Dance Therapist Job Description

Dance is the movement of the body in time to music or rhythms. In ancient times, people thought that when they dance they would please their gods. Then these gods will help them in their lures and worries. For many reasons, they had many dances such as war dances, hunting dances, and rain dances. People also dance when they are happy. That is why no wonder, dances has been a part of special events and occasions such as weddings, holidays, festivities. Dancing also has been a hobby for some; they enroll to some ballet dance studios to furnish their talents and etc. Some are just naturally born dancers. Nowadays, Dance is one effective therapy used to stabilize emotional, social, thinking or cognition, and physical conditions. It has been one of the most valued therapies these days.

Dance therapy originated in the United Kingdom in the person of Marian Chace. The Dance Movement Therapy has been used as an effective therapy for over years, way back nineteenth century up to present. The introduction of DMT was lead by Marian Chace, and the founder of dance therapy in the United States. Marian Chace was a choreographer, a dancer and a performer. She opened her own and first dancing school in Washington D.C and saw the effect of dance to her students. Later that part, she was asked to work in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital still in Washington. A therapist of the hospital observed the positive effects the dance lesson with Marian Chace affected their patients. She became the first president of American Dance Association in year 1966.

What is a dance therapist?

A dance therapist is the one who leads the dancing routines. He or she is also responsible for planning, organizing dancing activities that will help the mental condition and physical wellness of a patient. A dance therapist also can do observation on the progress or regression of the patient’s mental capacity and do some body treatment movements. A dance therapist can also modify the patient’s therapy as needed and as observed.

Duties of a Dance Therapist

Dance therapists are entitled to do some or all of the following duties:

  • Assess patients and check reports from psychiatrists, physicians, teachers and others to determine patients’ latest and potential functioning stage
  • Train individualized and group therapy plans either self-reliantly or via interdisciplinary group approach
  • Carry out therapy plan by performing specialized therapy sessions using techniques such as dance, athletic, art, music or recreational therapy, or remedial gymnastics
  • Dance therapist observe and examine patients during sessions
  • They record observations, write progress notes and consult with other health care professionals
  • Initiate, planning, design, and implement specialized therapy sessions for the patient population

Work Settings of a Dance Therapist

A dance therapist works in some facilities that they can truly maximize their skills in terms of dancing and doing therapy. You will actually need dance therapist in these areas: Psychiatric hospitals, day-care facilities, mental health clinics, special schools, correctional facilities and rehabilitation centers.

Education and Trainings of a Dance Therapist

In order to become an efficient dance therapist, a background of dancing is required. You must love and know how to dance. Dance education also includes choreography. A dance therapist usually has an equal training of psychotherapy or counseling or even Master’s degree. Training on dance and movement is must before you will be entitled as a registered Dance Therapist. A Dance Therapist Registered (DTR) is required to have at least 700 hours experience of clinical training. For those who can complete with 3,640 hours of clinical work training is entitled as Academy of dance Therapist Registered (ADTR). Once you have completed your ADTR requirements or education which will be conducted by ADTR instructors, you are now qualified to apply.

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