Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Elise Risher


Couples seek therapy for various reasons, including managing or navigating conflict, aggression, and infidelity, separation or divorce issues, and navigating psychological disorders or medical issues. Differences in communication style can also contribute to conflicts in couples, and much of this communication happens on a subconscious, non-verbal level. There are various components of partner dancing like,. This thesis proposes utilizing the elements of partner dance, such as nonverbal communication through the roles of lead and follow, use of music for synchronicity, spatial proximity, gesture and posture as interventions in dance/movement therapy with couples. Dance/movement therapy can help individuals be more aware about themselves, express themselves and communicate with others in an authentic way. Dance/movement therapy has the ability to foster attunement, empathy and social bonding in individuals. Dance/movement therapists may facilitate joy, attunement, empathy, emotional regulation, conflict management, effective communication and intimacy between couples utilizing the framework of partner dancing.