This dance/movement and expressive arts workshop is designed for mothers and infants (0-12 months) to explore verbal and non-verbal interactions using dance, movement and music. Being the mother of an infant, whether you are a first time mom or not, is a period of transition. As a mother of a 12 month old, I am aware of the absolute joys and rewards of motherhood, and its challenges.
A mother's body is in symbiosis with their baby from conception, and while separation begins at birth, infants are very dependent during their first year of life.
Motherhood can be physically and psychologically demanding. It can also be a lonely time even with the celebration of a new life and support from family and friends. This workshop offers the opportunity to be supported by other mothers while immersing yourself and your infant in an atmosphere of play, song and dance.
The goals of the workshop are to enhance feelings of connection to yourself, your infant and other moms using experiential activities. We will deepen sensory awareness using touch (you and your infant), sounds and rhythms, play, non-verbal communication (using facial expression, props such as scarves and instruments) and nurturing. You will experience the joy and creative power of dance, movement and music as you attune to your body and your infant.
"The therapeutic outcomes of dance are: 1) the stimulation and release of feelings, 2) communication and contact,
3) reduction of anxiety, 4) experience of joy, and 5) response to rhythm. Dance has historically served in the expression of the major emotional states such as, anger, joy, fear, and calm. Dances from a variety of cultures are described to illustrate their facilitation of the transcendence of self, sense of communication, and relatedness to a group" (Key, 1982).
"Non-verbal interventions helps relationships between parents and infants become more mutually satisfying, while alleviating post-natal depression and anxiety in the mother" (Murphy, 2009).
"Mirror neurons play a central role in attachment, attunement, social cognition and morality and can be mediated through dance movement therapy" (Berrol, 2006).
"When individuals interact, it is not just two minds interacting, but two bodies. Attachment theory is based in psychoneurobiology and is especially centered in the right brain" (Ogden et al., 2009).
"It is primarily through the nonverbal dynamics of the relationship that the mother and baby observe, attune to, and mirror each other. They first begin to know each other through nonverbal exchanges. Nonverbal observation, attunement, and mirroring are core communicative tools dance/movement therapists consciously use. The information thus obtained is utilized to create dance/movement and play-based explorations to support deeper expression and understanding" (Tortora, 2011).
Berrol, C. (2006). Neuroscience meets dance/movement therapy: Mirror neurons, the therapeutic
process and empathy. The Arts in Psychotherapy 33, 302-315.
Key, M. (1982). The relationship of verbal and nonverbal communication. American Journal of Dance
Therapy, 5, 65-66.
Murphy, J. (1998). Nonverbal interventions with infants and their parents. American Journal of Dance Therapy 20, 37-54.
Ogden, P., Pain, C., Minton, K., Fisher, J. (2009). Sensorimotor psychotherapy institute: Including the
body in mainstream psychotherapy for traumatized individuals.
Tortora, S. (2011). 2010 Marian Chace Lecture The Need to Be Seen: From Winnicott to the Mirror
Neuron. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 33, 4-17.