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The pas de trois of disability, dance and social work: dance/movement therapy as point of access for recreational dance

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posted on 2021-05-24, 17:28 authored by Geneviève Elitha Margaret Roots
Individuals with disabilities are left out of recreational programs at a much higher rate than individuals with no disabilities. Seeking to rid barriers created by inaccessible recreational dance spaces, dance/movement therapy (DMT) offers a potential solution. This research explores how DMT can inspire a model for accessible recreational dance spaces for individuals with varying abilities, how this therapeutic practice can translate into a recreational dance atmosphere, and the role of social workers herein. The research takes the form of a content analysis via hermeneutic phenomenology of a six-week DMT-inspired pilot program developed by the researcher, and is informed by critical disability and structural social work theories. Findings highlight the parallels between DMT and recreational dance, making possible their fusion to create a space for ‘everyone and anyone’, and emphasize a social work presence. A logic model resulted, guiding how accessible recreational dance programs may be designed, based on DMT.





Master of Social Work


Social Work

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type