Contact improv dance in prison

An Evaluation of Dancing Inside: A creative workshop project led by Motionhouse Dance Theatre in HMP Dovegate Therapeutic Community. Brown, J., Burchnall, K., & Houston, S. (2004). Forensic Psychology Research Unit, University of Surrey, England.

“The present study examines year two of the Dancing Inside project. […] The findings reveal that the use of dance in a prison TC [Therapeutic Community] can facilitate emotional awareness and expression, encourage new ways of thinking, and help participants to discover an emerging sense of a new self. This has a significant contribution to the ‘process of change’ for each participant, as it aids self-disclosure, increases willingness to talk about themselves, their experiences and their offending behaviour. There was evidence of the short term impact experienced after the workshop. There is further evidence to support  the longer term sustainability of change.

“A note of caution however needs to be struck when considering the generalisability of our findings. […] Thus the report evaluates the particularities of the conjunction of the Dovegate TC [Therapeutic Community], Motionhouse [Dance Theatre] and [the facilitator] rather than attempts to consider the role of Dance in prison more generally.”


Dance-movement therapy with unhoused women

A place for my self : issues of space in dance-movement therapy with women in a homeless shelter. Kelly M. Phipps. (1995). Hahnemann University. Source: OAI. ABSTRACT iii, 77 leaves.

Abstract from ResearchGate: “As homelessness in the United States continues to rise, research into the specific needs for treatment of this population is increasing. Both personal and social factors contribute to homelessness as well as different reasons due to gender (North and Smith,1993). Loss of personal, interpersonal and societal space occur as a result of homelessness. This loss of spatial boundaries can lead to the inability of an individual to overcome his homeless condition. This study was undertaken in an effort to demonstrate a relationship between issues of space among the homeless and dance/movement therapy concepts to produce a program that would be beneficial to women living in a homeless shelter. As literature pertaining to dance/movement therapy with the homeless is extremely limited, the study consisted of a literature review of women and homelessness, space and dance/movement therapy with relavent populations. In addition, clinical application of dance/movement therapy to this population is given and illustrated with short case vignettes. Findings showed that dance/movement therapy concepts of space were applicable to the traumas such as physical and sexual abuse, drug addiction and victimization experience by homeless women. The non-verbal nature and use of the body in dance/movement therapy is able to address these issues at the site of their experience. The conclusion is that dance/movement therapy, especially work geared toward personal space and boundary development, can play a beneficial role in helping women escape patterns of homelessness.”