Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Susan Orkand

Second Advisor

Elise Risher


The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) and Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board (DMTCB) have ensured those dance/movement therapists who have been educated, registered, and board-certified share a commitment to equity, justice, and nonmaleficence according to the ADTA and DMTCB’s Code of Ethics and Standards (The Code) (ADTA, 2015). “Nope. Don’t like that,” has been the actual, verbal, expression of the embodied experience of intersectional harm from a lack of assessed, decolonized dance/movement therapy practice and pedagogy. The ADTA, students, educators, and credentialed dance/movement therapists hold an established, ethical responsibility to justice and nonmaleficence, and as such, must demonstrate a commitment to the pedagogy and practice of assessment of intersectional cultural competence. The effort toward intersectional cultural competence has spanned decades (Chang, 2015), but has the effort been critically examined? Has dance/movement therapy sought to dismantle the oppressive systems in which White, Western culture has been rooted (Nichols, 2019)? Disrupting the status quo, dismantling White supremacy, and decolonizing dance/movement therapy has been the requirement to demonstrate commitment to justice, nonmaleficence, and The Code in the United States.

Keywords: race, intersectional cultural competence, dance/movement therapy, decolonization, social justice, intersectionality