy is said to stimulate the reward center of the brain, while dancing activates sensory circuits in the body.
Moreover, dance has also shown positive physical, mental, and therapeutic benefits for elderly individuals’ movements and self-esteem. Specifically, dance can also promote emotional effects on psychiatric patients suffering from dementia. Therapeutic dancing provides them with something to focus on, keeping their mental attention. In turn, dancing helps improve their memory and self-awareness.
Dance Therapy Relieves Stress
“There are so many ways stress creeps into our lives, yet if we take control of our time and make proactive and healthy decisions, we can stop these negative cycles and truly take care of our mental health,” says Sonja Seglin, LCPC.
While dance may seem daunting to others, dance exercise can actually be a form of stress reliever or stress reduction process. When you find the type of exercise you want to do, it can actually be fun.
Dance is a common form of enjoyable exercise and physical expression and integration, according to the American Dance Therapy Association. Hence, a dance therapist in clinical practice provides participants in the communities with an avenue to forget their problems during a dance therapy session and issues and focus more on the dance as a healing art.
The opportunity to socialize with others in treatment centers or rehabilitation centers also provides a critical perspective for psychosocial interventions and a way to de-stress; that’s why dance movement therapy with the help of dance movement therapists works.
It Allows Creative Expression
Everyone has an outlet for their creativity and emotions. Some people make music, and others write and express their feelings through their work. Dance is another method of nonverbal communication skills in which people can have the power to showcase their creativity and feelings without needing further research. If you’re looking for expressive arts that will serve as an avenue to create something of your own, dance therapy can be a great option.
Molly Bowman, MS, LPC once said, “With attention, curiosity, and permission to be expressed, those emotions start to become unstuck and move through”
Dance movement therapy participants may create dance routines or movements out of memories and specific emotions with the help of qualified dance therapists. Think of it as if you were to write in a journal about positive body image awareness through physical education. Although, this way, instead of using words on paper, the words are steps and movements. The space around them is the paper and canvas on which people write and paint their thoughts.
Joy Dance Movement Therapy can merit lots of physical and mental benefits. “The foundation of therapy is based on the relationship you build with your therapist. When seeking someone out it’s important you feel comfortable with them,” says Elana Schechtman-Gil LMFT.
Dancing Therapy FAQs
What Are The Benefits Of Dance Therapy?
Dance therapy benefits include improved emotional expression, physical health, and self-esteem, as well as stress reduction and enhanced social interaction. Additionally, the positive effects of dance therapy make it a valuable treatment option for various emotional and psychological challenges.
How Is Dance Therapy Different From Regular Dancing?
What Kind Of Issues Can Dance Therapy Help With?
Is Dance Therapy Evidence-Based?
How Does Dance Therapy Affect Your Mental Health?
Does dancing release trauma in a therapeutic relationship?
Is dance therapy a form of physical therapy?
How does a single dance intervention heal trauma?
Does dance help with PTSD?
What does dance movement therapy look like?
What are the stages of dance therapy?
Who benefits from dance therapy?
How does dance therapy help depression?
What is the origin of dance therapy?
What are the different types of movement therapy?