Part of Les Grands Ballets’ broader vision, the National Centre for Dance Therapy (NCDT) uses dance to promote the health and well-being of individuals. Its implementation phase (2013-2016) involves pilot projects conducted in association with various partners from the health and social services sectors. The first project of its kind to be conceived and implemented by a cultural company, the National Centre for Dance Therapy is also the only one in the world offering three interconnected services: dance / movement therapy services, clinical research, and developing a Canadian training program in dance therapy.
Dance/movement therapy (DMT) ﬁrst emerged in the United States in the 1940s, when various pioneers developed methods based on diverse approaches to bodily movement. It is used either as a complement to various medical or psychotherapeutic treatments,
DMT can also be used in therapeutic programs of rehabilitation, health maintenance and the development of creativity. More than traditional forms of exercise, dance therapy helps people who have become isolated due to illnesses or social conditions. It enables them to socialize and better express themselves than with regular physical activities.
The National Centre for Dance Therapy, along with its multiple institutional and financial partners, creates dance/movement therapy programs for various clienteles. We have already completed two pilot and research projects, currently have five projects
Commission scolaire Marie-Victorin
Target population: students with moderate intellectual disabilities and multiple disabilities, as well as students with behavioral and learning disabilities Objective : to use dance/movement therapy as a socialization tool for children and adolescents with moderate intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities and to prevent school dropouts Research partners : Université de Sherbrooke and UQAM
Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine
Target population: adolescents with eating disorders
Objective: to gauge the effects of dance/movement therapy on these patients
Research partner: Université de Sherbrooke
Centre jeunesse de Montréal
Target population: girls from 5 to 11 years old sheltered under youth protection laws
Objective: to integrate dance/movement therapy into the arsenal of tools used by professionals in social interventions, such as psychologists, social workers, and more
Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal
Target population: patients of the Mental Health Unit for Women Serving a Federal Sentence
Objective: to integrate dance/movement therapy into the various treatment modalities offered on the unit
Research partner: University of Ottawa
St-Andrew Residential Centre
Target population : low-functioning seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's
Objective: stimulation, relaxation, connection, self-esteem, and maximizing cognitive and communication skills.
Partnering with the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal and Concordia’s PERFORM Centre, this first research project was completed from 2013 to 2016 and aimed to evaluate physical activity programs, such as dance/movement therapy, that were expected tosignificantly augment participation to such events in our elderly population. Research is led by Dr. Louis Bherer and preliminary data were presented at the 49th and 50th annual conferences of the ADT, in 2014 and 2015, as well as the Journées d’étude du vieillissement in Caen, in September 2014.
In collaboration with the CHUM and the Centre de réadaptation Villa-Medica, a pilot project was lead by Dr. Celine Odier in 2013. The research measured the feasibility of incorporating a DMT professional in a multidisciplinary team in acute care. The project targeted patients having suffered from an AVC thirty days before the sessions started.
At present, there is no complete university training program in Canada specializing in dance/movement therapy. Canadian students wishing to pursue a career in this ﬁeld must go to the United States to access graduate-level training.
Owing to a
In 1966, the founding of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) allowed dance therapists to have a structuring organization to support them by setting up a professional accreditation and, therefore, a professional recognition.
In 2005, national
In 2012, the Canadian community of dance/movement therapists joined forces and created their own association, the Dance Movement Therapy Association in Canada (DMTAC).
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