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

Aisha Bell


dance movement therapy, dance, identity, case record review


This thesis is a self-reflective exploration of an ongoing investigation into my professional identity development using a case record review. The purpose of this review was to gain a better understanding of how my knowledge of dance/movement therapy influenced my facilitation of a dance class for students with special needs. This process took place through the teaching of a community dance class for students with special needs called Friday Night Dance Party (FNDP). This review utilized historical data in the form of a reflection sheet, art making, and stream of consciousness journaling completed after each class. Upon the completion of data collection, theme analysis resulted in the following themes: staying grounded within my own body through the use of breath, offering flexible class structure with choice in the dance classroom, use of my informed intuition, and improvisation. A dance performance illustrating my use of the frameworks of dance/movement therapy and dance education, in the creation of a dance class for special needs students was presented at the Columbia College Chicago Department of Creative Arts Therapies’ Annual Student and Faculty Benefit Concert in July 2017. 77 pages.