Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy


Dance/Movement Therapy Graduate Program


This thesis examines how the addition of dance/movement therapy affected the participants of an afterschool program hosted by The Mary J. Blige Center for Women and Girls in Yonkers, New York. A brief history of the city of Yonkers, focusing on the impact of political changes on the socioeconomic divide, is provided, as is a discussion of Mary J. Blige’s experiences growing up in this urban environment and her decision to open a center for women and children. Through a review of the literature, the effectiveness of afterschool programs in teaching adolescents life skills, building positive and trusting relationships, increasing selfesteem and strengthening impulse control and social skills is examined A case study is presented, describing the author’s experience developing dance/movement therapy groups with adolescent girls attending the center’s after school program.