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Dance your Way to Joy and Healing- Zimbabwean Proverb: If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing

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Dancing is to the body, what reading or studying is to the brain.

What would your mind be without the inspiration from what you read even if your cognitive understanding has limitations? What would your body be without the joy of movement or dance even with your limitations of agility?

Your reading exercises your brain and can be a source of joy and allow you grow in ways you did not even consider possible beforehand; let your dancing also be a source of joy and inspiration.

Your body is an amazing miracle and can also grow in grace and you can perfect the nature within it. By simply appreciating the ability to move with whatever limitations nature or life has bestowed on us we can perfect that movement whether it is simply sitting down or getting up. You do not have to be an artist to allow your self-expression to find a means through drawing or painting likewise you do not have to be a dancer to allow your self expression to shine from the beat and the rhythm and as soon as you do, you forget about those two left feet, you forget about self-consciousness and daily life worries. (See the gentleman with the crutches on the video link :) Watch and see the joy of dancing���Exercise improves learning on three levels: first, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus�۝ (2008, 53)....building muscles and conditioning the heart and lungs are essentially side effects. I often tell my patients that the point of exercise is to build and condition the brain�۝ (p. 3).

In many cultures dance provides healing rituals. The tarantella dance of Italy is believed to have originated as a cure from the bite of the deadly tarantula spider. Tarantella Dance and in many dances in Africa the spirit you bring to dance is the source of your healing African Healing Dance

Physical or emotional problems are treated more and more within the network of one's life and include physical movement. Approaches to counselling which emerged in the 1990s such as the wellness approach, involve the integration of mind, body, and spirit for finding joy and happiness within our lives. Biomedical research now indicate that our feelings, beliefs, attitudes, spiritual life, and physical well-being are closely intertwined. Staples, Atti, and Gordon (2011) found improvements in depression symptoms and a lowered sense of hopelessness when 129 Palestinian children and adolescents participated in a mind-body skills group, which included self expression through movement, drawing, meditation, guided imagery, breathing techniques, autogenic training, biofeedback etc. Lin et al. (2010), participants found improvement from depression and greater personal awareness through the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is a music-centered depth approach to transformational therapy that uses selected sequences of classical music to support the generation of and movement through inner experiences. The participants reported release in mind-body rigidity, greater awareness, and personal inspiration and indicated cognitive and behavioural transformation.

Ratey, J.J. 2008. SPARK: The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain. New York: Little, Brown. Staples, J., Atti, J., & Gordon, J. (2011). Mind-body skills groups for posttraumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms in Palestinian children and adolescents in Gaza. International Journal of Stress Management, 18(2), 246-262. doi:10.1037/a0024015
Lin, J., Hsu, J., Chang, J., Hsu, Y., Chou, M., & Crawford, P. (2010). Pivotal movements and changes in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music for patients with depression. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19, 1139-1148. doi: 10.111/j.1365-2702.2009.03140x

The European Association Dance Movement Therapy (EADMT)

The European Association Dance Movement Therapy (EADMT) represents national professional Dance Movement Therapy associations in Europe, working actively to promote their further development of professional practice and the legal recognition of the profession.

Building Resilience through Dance Movement Therapy

Dr. Rosemarie Samaritter The Netherlands a researcher at Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam (NL) and Zuyd University, Heerlen (NL). Senior Dance Movement Therapist at Centre for Experiential Dynamic Therapy, EDT Maastricht (NL).
Dr Samaritter talks about her experience with fragile clients and demonstrates how the body provides information on client's experiences and can assist in their articulation and its calming characteristics.

Therapeutic Effects of Dance and Movement

Dance and movement therapy (DMT), evolved from this traditional idea that dancing has the power to heal, and dance therapists use the power of dance and movement to help individuals access their own natural ability to heal and grow. Therapists are part of mental health professions, they participate in the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance for emotional, cognitive, social, behavioural and physical conditions.

An example of Dance Movement Therapy

Dance Movement Therapy Master Programmes