A group of young children laugh with delight as the colorful parachute opens out among them and the fabric rises and falls with their movement. Students in power wheelchairs weave around one another as part of a piece they are developing in an after-school dance class. A student accepts the therapist’s hand and they move slowly together.
Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) creates a safe, supportive and joyful environment that opens up new possibilities for youngsters’ self expression and social interaction and increased capacity for movement by expanding their movement repertoire. DMT helps children establish an awareness of their whole self with movement activities that involve many senses—kinesthetic, touch, hearing and vision.
The therapist designs experiences that stimulate, redirect and relax youngsters on both a physical and mental level, supporting emotional self expression and helping each child to integrate mind, body and spirit. For children with very poor motor control, DMT often provides the motivation to expend the effort toward purposeful movement, with evident pleasure. HMS added DMT to its therapeutic programs in 2000, and it has become an essential tool to enhance students’ development.