Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


E., Kellogg, PhD


A workshop was offered to local women in North Eastern Ohio who have experienced trauma and are facing uncomfortable emotions or unpleasant memories as a result. A guided body scan, Focusing Oriented Art directives, and improvisational movement explorations were employed to deepen awareness and understanding of the emotions and memories participants wished to have better control over. Three movement rhythms, which are central to the ancient feminine dance form popularly known as belly dance, were explored through improvisational movement both as a group and independently. These movement rhythms included staccato pops and locks, fluid figure eights, and vibratory shimmies. Participants reported a variety of benefits gleamed from engaging in the three movement rhythms. Staccato pops and locks helped participants explore the space around themselves and reclaim their bodies. Fluid figure eights were found to be helpful for self-soothing as well as encouraging further understanding and internal exploration. Vibratory shimmies proved beneficial in helping clients shake loose areas where they felt stuck, be it mentally, emotionally, and/or physically. Shimmies also helped reduce unwanted self-imposed limitations and shaming tendencies. One movement rhythm sometimes gave way to the need for a different movement rhythm as their process of understanding and moving towards healing unfolded. Movement from isolation to socialization was also noted through the course of this workshop. Participants reported the workshop to be a success and expressed a wish for more of such events in the greater community, feeling that there is substantial need for accessible activities which promote healing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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