Dance Movement Therapy

A 5-day intensive introduction course in dance movement therapy at Codarts Rotterdam.

10/20/20233 min read

In the last week, I participated in a 5-day introduction course in Dance Movement Therapy at Codarts, Rotterdam, which consisted of experiential work and lectures on different approaches to dance movement therapy. This week was very important for me, as I am highly sensitive to movement. Still, I felt I needed additional training to open up my body and engage in the 'lived experience' of dancing myself. I wanted to expose myself to the full practice of how to move and be moved within a large group and how the 'felt sense' in my body would intuitively lead me into expressing deep emotions that have been contained inside of me. I also wanted to comprehend how I could use the potential of kinaesthetic empathy, attunement and Laban Movement qualities into my PhD-project. Therefore, I decided to partake the journey into an introductory class for upcoming Master-students in Dance Movement Therapy at Codarts.

This introductory course into dance movement therapy consists of theory and methods that discuss and explore the importance of play, the ‘not knowing stance’, embodied presence and empathic reflection in (therapeutic) relationships. In my literature review, I have read a lot about 'kinaesthetic awareness' and the 'felt sense', so I know what it is. Yet, I needed to engage in in-person connections which resemble what it feels like being in a professional dance environment. This summer, I have joined the online summerschool Music and Dance/Movement Therapy at the SRH Hochschule Heidelberg, which was much more energising and connecting that I had expected. Therefore, I had already been able to practice dance movement therapy exercises within the comfort (or harassment) of the interface in-between people.

This week was very intensive, yet fruitful. I noticed how my body was slowly transforming during the week, from being one kind of organ towards becoming a patchwork of emotions and sensations. It felt like I was materialising my body's existence from within. Rather than exemplifying the shape of my body, or enacting its muscles, its limbs, organs and skin, my body became a landscape through which I travelled, as it was opening up and expressing itself to myself and others. I felt I would not know anything beforehand about what I wanted to express. I could only try to engage in the practice fully, facilitating the space for myself to move forward by navigating the exercises from within (rather than just moving around) and daring myself to connect my arms, my hips, belly and chest, my shoulders, elbows, wrist and fingers, and my head and hair to every kind of sensation that was inside of me. There was a high sense of trust and all bodies felt like organic materials that could be explored for its potential. Together with 20 other participants, we explored ourselves and others in how 'to be moved'. This meant that one could not always withdraw from tears, due to the subconscious processes that emerged from the exercises. For me, this was particularly present during the exercises using the voice in relation to movement. This holistic and expressive way of working suited me well. I have experienced a beautiful week, one that will stay in my body and will be remembered for a long time.


The voice on the move
Our voice is part of our body. This day the focus will be on the perception of your own voice in your body: where is your voice, how to bring it into space? What happens when your dance and voice come together? What happens to your body and dance as the sounds of others influence you? Through your own movement, the movement of others, with hands-on external impulses and playful exercises, a different voice is created. And the voice creates a different body awareness and dance.

Understanding one’s own dance
An introduction into understanding of dance as a creative wheel for expression and transformation, working with one’s own creative potential in dance and recognising personal themes.

Authentic Movement
An introduction to the discipline of Authentic Movement. The experience of entering inner processes will be explored in relation to our own movement and kinesthetic awareness.

Working with the group
The understanding about the many groups we are part of throughout our lives is an important part of our training and this day will offer a brief insight into this aspect. We will not only learn about our own behaviour in groups, but also how to manage group processes in our work as professional DMTs. This day will be a personal adventure about moving and being moved. You are advised to spend some time for reflection before attending. Where do you fit in in this group? What would you like to change about this group if it were possible? How do you feel about the last few days that you have spent together?