Creative Dance as a Means of Therapeutic Intervention

Creative dance is based on the connection between the mind and body.  Dance can be used to relieve the effects of stress, tension, trauma, and emotional problems on the body.  The physical exercise also improves strength, ROM, flexibility, balance, and general fitness.  Other ways dance is therapeutic:

  • The use of imagery to share feelings
  • Facilitation of new ways of seeing, thinking, and feeling
  • Observation of movement and emotional communication
  • Exploration of movement possibilities
  • Physical expression through movement, gesture, and posture

The therapist must consider the following in order to reach the goals of quality intervention:

  • Maintain client autonomy in the therapeutic process
  • Encourage the client to practice to establish continuity, to reinforce therapeutic work, and to increase confidence to participate further
  • Specialized knowledge, training, and experience
  • Emphasis on play
  • Create an atmosphere which will allow for a safe and appropriate expression of emotions

Materials needed for the session need to be adapted to meet the client’s needs.  It is important to assess whether the activity is unsuitable for the client.  The therapist should be aware of the health and safety requirements of each client in order to determine contractions.

Examples of Adaptations:

  • Play in movement and sensory processes with children to engage their interest
  • Include families to focus on movement interchange relating to sharing, relationship, accommodation, support, and self-observation.  This allows family members to communicate clearly.
  • With autistic clients, utilize development of tolerance to touch

Suggested Structure for a Creative Dance Session:

Warm up (5-15 minutes)

Introduction of theme (4-5 minutes)

Development of theme (15-30 minutes)

Warm down/closing activity (5-10 minutes)

Each client will have unique needs and goals.  This format  may be varied according to what the focus of the session will be.


Elements of Creative Dance:

  • Tools: the body as a tool of expression to link the mind and body
  • Materials: props and costumes varying greatly in texture, weight, and tactile sensations
  • Equipment: tape player and tapes/cds, percussive instruments, mats and other protective safety measures, footware, and clothing should be loose and comfortable
  • Environment: playing area, gym, studio, clean and well ventilated, the condition of the floor is important (it should be clean, a nonslip surface is crucial)



Lee, D., Luong, S., Metzler, M., Szabo, E., & Vandermeer (2011). Creative dance as a means of therapeutic intervention. Retrieved from

This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola