Try not to move anything but your eyes as you read this paragraph.
What shape is your body making right now? Are you curled up? Are you
stretched out, or are you lying on a sofa? Do not move! What body
parts are touching? How is your head supported? Were you aware of
your breathing while you were reading? Now move, change your posture.
Change the way you hold yourself. Change your breath. WE ARE, IN
FACT, ALWAYS MOVING.
has always been magic in movement, but in such variety and in so many
places, that it is hard to know where to start talking about it.
Dancing can be seductive, enchanting, coquettish, demure, innocent or
haughty -- there is no limit to the subtlety of this form of
what is dancing anyway -- it has rules, for sure. It has steps,
movements of the limbs and it has logic and reason. Don't we all want
to become nature itself, be the sky, the wave, the breeze -- at some
point of time?
is an intensity of spirit, a passionate compulsion. Thrown into the
world of dance, amateurs gradually develop movement, incredible
precision and superb grace. Rudolf Laban, encouraged running about in
bare-feet improvising self-expression.
city of Bangalore. A little figure waddles into one of the rooms.
From the look of her, she seems distressed, confused and in pain.
"only when I move do I feel," says the lady -- a statement
best understood by dancers and therapists.
alone are not enough to express the totality of experience.
movement therapy had its beginnings in the 1940's and was based on
the premise that mind and body are inseparable, that what is
experienced in the mind is also experienced in the body.
is a meaningful part of many different treatment modalities. Although
physical therapy, "fitness" programs, creative movement and
dance movement therapy all use movement, each modality has its own
woman paralyzed on one side said, "We get together to be
together. Then we do as much as we do. It's okay." That was a
perfect statement. Physical limitations need not prevent
participation in dance therapy. An accepting, non-judgmental
atmosphere in which people feel free to function within the limits of
their own capabilities is essential. In such an environment,
activities such as making sounds, singing, telling stories or simply
touching one another is especially meaningful.
therapists, the world over, feel that the language used in guiding a
group is a critical factor. Feeling unable to participate, certain
individuals may drop out or resist. If directions are offered as
suggestions, it is less likely that people will feel excluded.
Therefore, a wise dance therapist will wait for the group norms to
develop, and lo and behold! The participants themselves come up with
suggestions that include individuals with physical limitations.
Therapy (DT) provides an opportunity to mobilize feelings of loss,
anger and frustration and express them through group activities and
gain support and validation by sharing the feelings with others.
the renowned psychologist suggested that expressive body movement is
one of the numerous ways to give form to the unconscious. Creative
art therapies have come a long way and are now recognized as
beneficial and significant.
movement, that is widely used in hospitals and offices share some of
the goals that characterize fitness programmes. But there are
additional aims such as encouraging emotional responses, facilitating
social interaction. Movement activities are not the primary goal of
the group experience, but rather a toll for creating a therapeutic
"has a chronic psychological problem", diagnosed the
doctor. His friend took him to a DT session where emphasis was given
to a consistent orienting environment. Since Satish was often on anti
depressant medication combined with structured interpersonal milieu,
he gradually began to show adaptive functioning that prevented
further social withdrawal and repression. Satish is now a terrific
mover and does stage shows!
aren't always the solution. Some health problems can be managed with
natural treatments, so welcome to DT!
headaches, swollen glands, digestive disorders, inability to
concentrate, memory loss repeated infections, and depressions -- all
have their remedy in DT. Gentle but gradually increasing exercise is
normally recommended because avoiding all activity can make the
situation worse. A program of pacing activities is devised so that
sudden exertion does not set you back; and allows time for
relaxation. DT helps learn what you can do on a daily basis without
exacerbating your condition. Here's a lovely warm up exercise before
the commencement of an actual therapy session. Start by standing or
lying down. Imagine a small puddle of oil in palm of each hand. Move
your hand around so the oil can get deep into the joints, muscles,
knuckles and fingertips. Let the flow be easy, continuous, sinuous,
no sudden starts or stops. Let the oil proceed up through the wrists,
lower arm and the elbow. Then onto the shoulder with smooth
continuous movement. Once one part of the body gets oiled it
continues to move in the same way, it does not stop. Likewise, oil
the rest of your body with the sustained flow and move a little
faster, then faster still. Do not get jerky; keep the sense of
and have fun!
purpose for dancing will be personal. As you dance memories and
emotions and ideas will be triggered. Your capacity to sense the
world will become more acute. You will see more, heal more, feel more
and generally be more alive to your world. Patterns, postures,
gestures --- is that all dancing connotes? Come observe the movement
and stillness (!!) of dance. Feel your imagination run amuck and
blissfully enter the world of therapeutic dancing.
was an ordinary happy-go-lucky girl. At the age of 14, after a bout
of glandular fever, she once again fell ill. Sleep did not refresh
her; her head ached constantly. Her throat was sore and she suffered
from strange panic attacks, accompanied by a racing pulse. Doctors
brushed it off casually saying it was yet another case of school
phobia. Jo remained home.
she discovered Qi Gong (also spelt as chi kung) Qi Gong is an ancient
Chinese system of breathing, gentle movement and visualization, which
is said to generate and improve the circulation of "qi"
(life energy) in the body. Joanna got hooked to Qi Gong in a big way.
It helped her restore health and harmony in the flow of energy.
Joanna is now back at work and is in perfect tune with her body. DT
has broader goals integrating physiology, psychology and sociology.
Such therapy gives meaning to movement through the development of
images, encourages emotional responses and processing of both
positive and negative responses, facilitates and supports social
involves a whole gamut of empathic movements developed by pioneer
dance therapist, Manan Chace. Therapist do not come to a session with
a preconceived plan of activities, but rely on verbal and non-verbal
cues from the group. Suggestions rather than commands characterize
this approach; so that the therapist serves as a catalyst not a
piano was playing. Ketaki sang. "Here we go, into the wild blue
yonder." Adesh who could not walk due to a stroke, stamped his
feet rhythmically, Laila moved her feet despite a fractured hip. The
energy level increased in the room and there was dance all around
to real life!
A wide formation contributes to the feeling of group unity and
increases opportunity for eye contact. Because everyone is visible,
even those with hearing difficulties are able to participate by
following others. Visually impaired individuals can be seated next to
the therapist. Although participants may move into other spatial
formations such as lines or spiral or scatter around the room, the
circle is desirable for beginning and ending groups. It is
particularly important for physically challenged or disoriented
people as it facilitates touch and communication.
With clear rhythmic beats. Allow the music to tap into your natural
inclination to respond to rhythm. Let there be variety -- perhaps
some Jazz, Blues, Rock, Indian classical, Folk melodies or even wacky
Most DT sessions are vocal. The movers make sounds while moving a
"hum", "ah", "wee" --- these sounds
stimulate breathing, circulation and central body movement. Any sound
that a personal group offers can be incorporated.
To stimulate activity and interaction, certain props such as balls,
colored scarves, various lengths of a material are particularly
useful. These objects can be used to motivate movements such as
squeezing, punching, tugging and throwing.