Beyond Medical Alternative: Exploring Dance Therapy

Awuawuer Tijime Justin


Dance as an artistic genre is characterized in all cultures, both the past and present, as a form of relaxation or entertainment, ceremonies, rituals and rites of passage. Using a therapeutic theoretical framework of dance, this paper exposes how healing powers have been attributed to dance and movement. The paper unravels the mystery of the early civilizations where dancing and medicine were linked. The paper also explains vividly how Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) is one of expressive arts, which can be a single specialization, or form part of a general expressive arts therapy programs that effectively treat or manage a wide range of emotional and physical ailments. Empirically, this places dance as a primal response to rhythm and music, such that the dance therapist uses the dance principles to help patients to become more in touch with different physical and emotional dimensions of themselves using non-verbal, movement-oriented techniques. The paper concludes that if well utilized by medical practitioners in Nigeria, dance could serve as an alternative therapeutic means, thereby creating collaboration between Health Institutions and the Theatre Industry.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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