Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy


Dance/Movement Therapy Graduate Program


This paper will focus primarily on a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically High-Functioning Autism, who attended a summer camp in 2015. A definition of autism and how it affects a diagnosed child will be explained. Analysis of the benefits of group dance/movement therapy (DMT) with children diagnosed within the autism spectrum will also be presented. Additionally, past documented studies regarding this population and the use of dance/movement therapy as a catalyst for reducing symptoms of autism will be described. Focusing on three specific goals (commitment, community, interpersonal/intrapersonal relationships) this paper will describe how the Contra Dance form can be implemented into DMT sessions with this population. Finally, this paper will conclude with a case study, demonstrating why incorporating Contra Dance form into group DMT sessions within autism populations can reduce symptoms of those diagnosed.