ARTs + Change Virtual Conference

Despite the pandemic, Savitribai Phule Pune University in affiliation with Sancheti Hospital, opened the first Master’s Degree program in Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) in India during the fall of 2021. The program aimed to develop an approach to DMT that integrated vital concepts such as kinesthetic empathy, the cornerstone of western DMT, and India’s lengthy and rich heritage in the arts of dance and music. To start, the students focused on LivingDance~LivingMusic, an approach that centers on fundamental elements of dance, elements that cut across most, if not, all cultures (e.g., pulse, breath, muscle connectivity). They then applied these fundamental concepts to identify elements of Indian rituals and both classical and folk dance that could lay the groundwork for a clinical platform unique to dance/movement therapy in India.

Danielle L. Fraenkel, Ph.D., BC-DMT, LCAT, LMHC, NCC, CGP, Director of Kinections℠ and co-creator of LivingDance~LivingMusic, represents Kinections in the ongoing collaboration among Kinections, Life and Dance, and Sancheti Health Care Academy, that gave rise to SHA’s nine-month certificate program in dance/movement therapy, and India’s first Master’s Degree in Expressive Movement Therapy, (MA-MET). Recipient of the American Dance Therapy Association’s 2014 Excellence in Education Award, “Dr. Dance” currently teaches and develops curricula for Dance/Movement Therapy programs at Kinections, the University of Rochester, Sancheti Health Care Academy, and the Apollo Beijing Consulting Institute. Dr. Dance, as many call her, created LivingDance while working with people struggling with eating disorders. To meet their needs, she returned to her training in dance with Jack Wiener, and developed an approach that views dance/movement therapy, not as an adjunctive modality of psychology, but as a discipline, grounded in the healing inherent in dance.

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  • Smita Rajan

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