Dance movement Therapy in the UK : a Field Emerging from Dance Education
Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) in the UK is derived from dance education, as well as other associated fields. Although DMT is growing in terms of numbers of practitioners and client populations, only very limited information is available concerning the theoretical bases and principles underlying the practice of DMT, as well as the backgrounds of therapists. A nationwide study was therefore undertaken at the University of Manchester, UK (1994–8), which aimed at describing the field of DMT, as well as other Arts Therapies (ATS), as fully as possible. A questionnaire was constructed, based on preliminary ‘in-depth’ interviews with leading arts therapists, five of whom were dance movement therapists, and distributed to all registered members of the ATS associations: 41 dance movement therapists returned completed questionnaires. Results showed the occurrence of high professional qualifications among practitioners as well as a range of backgrounds, including education. A number of theoretical influences and principles was also revealed, deriving from psychoanalytic and developmental theories as well as from DMT traditions, reflecting an overall eclectic approach to movement and therapy. The article also discusses the relevance of DMT to education, teachers and children.