Choose the career of a dance therapist as you wheel around to the rhythm divine

Dec 2015

Go Back

Share this article:

dance-therapyThe path of dance and music is merely not limited to provide entertainment and promote regional culture. But it has a very unique connection to the emotional being of any individual. Dance can connect souls, interpret moves, and has a therapeutic effect on the inner being of a person. It has the ability to unleash the energy by removing obstructions prevalent in mind as well as physical being. This is the basis of dance movement therapy. India being at the pinnacle of diverse culture and dance forms, is extremely promising ground for the development of dance therapy as a career option.


So how does a dance therapist work?

The total health of the patient or client is aimed at improving through engaging dance steps and movements by any professional dance therapist. They can be dance of any form. The fundamentals of any dance therapy basically target the following wellness of health.


  • A dance therapist would work with his or her clients to bring about an improvement in their total body image or restoration and build up of self esteem.
  • Enhance effective skills to intermingle in society along with good communication skills developed.
  • Aids clients in gaining insight to the patterns that are leading to his or her behavioural problems
  • Helps in the exploration of options or methods to develop normal or societal behaviour


Where to pursue dance therapy in India?

There are very few places in India where dance therapy can be pursued as a career. A person who can perceive dance more than just an art form should definitely venture into the possibilities. It is highly possible that you join workshops and trainings of renowned dance therapists in India to gain insight into the subject. There are some institutes and courses mentioned below to help you decide on this. To pursue most of these courses, certification in any dance form or psychology is desired.

S No.

Names of institutes

Courses offered


Women’s Christian College, in association with The East West Centre for Counselling and Training

Diploma course in Expressive Art Therapy


Creative Movement Therapy Association in India

60 hours annual certification course in dance movement therapy.


Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts

DANCE Movement therapy course of 60 hours


The fees involved can vary from few thousands for some workshops to Rs. 300000/- as it is in the Symbiosis School of Arts.


People who contributed to dance therapy in India

Dance therapy in India is something that is being practised by a handful people in the recent times. These dancers have really added a new dimension to their love of dance as an art form to restore balance in the lives of people around them.


Tripura Kashyap: She is considered as one of the pioneers of dance therapy in India. She realized while working with disabled children, that while dancing they beautifully reacted to the musical rhythms irrespective of their disabilities. Thus began her journey in dance therapy. She pursued dance therapy as a subject at Hancock Centre of Movement Art and Therapies Wisconsin in 2005. She came back to India to work with autistic children and develop dance movement therapy as a therapeutic supplement for their treatment.


Sohini Chakraborty: In her academy Sanved in Kolkata, this lady evolved further with dance therapy and helped victims of human traffic to get back mental stability and facilitate in their psycho-social rehabilitation. She mainly employed symbolism in her dance therapy techniques to help them break barriers and express their feelings.


Dilshad Patel: At Harkness Dance Centre in New York, Dilshad Patel completed her training in dance therapy. She works in Mumbai as a dance therapist to help revive children with hearing and visual disabilities and those struck with HIV. She also believes in the capabilities of dance therapy to combat everyday stress.


Syed Sallauddin Pasha: He worked with children of special needs to help them break their routine shackles of obstruction through drama and dance therapy.


How to pursue a career abroad?

To study dance therapy as a subject deeply it is indeed a great idea to move abroad, since India still does not have well structured courses in the subject. The pioneers in this field are not too old and they too had moved to countries like U.S.A and U.K. which are very well equipped in the treatment methodologies of dance therapy to learn in deep about this comparatively new subject.

Any aspiring dance therapist should have a degree in liberal arts with a strong dance background in addition as pointed by American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA). Subjects like psychology, recreation therapy or dance can be pursued at an undergraduate level. For a master’s degree students can enrol in U.S.A. in any ADTA approved programs. If the students wishes to pursue the same in U.K. then it should be approved by Association for Dance Movement Therapy (ADMT) U.K.

You can carry a registred DMT (R-DMT) or a board certified DMT (BC-DMT) for practising in U.S.A.


Institutes to pursue dance therapy as a subject

Some of the selected institutes in USA and U.K. have been enlisted below where dance therapy can be pursued as subject.

Serial No.

Name of Institutes

Courses offered


University of Roehampton

Dance Movement Psychotherapy MA



Goldsmiths University of London

Dance Movement Psychotherapy MA, MPhil and PhD



London Metropolitan University

Sports and Dance Therapy BSc (Hons)



Drexel University

Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy



University of Derby

Creative Expressive Therapies (Dance) BA (Hons)

Dance Movement Therapy and Psychotherapy MA


Codarts, University for the ArtsNetherlands

Master in Dance Therapy


U.K. and U.S. course can range from Rs. 600000/- to Rs. 1600000/- which can prove to be quite an expensive option for a subject which is just budding to grow.


How much to expect?

The salary figures are still not very well defined since dance therapy as a career option is still new. However the Bureau of Labor Statistics has pointed an average median salary of $44,280, while those who are ace at it can earn a salary of $67,000.


Pros and cons of dance therapy as a career

Dance therapy as a career option has an immense field to grow and it is ideal for ant person passionate about serving the society in a different and lesser tried methodologies. But then one has to struggle and be confident of laying their own path as it requires contribution from various entrepreneurs. It is indeed very interesting to work with but practitioners can face issues as recipients may find the idea of using dance or movement as means to cure their shortcomings.


Call for action

India being a land of diverse culture and art form should explore ways in which they can make use of this to help its own people recover from their inabilities. In fact they should be the torch bearers to such idea and spread the message of love and communication through such techniques which can be unique to its own land.