Why I Want To Be A Dance Movement Therapist

I Want To Use Dance To Help Children With Special Needs

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) can be one of the best ways to help people with special needs and most people don't even know it exists.

51
views

When I was a kid, I always knew I wanted to help people. I felt a connection to the kids with special needs and all I wanted to do was help make their day a little better. Once I even cried in kindergarten because the kid with Down syndrome was sitting next to someone else at lunch. It was that serious to me.

People with special needs are, indeed, special people. Not because they have physical or mental limitations, but because they see the world in a different light than others do. That light could be overwhelming for them to experience every day, but it is beautiful. The way their minds work is beautiful.

As I grew older, I observed my cousin, who has special needs, riding horses as a means of therapy. It helped her mentally, emotionally, and physically. Since I knew how much dance affected me, as an able-bodied person, I pondered how dance could be used to help those with special needs. That's when the seed of my chosen career path was planted in my brain.

I didn't even know what Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) was, or that it even existed. I thought I would be doing something revolutionary, not knowing that other people already knew how dramatic the results can be when dance is used as therapy. At age 15, I found out that DMT was an actual graduate degree, with actual programs and an actual national association.

DMT, as defined by the American Dance Therapy Association, is "the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, and cognitive integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health or well-being." This can be applied to anyone: those with depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, physical disabilities, the elderly. The list goes on and on.

Now, at age 18, I am a Kinesiology major. I chose this program as a stepping stone to the specific program of DMT, but I already know that's what I want to do. I have watched videos and read stories of children and adults alike who use DMT as a way to strengthen their bodies and emotional, mental, and social skills. I know dance can make a huge impact on someone, as it has made a huge impact on me.

Dance has helped me grow as an individual by allowing me to express myself, relieve stress, and meet new people. It has refined my physical skills, as well as social and emotional well-being. Dance is a passion of mine and I want to spread that to as many people as possible.

Using DMT, I want to create a supportive environment for the kids who need a little extra from those around them. I want to build a connection with them, to understand them, to help them understand themselves. Dance is an excellent way to release pent up stress, anger, or sadness. It can help with muscle limitations and motor skills. I want to teach them how they can use what dance gives them in the outside world.

People with special needs and disabilities are people, too. They might have emotional or mental issues and they might experience this life in a way we can't always understand, but they deserved to be loved and included. Dance is only one of the ways we can make those people see that and know that they are accepted, as well as help them feel comfortable within themselves. That will be my mission for the rest of my life.

Popular Right Now

ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

3140
views

Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100 percent real" and that incoming freshman should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

7 Things You'll Need To Start A Bullet Journal

The art of journalling begins.

5
views

Bullet journals are slowly taking over. There are Instagram pages dedicated to them and Pinterest boards full of ideas. It's an easy way to stress relief and get some creativity moving. You can make it literally anything you want to.

Here are seven things you need to start one.

1. Journal

This can be anywhere from a sketchbook, to a dotted journal, to a college ruled journal. The options are endless, like many things about bullet journaling. Pick the journal you believe will suit you best.

2. Art Supplies

Pens. Color pencils. Watercolor. Acrylic. Anything art related works! This journal is for you so it differs between person to person. Some people only want pens and others want everything from paint to stickers. Get the things you think you'll want but don't worry, you don't need to get everything at one. Let it flow.

3. Inspiration!!!

This is personally one of my favorite things. Looking for inspiration is just fun! Go to Pinterest or check out Instagram pages. There is so much people do with their journals and so much you can do that I am not sure if it's possible to run out of inspiration and ideas.

4. Plan

Plan what you want this journal to be, but also don't plan too much. Let yourself have creative space and let yourself make mistakes.

5. Prepare for mistakes

Mistakes are part of life and they are for sure part of bullet journaling. You really just have to go with the flow when they happen. You can cover them up with pictures and such or you can embrace them and create something out of them.

6. A start date

Not actually though!!! You don't need to wait until January 1st to start a journal, you can start it at any time. So start it today or tomorrow or whenever your heart desires.

7. Get creative

This is your time to shine. You are in control. So take control and get creative with what you want to do.

Related Content

Facebook Comments