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History of DMTAC

The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie.


- Agnes de Mille

Since 2006 DMTAC has grown from a small group of passionate Dance Movement Therapists into an incorporated non-for-profit association of members nationwide. With your help, we will continue to educate, grow, and connect DMT’s in Canada. Become a member today.


2006-2010   Beginnings

Devoted Dance movement therapist, and later the association president, Joanabbey Sack holds yearly DMT Open Houses at Concordia University. During these years she is joined and assisted by students Farah Fancy and current president Zuzana Sevcikova organizing these events. This collaboration was the basis for establishing the DMTAC board. Further discussion, research, and commitment about establishing the non-for-profit association eventually lead to writing the first iteration of professional By-laws. Based in Montreal, Joanabbey, Zuzana, and Farah held regular meetings, participated in the Creative Arts Therapies week, and started an online blog to enhance national discussion and inform DMT’s across Canada about the initiative.


2011   Established

After extensive discussion with the community at large around whether to create a provincial or federal association, DMTAC was officially formed as a federal entity with the English name of Dance Movement Therapy Association in Canada (DMTAC) and the French name of Association de thérapie par la danse et le mouvement au Canada (ATDMC). 2011 was a milestone year as the first Bylaws were created, a website launched to link all provinces and territories, a database of DMT’s across the country was established, and DMTAC was officially introduced. With a global perspective and diverse backgrounds, the first board of directors is announced and unites around DMTAC ensuring that from the foundation it has been rooted in multiculturalism.


First board of directors:

   Farah Fancy (President)

   Zuzana Sevcikova (Vice-president)

   Dalia Balp (Secretary)

   Joanabbey Sack

   Liliana Barboza


2012   Incorporation

DMTAC's updates published in the ADTA Newsletter (Vol.46, Issue 3, p.20). With counsel from DMTAC, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal (GBC) connects with 92Y Harkness Dance Centre in New York to bring the Alternate Route Training to Montreal and establish The National Centre for Dance Therapy. The Association is registered and certificate of Incorporation issued on October 2nd by the Canada Non-for-profit Corporation Act.


Board of Directors:

   Farah Fancy

   Joanabbey Sack

   Zuzana Sevcikova

   Tetiana Lazuk

   Alida Esmail


2013   Canadian series

Further development of the Association, membership database, and online promotion continues. DMTAC Board holds bi-weekly meetings as we apply for grants, communicates with GBC as it launches the National Centre for Dance Therapy, Concordia University, and continues to facilitate the DMT community.

First Annual General Meeting and election of the DMTAC board held on August 21st.

    Board of Directors for 2013-2015

    Joanabbey Sack (President)

    Zuzana Sevcikova (Vice-president)

    Alida Esmail (Secretary)

    Lucie Beaudry

    Tetiana Lazuk

    Deborah Ummel


2014   Further Reach

Further development of DMTAC's committees: Finance, Membership, Communications, Education, Resource, as well as making the availability for Provincial Representative positions. Joanabbey Sack is a DMT consultant to the National Centre for Dance Therapy where the first cohort of Alternate Route training has begun. Megan English becomes the Ontario representative, and DMTAC establishes a stronger connection to the Ontario community in order to gather ideas for how we can unite more people.


2015   Ontario branch and beyond

Megan English, Joanabbey Sack, and Zuzana Sevcikova write an article about DMT

and DMTAC for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) newsletter (Spring2015). DMTAC starts the Ontario Branch thanks to the active initiation of Megan English who works along the lines of DMTAC and specifically to the new guidelines in psychotherapy in Ontario. Joanabbey Sack becomes representative to the Global subcommittee of the ADTA and representative on the Quebec professional Order of Creative Arts Therapists Committee (OCAT). We continue to build links and liaisons for the DMT community with other CATS associations.


Board of Directors for 2015-2017

    Joanabbey Sack (President)

    Zuzana Sevcikova (Vice President)

    Laurie Potter (Secretary)

    Lorraine Aston

    Tania Lazuk

    Amy Eloise Mailloux


2016 - 2017   Advancing Nationally

We work to assess and address the highest priority issues for dance movement therapists: training and work opportunities; networking and professional development; how to navigate new psychotherapy permits; self-promotion and creating job opportunities. DMTAC is also in development with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as part of their Creative Arts Therapy outreach initiative to serve the community and develop educational programming. This partnership may serve as a potential template for such partnerships in other cities across Canada. New website development with dedication from Andreah Barker, Lorraine Aston and others. Our proposal for a Dance Movement therapy/Drama Therapy Option at Concordia University is submitted in January 2017 and accepted later in the spring. In the fall a detailed letter of intent to establish an independent DMT Master program at Concordia University is in process with a great input and support from DMTAC members. We continue to connect Canada's East and West by welcoming British Columbia-based BC-DMT, educator and filmmaker, Hana Kamea Kemble, to Montreal and Ottawa to present a series of workshops related to her new film, The Moving Child.


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