Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


The implementation of movement in school classrooms and other learning spaces has become more prominent throughout recent years. A growing body of research argues that movement and creativity can promote classroom functioning, social/emotional learning, and overall development. However, there is an absence of literature examining the implementation of dance and movement in early childhood intervention programs. This paper explored the history and structures of early intervention programs in the United States as well as dance/movement therapy (DMT) in relation to children, development and learning environments. Based on the reviewed literature, a method was developed and implemented in a local early intervention program. The method focused on integrating movement breaks into multidisciplinary individual sessions with three toddlers (N = 3) enrolled in the program. The goals of this method included 1) Supporting children’s session functioning through providing movement breaks that targeted regulation and creativity, and 2) Observing how DMT could be integrated into multidisciplinary, play-based early intervention sessions. The results of this method showed the movement breaks supported the participants’ expansion of creativity and connection as well as the importance of the use of space to support session functioning. This method development shows an instance of successful integration of movement into existing early intervention structures.

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




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