Making our mark — an introduction to dance therapy in Australia

Dance-movement therapy as a formal profession began in the United States in the 1940s, when professional dancers were invited by psychiatrists to work with groups of returned servicemen recovering from war trauma and other patients in psychiatric hospitals. In Australia, dance-movement therapy grew out of dance in education and creative dance and the early Australian pioneers were already working
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Dance-movement therapy as a formal profession began in the United States in the 1940s, when professional dancers were invited by psychiatrists to work with groups of returned servicemen recovering from war trauma and other patients in psychiatric hospitals. In the 1960s the American Dance Therapy Association was formed.

In Australia, dance-movement therapy grew out of dance in education and creative dance and the early Australian pioneers were already working in the 60s. The Dance-movement therapy Association of Australia was formed in 1994.

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Heather Hill
About the Author
Dr Heather Hill was coordinator and lecturer on the dance therapy courses at RMIT (Education Dept), and is now lecturer at Miecat (Melbourne Institute for Experiential and Creative Arts Therapies). She has taught various courses in dance therapy and is the author of Invitation to the Dance: Dance for people with dementia and their carers (Stirling University Books).