Marion Chace, the 'First Lady of Dance Therapy' in the USA, whose example is followed with such respect by leading practitioners all over the world, was famously invited at the end of WWII to St Elizabeth's State Mental Hospital in Washington DC, 'to see what could be done' for seriously traumatised returning servicemen and bereaved families. The numbers needing treatment were proving almost overwhelming for doctors and staff. She was chosen because of her record as a well established and 'inspirational' dance teacher from the Denishawn School. 'Inspirational' not just because of her professional skills as dance director, which were already recognised internationally, but also because of the extra hours she willingly put in, helping children who find dance 'difficult.' Underlying reasons for these 'difficulties' can be minor or quite major, from natural timidity to something lying deep within the psyche that must be understood and addressed very urgently. But she knew so well how much unnecessary suffering can be caused when a child's distress is not quickly put right.
This is why our School do not encourage 'dance therapy' practice without the involvement of qualified medical staff. At the very least, diploma candidates setting up their initial small groups (and later providing a workmanlike report for the Examiners) are advised to make a local doctor or health centre aware of their initiative. The moment a doubt creeps in concerning a particular child who does not respond in the way the practitioner had hoped, nothing must be left to chance.
Marion Chace must have always been aware of that need for 'back-up', for her work as a teacher was already so well known to the medical world. Later, it was the unswerving co-operation between herself and the outstanding medical teams at St Elizabeth's which placed 'dance therapy' at last on the medical map. Our School believe that without this kind of staunch co-operation, our children will not be getting the best we adults can provide for them.
Choosing your age group for the 12-week practical programme for Full International Diploma. (Candidates will find that many of their ideas for the Foundation Course can be used as a base.) The 'welcome' warm-up without words and how to use the power of rhythm to break the ice. The 'magic' of togetherness. Effectiveness empowerment 'Dance helps me tell other people how I feel'.
Group entity, group feeling, 'caring about others.' 'Dancing in groups v. dancing alone.' Getting closer to nature. 'Being in touch with our cultural roots.' Dance styles with specific features when used as therapy.
From a child who has never danced (and hates the idea) to the irrepressible would-be performer yearning to go on the stage at once, our practitioners must be 'ready for anything.' Encouraging performance is at the heart of our method. 'Aiming to please' and wishing to have their talent recognised can be signs that participants are on the road to recovery. Plans for the 'end of term' get-together with parents and friends can be discussed quite early on in your 12-week programme. Seeing their own progress on video works wonders too.
Calm and tranquillity can be discovered or rediscovered at any age and are so vital to a healthy lifestyle. Dances for 'breathing, awareness, discovery.' (A few JUST4U tips in this Unit for the practitioner too if things ever get a little fraught!)
A successful practitioner will quickly attract attention. Lots of questions will surely arise! How to 'defend' your method in the workplace. (And earn a great reputation for reliability and professionalism!)
Appendix Planning the end-of-term 'get-together.'
It is planned to issue a Workbook with this course included in the price of £120.00. (This fee also includes, in the usual way, a full set of printed course material, individual tuition and assessments of your written work, and guidance on producing your final 'report for examiners'. It does not, however, include the Examiners' fee, which is £40.00, payable when you submit your Report.)
Don't forget, our School's Full International Diploma will be accompanied by an equivalent Diploma from UNESCO CID, together with membership.
The Workbook will contain examples from round the world contributed by guest teachers and other experts, diploma holders and advanced students of past and present. Adrian attaches great importance to the Workbook - (yes, of course, it contains examples of his work too!) - because it gives candidates an opportunity to 'analyse' what constitutes acceptable dance therapy practice at 'community' (non-psychiatric) level. and provides clear examples of 'what to aim for' when 'making dances for children in difficult circumstances.'
Both the Course and the Workbook will be ready for new enrolments from mid-January 2015. With the festive season not very far away, this offers a 'breathing space' for those students who have not yet achieved their Theory Diploma but hope to do so soon, and those newcomers who have not yet decided to commit to studying with our School. (Everyone must achieve the Theory Diploma before embarking on either the 'Sharing Dance' or 'Making Dances' programmes.)
Enjoying the Festive Season uninterrupted by study is a very important precept of our School. We all need this break your teachers too! But if you can manage it, please enrol for the Foundation Course as soon as you like you could be well on your way to your Theory Diploma by mid-January. (A prolonged Festive Season is not ideal for everyone though - our School will be hard at work as usual, except for the week between Christmas and New Year.)
A little early perhaps, but wishing you all the very best for your preparations. We are hoping to welcome lots of new Task Force 2014 members as we begin a new year of 'working together'. Finally a big THANK YOU to all our loyal supporters and wellwishers where would we be without that steady flow of goodwill messages? Most importantly, we know these are truly meant!
Good luck, everyone!
Director of Studies
Member UNESCO CID 29 October, 2014