Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy


Dance/Movement Therapy Graduate Program


Classical Ballet is an ancient style of dance that was born in 16th century and was one of the principal forms of dance for years. Ballet dancers move according to what they are taught, following precise directives and form. Dancers that noticed the missing elements that ballet did not offer began exploring their bodies in more primitive and organic movements that were driven by inner emotions. This style of dance is known as modern dance, and is considered one of the bases of dance/movement therapy. Modern dancers and dance/movement therapists rejected ballet and its form, due to its structural precision and exclusion of free expression through movements. There are many elements within the structure of ballet that might have therapeutic aspects. There are many ways in which ballet can be a part of what dance/movement therapists do, as well as expand on what we do. Dance/movement therapists can explore balletic elements such as posture, alignment, structure, and body awareness in their sessions, with the purpose of deepening the practice.