Well-being and dance movement therapy interventions (including dance improvisation)

Specific dance movement therapy interventions – which are successful? An intervention and correlation study.
Iris Bräuninger. The Arts in Psychotherapy, Available online 19 August 2014, In Press, Accepted Manuscript. *Article does not have free open access.


•Specific DMT [Dance Movement Therapy] interventions could be identified that relate to the improvement of well-being.
•Dance Improvisation, Spatial and Effort Synchrony, and working with a Focus were effective individual DMT interventions.
•Improvement of QOL [Quality of Life], coping, stress with Psychodynamic, Chace DMT, directive-non-directive Leading and Interpersonal Closure.
•A small number of specific DMT interventions should be used cautiously until further research proves their effectiveness.
•970 intervention checklists on individual and 120 on group DMT interventions were analyzed.”

Abstract: “This intervention study examines the correlation between specific DMT interventions and the improvement in quality of life, stress management, and stress reduction. Dance therapists (N = 11) filled out 970x Intervention Checklist 1 (specific interventions at the individual level) and 120x Intervention Checklist 2 (specific interventions at the group level) while leading 10 sessions. Individual level therapists’ scoring of the Intervention Checklists were correlated with individual level clients’ scoring from the standardized questionnaires of the treatment group (n= 97). Therapists worked successfully when applying a self-selected approach and mixing in-depth DMT approaches and specific interventions. The findings show that a relationship exists between clients’ improvement in Quality of Life, coping, reduction of Stress and the use of Psychodynamic-oriented DMT, Chace approach, a combination of a Directive/Non-Directive Leadership Style, and an Interpersonal Closure. Clients’ Daily Life improved and Somatization symptoms decreased when Dance Improvisation, Spatial Synchrony, Synchrony in Efforts and working with a Focus were used. Results indicate that specific DMT interventions could be identified that relate to the improvement of well-being while some single DMT interventions should be used cautiously until further research proves their effectiveness. There is a continuing need to identify successful specific DMT interventions in future studies.”

Physical activity in preventing and managing Alzheimer’s disease

The Role of Physical Activity in the Prevention and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease—Implications for Ontario. Ontario Brain Institute. (2013).

“Approach: To better understand how physical activity can contribute to the prevention and management of Alzheimer’s disease, 871 research articles were reviewed. After closer inspection and quality scoring, 24 randomized control trials and 21 prospective cohort studies examining physical activity and Alzheimer’s disease were selected for further analysis.

“Results: Within older adults with Alzheimer’s disease, regular physical activity improved quality of life (QOL), activities of daily living (ADL), and decreased the occurrence of depression. In older adults without Alzheimer’s disease, those who were very physically active were almost 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as those who were inactive. At the population level, it was observed that more than 1 in 7 cases of Alzheimer’s disease could be prevented if everyone who is currently inactive were to become physically active at a level consistent with current activity recommendations. On this basis, potential cost-savings (~$88 to $970 million CDN per year) in healthcare for community-dwelling older adults with Alzheimer’s disease are substantial.” (page 2)

The Well of Dance


This website has links to research and academic reviews regarding the benefits of dancing and dance-movement therapy – on well-being, brain health, and a variety of other categories listed on the side. The blog is meant to offer examples, rather than being comprehensive. Currently the focus is on research regarding adults and older adults.

Feel free to share your thoughts below a post. (-:


Joanne Cuffe, M.Ed.
Dance facilitator in Victoria, BC, Lekwungen Territories

p.s. Please be in touch with suggestions, links, feedback, curiosities, etc. Thank-you.
p.p.s. Thank-you to Peter Renner, whose Benefits of mindfulness and meditation website was the spur for this website.