Creative Arts Therapies Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Art in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling (MA)


Creative Arts Therapies

First Advisor

Susan Imus

Second Advisor

Laura Downey

Third Advisor

Ashley Fargnoli


dance movement therapy, dance, artist, Authentic Movement, artistic inquiry


This thesis is an embodied artistic inquiry focused on thoughtfully engaging in self reflection through movement, with the intention of discovering how the identities of emerging dance/movement therapist and dance artist inform and interplay with one another. Data was collected through six Authentic Movement sessions with a trained Authentic Movement practitioner. Data analysis occurred through arts-based creative synthesis, which included freeassociation drawing, writing, and movement improvisation. Main themes of bodily knowing and relationship developed from data analysis. Culmination of artistic inquiry occurred through a dance film focused on above-mentioned themes. The dance film can be viewed from the link in the paper. A review of existing research on the role of identity specifically development of body identity and professional identity was crucial to the research. Implications demonstrated the importance of embodiment for emerging dance/movement therapists. 47 pages.