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DM Therapy

What is dance/movement therapy?

Dance/movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of the individual.

– The American Dance Therapy Association

Dance therapy is based on the principle that body-mind is in a constant reciprocal or bi-lateral relationship.  When we are moving, dancing, running, swimming, playing, we notice a shift in our mood and our thoughts change in content or pattern. We often feel “better” … and perhaps leave it at that. I often hear, “dance, it’s ‘good’ exercise”. Moving helps us feel better.

We know that this relationship works both ways. What and how we think and feel emerges in our bodies in movement.  Movements may be the smallest tensions, internal clenching to large expansive movement, like the anxious knot in the pit of one’s stomach, the narrowing between eyebrows when we are puzzled, the catapulting air moment of victorious exultation. We feel our ‘feelings’ in our bodies and use “body language” to create a canvas for what we are saying.

Dance/Movement therapy is one of the licensed creative arts therapies (LCAT) in New York State. The credential BC-DMT signifies the dance/movement therapist has achieved board certification by the American Dance Therapy Association permitting him/her to work in private practice. More information about dance/movement therapy can be found at

Movement is the medium in which we live.

– Marian Chace, founder of the ADTA

Dance is the high art of movement, it is a celebration of the human experience. 

Dance is the celebration of individual expressiveness in movement, moving body language into centerstage as a primary expressive tool. Dance is also the celebration of community and the cultural life of people.  The rhythms, formations, and role of dance to honor individual roles and communal changes is documented to pre-historic times.  Dance and movement are with us from the beginning, as individuals developing in utero and through our evolutionary journey.

Dance/movement therapy is both art and science.  It is the art and science of connecting with the unique individual or group, how the dance/movement therapist uses movement tools to build trust, develop relationship, foster support through shared rhythm, synchrony of experience, symbolic and imagistic movement.

  • Dance/movement therapy offers a way of tapping into the vitality of being alive and a way of expressing all that it is to be human.

  • Dance therapy offers a way to making conscious connections between emotions and movement.

  • Dance therapy offers a way to be seen, understood and accepted, to hold and let go, to embody all that we are, grieve what we no longer have, and find hope for what we are yet to be.

Common factors of growth and integration happen through conscious awareness of body, expansion of movement qualities, range, eliciting imagery, supporting and enhancing coordination, and fully developing movement expression meaningful to individuals and within a group. The science of dance/movement therapy is broad sweeping and lies in understanding the fundamentals of dance individually, socially as well as culturally.  It rests in the understanding of the neuro-muscular activity of our bodies, qualitative and quantitative aspects of movement range, developmental patterns, and an ever widening and deepening understanding of our body-mind relationship. It incorporates psychological, developmental and learning theories that support the individual and group to move toward their best health, emotionally, physically, cognitively, and socially. It is the science of understanding the components of dance that are innately therapeutic and pairing this knowledge with the therapeutic process for an individual as well as a group.

The art of dance/movement therapy is how the therapist joins and progressively moves each individual or group toward a larger palate of movement, coaxing individual spontaneity and utilizing emergent movement patterns, symbols or images to foster growth and integration. The art is in the process of the dance knowing where the client is, what the goal is and that the dance between start and end is a well-informed process and creatively unique to the individuals in the room. The emerging choreography is dependent on the uniqueness of the client’s experience, creativity and expression.

What does dance/movement therapy look like?

Marie’s current practice

Current Practice

Individual dance/movement psychotherapy,

movement re-education


Weekdays/evenings in-person at:

2 Summit Court

Ste. 204

Fishkill, NY 12524

Joy of Dance! Dance movement therapy for people with Parkinson’s Disease and/or Dementia

Joy of Dance, dance/movement therapy, is now offered as an in-home service. Individual dance/movement therapy sessions for people who are home-bound, in Putnam County, northern Westchester,  southern Dutchess or surrounding towns, may be scheduled by contacting Marie; weekday morning or afternoon appointments are available.

Payment: Now accepting Cigna/Evernorth

What does Dance/Movement Therapy look like?

Dance/movement therapy comes in many forms and in my 20 years of practice each session is a unique development of movements shared and developed into a clear group expression. The dance/movement therapist meets the client(s) with what their strengths are, what movement is available and possible.  Each session looks slightly different in it's warm-up, development of movements that express and explore feelings, how we strengthen the relationships between group members and the creation of our unique dance that brings a sense of integration and wholeness to the group and each member. The individual takes the benefit of the group movement with him, her, or them.  Unlike traditional dance classes there are not a set of steps or a distinct protocol.  Click below to see a clip from a dance/movement therapy session, JOY OF DANCE: a dance/movement therapy group for people with Parkinson’s disease.

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