Dance Movement Therapist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

dance movement therapist job description

In the realm of mental health and wellness, Dance Movement Therapists play a fundamental role.

As society evolves, the demand for skilled professionals who can harness the power of movement to foster emotional, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual, heightens.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s really required of a Dance Movement Therapist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker wanting to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager shaping the perfect candidate profile,
  • Or simply captivated by the intriguing aspects of dance therapy,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a flexible Dance Movement Therapist job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Dance Movement Therapist Duties and Responsibilities

Dance Movement Therapists use dance and movement to support the intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body.

As a method of healing, dance therapy can be useful for people of all ages, backgrounds, and health statuses.

A Dance Movement Therapist’s duties and responsibilities include:

  • Assess clients’ physical, emotional, and mental health to establish treatment goals
  • Plan and implement individual and group therapy sessions using dance and movement strategies
  • Use movement observation and therapeutic interventions to support the healing process
  • Document patient progress and adjust therapeutic plans as necessary
  • Collaborate with other professionals such as physical therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers to provide comprehensive care
  • Provide a safe, respectful, and supportive environment for clients to express themselves
  • Guide clients in understanding their physical movements and the emotions they provoke
  • Provide education and resources to family members and caregivers to support treatment plans
  • Stay updated with the latest research and advancements in dance therapy
  • Adhere to professional and ethical guidelines in the practice of dance therapy


Dance Movement Therapist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a compassionate and dynamic Dance Movement Therapist to join our team.

The Dance Movement Therapist will be responsible for developing and implementing dance movement therapy programs to support the emotional, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual.

This role requires a deep understanding of the therapeutic relationship and process, and a strong foundation in movement observation and analysis.



  • Assess individual patient needs and develop therapy treatment plans
  • Conduct individual and group dance therapy sessions
  • Document and maintain accurate records of patient’s progress and treatment
  • Communicate effectively with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals
  • Adhere to professional, ethical, and legal standards
  • Participate in continued education and professional development opportunities
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary treatment teams to provide integrated care
  • Design and implement movement and dance activities to facilitate body awareness, self-expression, and social interaction



  • Master’s degree in Dance Movement Therapy or a related field
  • Registration as a Dance Movement Therapist (R-DMT or BC-DMT) is preferred
  • Previous experience as a Dance Movement Therapist
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong observation and analytical skills
  • Compassionate and patient-centered approach



  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Wellness program


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Dance Movement Therapist
  • Work Environment: This position works in a clinical setting. Occasional off-site sessions may be required.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Director of Therapy Services.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $45,000 minimum to $65,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Dance Movement Therapist Do?

Dance Movement Therapists work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, mental health facilities, and private practices, utilizing dance and movement to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body.

They employ different dance styles and movement techniques to create a safe environment for their clients where they can express themselves, explore their feelings and emotions, and foster a stronger sense of self-awareness.

Dance Movement Therapists develop individualized therapeutic plans for each client, based on the client’s needs, goals, and abilities.

This can involve one-on-one sessions or group therapy, with the aim of improving the client’s emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being.

In addition to facilitating dance and movement activities, they also observe and analyze their clients’ movements, body language, and expressions to assess their emotional and physical state.

This helps them adjust their therapeutic approach and better support their clients’ progress.

They may also be involved in collaborative work with other healthcare professionals like psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists to ensure a comprehensive treatment plan for the client.

Overall, Dance Movement Therapists use the power of dance and movement to heal, empower, and transform their clients, helping them navigate challenges and improve their overall mental and physical health.


Dance Movement Therapist Qualifications and Skills

A proficient Dance Movement Therapist should have the skills and qualifications that align with your job description, such as:

  • Expertise in various dance techniques and movement modalities to facilitate therapeutic processes.
  • Strong understanding of psychological theories and practices, as well as the ability to incorporate these into dance movement therapy sessions.
  • Excellent observational skills to analyze clients’ body movements, non-verbal expressions, and emotional responses.
  • Empathy and interpersonal skills to build trust and rapport with clients, enabling them to explore their feelings through dance and movement.
  • Strong communication skills to explain therapy processes, set goals, and provide feedback to clients and their families.
  • Problem-solving skills to adapt therapeutic approaches to individual clients’ needs, abilities, and responses.
  • Patience and a caring, supportive nature to help clients deal with emotional, mental, and physical challenges.
  • Cultural sensitivity and awareness to respect and work effectively with clients of diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Certification or license to practice as a Dance Movement Therapist as required by local or national regulations.
  • Physical fitness and stamina to demonstrate dance movements and participate actively in therapy sessions.


Dance Movement Therapist Experience Requirements

Dance Movement Therapists typically possess a master’s degree in dance/movement therapy or a master’s degree in a related field with additional dance/movement therapy certification.

During their graduate studies, students gain significant practical and theoretical experience through coursework, internships, and clinical placements.

In addition to formal education, aspiring Dance Movement Therapists often accumulate experience in the field of dance.

This can include dancing in a professional setting, teaching dance, or performing research in the field of dance theory.

Such experience, though not always required, can be beneficial when applying therapeutic techniques in a practical setting.

Entry-level Dance Movement Therapists may have 1 to 2 years of experience, often obtained through internships or part-time roles in mental health or educational settings.

These professionals can also gain on-the-job experience in roles such as Rehabilitation Therapist, Mental Health Counselor, or Special Education Teacher.

Candidates with more than 3 years of experience often develop their therapeutic skills and knowledge in entry-level Dance Movement Therapist or related roles.

They gain experience working with a variety of populations, including children, adults, and seniors, and in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, and community centers.

Those with more than 5 years of experience may have some leadership experience in their background and may be ready for a supervisory or administrative role in dance/movement therapy.

Such positions may involve program development, training new therapists, or overseeing therapeutic services at an organizational level.


Dance Movement Therapist Education and Training Requirements

Dance Movement Therapists typically require a master’s degree in Dance Movement Therapy or a related field such as psychology or counseling with a specialization in Dance Movement Therapy.

Before entering a master’s program, individuals must have a bachelor’s degree, often in a relevant field such as dance, psychology, or other related studies.

Many programs also require a substantial background in dance and movement, which may include prior dance training or experience.

The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) recommends that Dance Movement Therapists complete a minimum of 700 hours of clinical internship or fieldwork as part of their training.

This offers practical experience in applying dance movement therapy techniques in a professional setting under supervision.

Once they have completed their degree, aspiring Dance Movement Therapists need to become registered with the ADTA or a similar professional body in their country.

The registration process usually involves completing a specified amount of postgraduate clinical work and passing an examination.

After registration, Dance Movement Therapists must engage in ongoing professional development to keep their skills current and learn new techniques.

This can be achieved through workshops, additional coursework, or specialized training programs.

Some Dance Movement Therapists may also choose to become board-certified, which involves additional training and experience, as well as passing an examination.

This certification indicates a high level of competence and commitment to the field.


Dance Movement Therapist Salary Expectations

A Dance Movement Therapist earns an average salary of $48,905 (USD) per year.

The actual earnings can fluctuate based on factors such as experience, level of education, location, and the specific employer.


Dance Movement Therapist Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Dance Movement Therapist need?

Dance Movement Therapists require strong interpersonal and communication skills, as they need to establish trust with clients and understand their emotional and physical needs.

They should have a deep understanding of human anatomy and dance techniques, and be able to adapt these techniques to suit different clients’ abilities.

Creative problem-solving skills are also crucial in this role.


What qualifications are required to become a Dance Movement Therapist?

Dance Movement Therapists generally need a master’s degree in dance/movement therapy or a related field such as counseling or psychology.

They must also complete a specific amount of supervised clinical experience.

Many states also require licensure or certification in dance therapy or a related field.


What should you look for in a Dance Movement Therapist resume?

A Dance Movement Therapist’s resume should include a master’s degree in a relevant field, along with evidence of completed clinical experience.

It should also show a strong background in both dance and psychology.

Experience working with specific populations, such as children, the elderly, or people with disabilities, might also be beneficial, depending on the role.


What qualities make a good Dance Movement Therapist?

A good Dance Movement Therapist is empathetic, patient, and has a genuine passion for helping others.

They need to be physically fit and have a strong background in dance.

Excellent observational skills are also crucial, as they need to interpret clients’ non-verbal communication.

Additionally, a good Dance Movement Therapist is creative and able to adapt their therapy techniques to meet individual clients’ needs.


Is it difficult to hire a Dance Movement Therapist?

It can be challenging to hire a Dance Movement Therapist, as it is a specialized field that requires specific qualifications and a unique blend of skills in dance, psychology, and therapy.

The pool of qualified candidates may be relatively small, so you may need to be flexible in your hiring approach and consider candidates with transferable skills and experiences.



So there you have it.

Today, we’ve unfolded the vibrant world of being a dance movement therapist.

And guess what?

It’s not just about learning dance moves.

It’s about healing and transforming lives, one dance step at a time.

With our comprehensive dance movement therapist job description template and real-life examples, you’re all set to make your mark.

But why halt your journey here?

Delve deeper with our job description generator. It’s your next step to precision-crafted listings or fine-tuning your resume to perfection.


Every dance movement has the power to stir emotions and inspire change.

Let’s shape the future of therapeutic healing. Together.

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