Dance is Movement, and movement is what life is all about. From the subtle movement of air when we breath in and breath out, to bigger movements like walking & dancing, from the delicate movement of growth from saplings into huge trees and later the movements of the leaves & branches, our life is surrounded by movement.
Whether you are blessed with a normal physical growth & movement capability or whether you are chosen to look physically different with special abilities, the body still adapts itself to and creates specialized movements. Therefore, one needs to believe that everyone can move and since everyone can move, everybody can dance. Every movement has a rhythm in itself. However, when we try to form movements to a preset rhythm pattern, we call it ‘dance’. And when this rhythmic movement or ‘dance’ is used for a specific purpose, like treatment of a physical ailment or psychological disturbance, we say the movements are being used therapeutically.
The use of body movement as a therapeutic tool is perhaps as old as dance itself. Dance therapy is rooted in the idea that the ‘body and mind are interconnected’ The basic premise of Dance-Movement-Therapy is that, “body movement reflects inner emotional states and that, changes in movement behaviour can lead to changes in psyche, thus promoting health and growth. Helping individuals to regain a sense of wholeness by experiencing the fundamental unity of the body, mind and spirit, is the ultimate goal of dance therapy.
As a practitioner, the idea that attracts me the most towards this concept, is it’s flexibility and applicability to diverse groups. I’m challenged at every point to bring in innovative ideas in order to meet the demands of the group I’m working with. Although it is a therapy, yet it differs from other conventional therapeutic methods, in the sense that it is more enjoyable, active and works on the individual as a whole. DMT practitioners strongly believe in maintaining a non-judgemental attitude towards their clients and there is also unconditional acceptance of the individual-s. Although DMT works best in a group setting, however, in selective cases, planned individual sessions seem more beneficial.
Dance-Movement-Therapy (DMT) helps in increasing self-awareness, self-esteem and personal autonomy. It helps an individual to experience links between thoughts, feelings and actions. It aids in maximizing one’s resources of communication and create a contact with inner resources through contained creative movement play.
For me, the application of DMT techniques on self means ‘keeping myself aware’. It brings me in touch with myself not only with regard to my physical awareness and acceptance, but also to my emotional and spiritual states, analysing my reactions to certain situations, release of and overcoming negative feelings, etc. and all this, through movement.