Dance therapy has a vast application in the medical and mental healthcare system and can be used to introduce creative elements in pedagogy and detect issues in early childhood, said Manisha Sanghvi, Executive Director, Sancheti Group of Institutes while launching Asia’s first Master’s Programme in Dance Therapy.
Sancheti Healthcare Academy has introduced a Master’s Programme in Expressive Movement Therapy (Dance Therapy) approved by Pune University.
“It has taken five years of relentless effort in building a strong foundation towards developing this course and the awareness about the use of creative art therapies in healthcare. We found great results while using this at our hospital,” Sanghvi told The Indian Express.
The course is being co-founded with support from Kinections, New York, which is headed by Dr Danielle Fraenkel. She is not only the curriculum creator, but also a passionate student mentor, Sanghvi said.
“Graduates of arts, psychology, dance, doctors, therapists, professionals, teachers and trainers can avail this professional degree. We aim to offer the highest quality of education in the field of dance therapy with the guidance of Kinections — our international collaboration and course advisor. Going further, we will forge many more such collaborations to offer global exposure to our students,” she added.
Dance therapy becomes an adjunctive tool both for diagnosis as well as treatment in non-intimidating ways for children, adolescents, young professionals, senior citizens, special populations and patients suffering from chronic diseases and prolonged hospitalisation. It allows for effective ways to keep individuals or groups motivated and mentally resilient to respond to medical care, Sanghvi pointed out.
An avid art lover herself, Sanghvi strongly believes that the young generation needs much more than just an education and a career, such allied and alternative medical professions will help create stability and resilience in our youth.
“In cases of psychological illnesses, dance therapy has been used in the West as a mainstay of treatment, and offers solutions which can help in the physical, emotional and social rehabilitation of an individual or groups. With an increase in the number of mental health disorders in our country, we use the magic of the creative arts and blend them with the science of psychology and bring wellness to our community at large,” she pointed out.
Dr Nikita Mittal, founder of Life and Dance and co-founder of the Master’s Programme, said that prior to the launch of the postgraduate degree programme they were conducting a nine-month certification in dance therapy.
“While the nine-month certification in dance therapy will continue, the Master’s degree programme will be launched in September,” Dr Mittal said.
The initial intake will be of 25 students. “When students go to the US to get a Master’s in Dance Therapy they acquire knowledge from western philosophy. Whereas, our course aims at using the rich cultural wealth and heritage of our country to teach them about how movement can be used as therapy for all populations. Also, the cost of education abroad is exorbitant. At SHA we are making it affordable to students of our country,” she added.